Just the same?

cross1.jpgMany people insist that all (or at least most) religions lead to the same God.  But the facts do not bear that out.  They each have mutually exclusive truth claims — that is, they can’t all be right.  And if Christianity is right then all the others are false.

This passage in the Koran explicitly denies that Jesus died on the cross:

And for claiming that they killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of GOD. In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him – they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him. Instead, GOD raised him to Him; GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

Koran, Sura 4:157-158

That is a very clear claim that Jesus did not die on the cross, whereas we know from the Bible and even secular history that Jesus did die on the cross. Then one guy came along over 500 years later with a radical new story about how Jesus didn’t die on the cross, though he had zero evidence behind it.  Zero. 

When I speak with Muslims I always bring this example up matter-of-factly.  First I clarify with them that this is what the Koran teaches.   They always agree, except one guy who wasn’t familiar with it (I showed him the reference and I think it helped plant some seeds of doubt).

Then I just explain why I hold the view that Jesus died on the cross: Lots of testimonies written close to the event and plenty of secular historians backing it up vs. one guy over 500 years later with an alleged vision from God.  No serious historian would consider the Islamic version to be more credible. 

Is it possible that Mohammad was right about Jesus not dying on the cross?  In a hyper-technical sense, I suppose so.  But you’d have to throw every historical event ever up for grabs using that approach. 

This isn’t some small issue, either.  It is an essential claim for Christianity and a key error in the Koran.

Muslims will try to claim that the Bible has been corrupted but even skeptical textual critics will concede that we know with 99.5% accuracy what the originals said and 100% on key doctrines.  I am not aware of a textual issue with any passage that would call the crucifixion of Jesus into question.  For the Muslim claim to be true then all the passages about Jesus’ death on the cross would have to be wrong — and there are a lot of them!

0 thoughts on “Just the same?”

  1. Hi Neil,
    I think it is much easier to show the different gods of the different religions than showing that the cults of our religion, actually worship a different god as well. Of course, you’ve seen that with the Mormons, etc. The point is, once you start denying Christ and His work, you’ve moved into a different god all together. Even Liberal Christians do this much of the time.
    Blessings

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  2. You chose one of my favorite examples of competing religious truth claims that can be decided by evidence. My other favorite example is the origin of the universe.

    See:
    1) Mormons believe that matter existed eternally.
    2) The big 3 monotheistic religions believe that God created the universe out of nothing.

    The current best mainstream scientific theory postulates the origin of space, time, matter and energy OUT OF NOTHING, 14 billion years ago.

    (Note: this big bang theory requires a supernatural force to create nature, since the theory states that nature came into being out of nothing – that is literally what the theory implies).

    Maybe you don’t accept the big bang theory, but if you do accept it, it clearly says that Mormons are wrong and the other 3 guys are right.

    The bottom line is they can’t both be right, and there is evidence that can be used to decide who is right. So postmodernism is wrong, period.

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  3. Hi…ahem catching up…

    I may have asked this question before but I’m not sure. “Believing Jesus” means believing he was the Son of God and was sent to bring God’s truth…or believing he was sent to die for your sins or was it a combination of both?

    I ask in not to start another debate, but when I read it isolated in your blog I can totally agree. But when I read it all together in context, it reads a totally different way. Without going to far, it would seem the Muslims do believe. All honor and glory belong to Allah–Love God with all of your heart and your brother as yourself-no other gods before me…

    Its a little esoteric but if you think about it.. He didn’t die on the cross and even you have been told there is no death for those who believe. Or am I getting caught in the smoke and mirrors? 😉

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  4. Hi Mizclark,

    I don’t think there are any circumstances where one could reconcile the Koran and the Bible regarding Jesus. I appreciate the care of Muslims when referring to Jesus (“Peace be upon him”) but their definition of Jesus is foreign to what God’s word teaches.

    Like

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