Here are six points demonstrating that Muhammad copied Jesus from Christianity with little understanding.
1. There is no evidence of any Injeel (الإنجيل) / Gospel of Jesus (إنجيل يسوع) sent to Jesus.
From what we know about the story of Jesus and the Bible, the Gospels were books written 60–70 years after.
Muslim scholars will claim Jesus had an Oral Injeel that was lost. Did Muhammad misunderstand “Gospel” to be a revealed book? Or is it a coincidence that the Quran calls the book sent to Jesus a “Gospel”. Adding to this hypothesis is that there were fewer Christians living in Arabia, many of them being heterodox sects with non-mainstream belief. We know that Waraqah bin Nawfal was a Christian, a Nestorian priest. This may have been one of the main sources of Christian doctrine coming to Muhammad.
With Jews, we know that there were many Jews that Muhammad interacted with and lived with. So it makes sense he was more familiar with the stories of the Old Testament. This is why we see Moses takes a large portions of the Quran.
2) The Virgin Birth is not in the earliest gospels
The virgin birth did not appear until Matthew’s gospel. Older gospels don’t have it. Why is that, if it’s a true story? Why is it not in the oldest gospel of Mark? Suspicious, considering the fact that Jesus’s divinity keeps getting pushed back further and further as the gospels were written. According to Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman, this is because the gospel writers were pushing for an earlier and earlier Christology to prove Jesus’s divinity. (See “How did Jesus Become God” by Bart Ehrman for more details)
3) The stories in the Quran seem to have appeared in other sources in a time and place close to Muhammad.
The Syriac Infancy Gospel is one such document, considered a fabricated document invented to prove Jesus’ divinity. This exact story ends up in the Quran. Did Muhammad hear these stories and include them in the Quran? Most likely.
“He has said that Jesus spoke, and, indeed, when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary His mother: I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world. (Arabic Infancy Gospel)
The Quran says the same:
“But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?” He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. (Quran 19:29–34)
4) The character of Jesus is more coherent in the doctrine of Christianity
The virgin birth
Why did Allah interrupt the process of birth for this one baby out of millions born? Well in Christianity we have a convincing answer. He was the son of God. That’s why he has no father. GOD is his father. This fits in well into the theology of Christianity. But in Islam, there is no convincing answer as to why Allah would decide all of a sudden to make one of his prophets be born without a father.
Why is Jesus called the Messiah (Quran 4:171)?
Messiah means king or anointed. Jesus was to be the king of the Jews and fulfil the prophecy (Zephaniah 3:9, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 11:4).
And if a king shall arise from among the House of David, studying Torah and occupied with commandments like his father David, according to the written and oral Torah, and he will impel all of Israel to follow it and to strengthen breaches in its observance, and will fight God’s wars, this one is to be treated as if he were the anointed one. If he succeeded and built the Holy Temple in its proper place and gathered the dispersed ones of Israel together, this is indeed the anointed one for certain, and he will mend the entire world to worship the Lord together, as it is stated: “For then I shall turn for the nations a clear tongue, so that they will all proclaim the Name of the Lord, and to worship Him with a united resolve (Zephaniah 3:9, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Kings 11:4).
In Islam he’s just “anointed”. Makes little sense does it? Not a good explanation for this in Islam either. But it makes perfect sense in the context of Judaism. Jesus was a Messianic Jewish Rabbi. This also is a problem for Christianity as Jesus never actually fulfilled this prophecy.
How about Jesus being kalimatullah, the Word of God (Quran 4:171)?
In the Quran it says:
Seems like an odd title to give a prophet, doesn’t it? In John 1:1 it says “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Islam again doesn’t explain why Jesus is Kalimatullah.
In conclusion, the story of Jesus seems out of place in Islam.
Islam doesn’t provide a convincing explanation for these attributes of Jesus. We find sources for the stories Muhammad included in the Quran such as the infancy gospel. There is no evidence for any such gospel of Jesus. In all likelihood, neither religion is from God. Muhammad authored the Quran based on the stories that were available to him at the time.
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