The Quranic Jesus and the Historical Jesus: A Messianic Prophet

All Islamic schools of thought accept it as a fundamental principle that for centuries, for thousands of years before the advent of Muhammad, there arose from time to time messengers, illumined by Divine Grace, for and among those races of the earth which had sufficiently advanced intellectually to comprehend such a message. Thus Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all the Prophets of Israel are universally accepted by Islam.

Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III,
(Memoirs of the Aga Khan: World Enough and Time, 1954)

Today, around 2.4 billion Christians and 1.6 billion Muslims revere and love the figure of Jesus. However, there are important differences in how Jesus is understood in Christian and Muslim theology. Islamic understandings of Jesus are rooted in the Qur’an, revered by all Muslims as God’s revealed guidance through the Prophet Muhammad.

The Qur’anic description of Jesus diverges from developed Christian doctrine in many respects. Most significantly, the Qur’an asserts that Jesus was a great Prophet of God and the Messiah to the Children of Israel, but denies that Jesus was the literal son of God or the divine incarnation. This has led some Christians to discount the Qur’an’s perspective as unreliable and worthless because the Qur’an dates to 600 years after Jesus’s life and cannot serve as a historical witness to him. But this objection entirely misses the point, since the Qur’an never presents its claims about Jesus as a historical testimony or reconstruction of specific events. The Qur’an instead offers a theological exegesis or commentary about the person of Jesus, claiming to provide the most correct interpretation of who Jesus was ultimately and what his mission was truly about. Because the Qur’an was originally a set of oral recitations over 23 years – addressed to and in dialogue with an audience familiar with biblical materials – the Qur’an’s discourse about Jesus evokes many themes, symbols, and ideas from the Bible and Talmud in order to reinterpret them and thereby offer a new perspective on theological debates among Jews and Christians.

We need to remember that the Qur’ānic age roughly coincides with the { }

Source: The Quranic Jesus and the Historical Jesus: A Messianic Prophet

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