The Mystery Of The Historical Jesus

The Mystery Of The Historical Jesus: The Messiah in the Qur’an, the Bible, and Historical Sources

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A new pioneering and comprehensive study of the story of Jesus:

  • Jesus in the Qur’an, Christian writings, and historical sources
  • The scriptural Jesus in the light of history
  • The life and teachings of the historical Jesus
  • The time and places in which Jesus lived
  • Jesus and the Jews and the Romans
  • The historical Jesus versus the theological one
  • Differences and similarities between the Qur’an and Christian sources and their significance

This Book

Jesus remains one of the most studied characters in history. In the two millennia since his birth, countless writers have published numerous books and articles on every aspect of his life, personality, teachings, and environment. Depending on the backgrounds, goals, and trainings of their respective authors, these works relied on the New Testament, other Christian sources, Jewish writings, or other historical sources, or on combinations of these writings. The Qur’an is rarely mentioned, let alone seriously considered, by the mainly Christian authors of these studies. This explicit or implicit neglect reflects a presumed historical worthlessness of the Qur’an.

Muslim scholars have also written extensively about Jesus. Contrary to their Western counterparts, they have studied in detail what the Qur’an and other Islamic sources say about Jesus. The Christian image of Jesus is often cited to be dismissed, usually on the basis of what Islamic sources say, but at times also because of its incoherence and inconsistency. Like Western scholars who have ignored the Qur’an, Muslim writers have shown no interest in independent historical sources.

The first study of its kind, this book fills a gap in the literature on the historical Jesus by taking the unique approach of considering together the Qur’an, the Gospels, and other religious and historical sources. This genuinely new contribution to the scholarship on the historical Jesus shows that, unlike the New Testament accounts, the Qur’anic image of Jesus is both internally consistent and reconcilable with known history. While showing that our understanding of how the New Testament was formed and our growing knowledge of history confirm that the Christian Jesus is unhistorical, this study makes a strong case for the historicity of the Jesus of the Qur’an.

Its friendly style makes this comprehensive book suitable for the general reader as well as the specialist. Readers with interest in the historical Jesus, the Messiah in the various scriptures, modern Qur’anic exegesis, or comparative religion will find this compelling study highly informative and thought-provoking. No specialist knowledge of any scripture or history is required for reading the book.


Book Details

Author: Louay Fatoohi

Pages: 557

Size: 244mm x 170mm

Publication Date: September/2007

Publisher: Luna Plena Publishing, UK

ISBN: 978-1-906342-01-2


Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Approaches to the Study of History in the Qur’an and the Bible

1.1. The Secular Approach

1.1.1. The Unavailability of Independent Evidence

1.1.2. Similarities Between the Bible and Other Sources

1.1.3. Similarities Between the Qur’an and Jewish and Christian Writings

1.1.4. The Question of the Paranormal

1.2. The Biblical Approach

1.2.1. Internal Biblical Discrepancies

1.2.2. Unfactual Biblical Statements

1.2.3. The indefinability of the “Bible” and “Scripture”

1.2.4. The False Superiority of the Canon

1.3. The Secular-Biblical Approach

1.4. The Qur’anic Approach

1.4.1. Islamic Sacred Texts

1.4.2. The Authenticity of the Qur’an

1.4.3. The Qur’an and Other Scriptures

1.4.4. Contextual Displacement as a Form of Scriptural Textual Manipulation

1.4.5. Refuted Accusations

1.5. The Approach of This Book

2. Mary Before the Annunciation

2.1. Mary Before the Annunciation in the Apocrypha

2.1.1. The Account of the Gospel of the Birth of Mary

2.1.2. The Account of the Infancy Gospel of James

2.1.3. The Account of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew

2.2. Mary Before the Annunciation in the Qur’an

3. Prophet Zechariah: Mary’s Guardian

3.1. Zechariah in the New Testament

3.2. Zechariahs in the Apocrypha

3.3. Prophet Zechariah in the Qur’an

3.3.1. Prophet Zechariah in Chapter 3 (The Family of ‘Imran)

3.3.2. Prophet Zechariah in Chapter 19 (Maryam)

4. Prophet John

4.1. John the Baptist in the New Testament

4.2. John the Baptist in History

4.3. Prophet John in the Qur’an

5. More Than Annunciation

5.1. The Annunciation in the New Testament

5.2. The Annunciation in the Apocrypha

5.3. The Annunciation and the Inducement of the Virginal Conception According to the Qur’an

5.3.1. Gabriel’s Visit and the Inducement of the Virginal Conception in Chapter 19

5.3.2. Gabriel’s Visit and the Annunciation in Chapter 3

6. The Virginal Conception (whole chapter online or PDF)

6.1. The Virginal Conception in Christian Sources

6.2. The Arguments Against the Virginal Conception

6.2.1. The Scriptural Arguments

6.2.1.1. Unknown Story

6.2.1.2. Contradictory Accounts

6.2.1.3. Different Infancy Narratives

6.2.2. The Historical Arguments

6.2.3. The Scientific Arguments

6.3. The Accusation of the Illegitimacy of Jesus

6.4. The Qur’an’s Affirmation of the Virginal Conception

7. The Ruh (Spirit)

7.1. The Hebrew Ruach in the Old Testament

7.2. The Greek Pneuma in the New Testament

7.3. The Arabic Ruh in the Qur’an

7.3.1. Gabriel

7.3.2. The Spirit of the Creation of Man

7.3.3. Inspiration

8. Joseph: Mary’s Husband?

8.1. Joseph in Christian Sources

8.1.1. Joseph and Mary

8.1.2. Joseph and Jesus

8.2. The Non-historicity of Joseph According to the Qur’an

9. Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?

9.1. Paul and Jesus’ Brothers

9.2. Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters in the Gospels

9.3. The Church and Jesus’ Brothers and Sisters

9.4. James

9.4.1. Paul and James

9.4.2. James in Other New Testament Books

9.4.3. James in History

9.5. The Qur’an’s Implicit Rejection of Jesus’ Siblings

10. Jesus’ Birth

10.1. Jesus’ Birth in the Canonical Gospels

10.2. Jesus’ Birth in Apocryphal Sources

10.3. The Star of Bethlehem

10.4. Jesus’ Birth in the Qur’an

10.5. Birth Under A Palm Tree

10.6. Jesus’ Date of Birth

11. Massacre of Truth

11.1. Herod’s Massacre in Christian Sources

11.2. The Non-historicity of Herod’s Massacre According to the Qur’an

11.3. A Massacre That Never Was

11.3.1. The Scriptural Arguments

11.3.2. The Historical Arguments

11.4. The Massacre That Did Happen

12. Was Jesus A Nazarene From Nazareth?

12.1. Jesus’ Birth and Growing up places

12.2. “Nazarene” in the New Testament

12.3. The Nazarenes of the Qur’an

13. The Messiah

13.1. The Messiah in the Old Testament

13.2. The Christ in the New Testament

13.2.1. Self-proclamation and the Public Acceptance of Jesus’ Messiahship

13.2.2. Faces of the Messiah

13.2.2.1 Son of David

13.2.2.2 Miracle Worker

13.2.2.3 King of the Jews

13.2.2.4 Founder of an Imminent Kingdom

13.2.2.5 Salvational Figure

13.2.2.6 Suffering Messiah

13.2.2.7 Virtuous Teacher

13.2.3. The Messiah’s Entry into Jerusalem

13.3. Al-Masih in the Qur’an

14. The Divine Son of God That Jesus Never Was

14.1. The Jewish “Sonship of God”

14.2. The Christian “Sonship of God”

14.2.1. Sonship of God, Messiahship, and Miracle Working

14.2.2. Sonship of God and Blasphemy

14.2.3. Christian Sons of God

14.2.4. The Unique Son of God

14.2.5. The Eternal Son of John

14.2.6. When Did Jesus’ Sonship of God become Special?

14.3. The Prevailing of the Johannine Theology

14.4. The Trinity

14.5. Son of Man

15. The Human Jesus

15.1. Muslim Messenger and Prophet

15.1.1. Islam

15.1.2. Messenger and Prophet

15.2. Human Servant of God

15.3. Forerunner of Prophet Muhammad

15.4. The Exclusiveness of Divinity

15.4.1. The Oneness of God

15.4.2. No Offspring of God

15.4.3. False Sonship of God

15.4.4. The Fallacy of the Trinity

16. Miracles

16.1. Wonder Workers at the Time of Jesus

16.2. Jesus’ Miracles in the New Testament

16.2.1. The Categories of Jesus’ Miracles

16.2.1.1. Healing Miracles

16.2.1.2. Nature Miracles

16.2.1.3. Prophecies

16.2.1.4. Clairvoyance

16.2.2. Different Gospel Accounts

16.2.3. The Significance and Purpose of Miracles

16.2.4. Miracles and Faith

16.2.5. Miracles between Publicity and Secrecy

16.3. Jesus’ Miracles in Apocryphal Writings

16.4. Jesus’ Miracles in the Qur’an

17. The Injil (Gospel)

17.1. The Term “Gospel” Before and After Christianity

17.2. The Injil: Jesus’ Divine Book

17.3. The Meaning of “Injil”

17.4. The Paraclete

17.5. The Injil and the Law

17.5.1. Jesus and the Law in the New Testament

17.5.2. The Injil’s Modification of the Law

18. The Crucifixion in the New Testament and Historical Sources

18.1. Inconsistencies in the New Testament Accounts of the Crucifixion

18.2. Historical Problems in the New Testament Accounts of the Crucifixion

18.3. Who Killed Jesus?

18.4. The Crucifixion in History

18.5. Alternative Scenarios

18.6. The Date of the Crucifixion

19. The Qur’an and the Cross Fiction

19.1. The Fiction of Jesus’ Crucifixion

19.2. The Crucifixion of Jesus’ Substitute

19.3. After the Crucifixion

19.4. The Theology of the Crucifixion

19.4.1. The New Testament and Theology of the Cross

19.4.2. The Qur’an’s Rejection of the Theology of the Cross

20. A Second Coming?

20.1. The Second Coming in the New Testament

20.1.1. The Unfulfilled Imminence of the Second Coming

20.1.2. The Second Coming and Other Apocalyptic Events

20.1.3. The Dangerous Politics of the Second Coming

20.2. The Second Coming in Sayings Attributed to Prophet Muhammad

20.3. The Qur’an’s Silence on Jesus’ Second Coming

21. Christians in the Qur’an

21.1. The Oldest Roman Mentions of the “Christians”

21.2. Christians in the Qur’an

21.2.1. The Hawariyyun

21.2.2. The Nasara

22. The Qur’anic Historical Jesus

Appendix A: History in the Qur’an

Appendix B: Apocryphal Gospels

The Infancy Gospel of James

The Gospel of the Birth of Mary

The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew

Appendix C: Abbreviations

References

Modern Works

Classical and Ancient Writings

Religious Texts

Index of Qur’anic Verses

Index of Biblical Passages

Index of Other Religious Texts

Index of Ancient Texts

Index of Names and Subjects

Copyright © 2007 Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

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