The Mystery of the Historical Jesus


Author: Louay Fatoohi

Subject: Comparative Religion 

Publication date: 09 Oct, 2007 

Page count: 557

Dimensions: 244 x 170 mm

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, objectives, and expertise of their respective authors, these works relied on the New Testament, other Christian sources, Jewish writings, historical sources, or combinations of these writings. The Qur’an is rarely mentioned, let alone seriously considered, by the mainly Christian authors of these studies. This explicit and implicit neglect reflects the 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 only to be dismissed, usually based on 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 of 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 what is known from history. While showing that the history of the formation of the New Testament and our 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 expert. Readers with an 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.

In this pioneering and comprehensive study of the story of Jesus you learn about:

  • 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



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

2 Mary Before the Annunciation

3 Prophet Zechariah: Mary’s Guardian

4 Prophet John

5 More Than Annunciation

6 The Virginal Conception

7 The Ruh (Spirit)

8 Joseph: Mary’s Husband?

9 Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?

10 Jesus’ Birth

11 Massacre of Truth

12 Was Jesus A Nazarene From Nazareth?

13 The Messiah

14 The Divine Son of God That Jesus Never Was

15 The Human Jesus

16 Miracles

17 The Injil (Gospel)

18 The Crucifixion in the New Testament and Historical Sources

19 The Qur’an and the Cross Fiction

20 A Second Coming?

21 Christians in the Qur’an

22 The Qur’anic Historical Jesus