Six Things Christians and Muslims disagree about over Jesus

Yesterday I wrote about Eleven things Muslims and Christians agree about over Jesus. Today I share the areas we disagree. This is with the goal of helping us to understand each other better.

  1. Whether or not Jesus should be worshiped (Surah 5:116 , Surah 4:171 vs John 20:28 and Matthew 28:16)
  2. Whether Jesus should be described as the “Son of God” (Surah 19:88-92 vs the many biblical references to Jesus as “son of God”) Note that unless this concept is carefully explained to a Muslim this is tantamount to suggesting God had sex with Mary.
  3. Whether or not Jesus actually died
    • Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross as the Bible says in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19 . Muslims differ among themselves as to exactly how Jesus escaped from death. A key Qur’an verse is as follows:
      • “That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” (Surah 4:157-158)
    • Some Muslims believe that someone was made to appear like Jesus and was crucified in his place. See for example the following quote:
      • Ibn Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised Jesus to the Heavens, Jesus went to his disciples, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping with water (as if he had just had a bath) and he said, ‘There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after you had believed in me.’ He then asked, ‘Who among you will volunteer for his appearance to be transformed into mine, and be killed in my place. Whoever volunteers for that, he will be with me (in Paradise).’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered, but Jesus asked him to sit down. Jesus asked again for a volunteer, and the same young man volunteered and Jesus asked him to sit down again. Then the young man volunteered a third time and Jesus said, ‘You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of Jesus was cast over that man while Jesus ascended to Heaven from a hole in the roof of the house. When the Jews came looking for Jesus, they found that young man and crucified him.”
        - Al-Nasa’i, Al-Kubra, 6:489
      • These muslims would usually believe that Jesus was taken to heaven and will one day return.
    • Other Muslims believe that Jesus did not actually die on the cross but merely “swooned“. 
      • Links to articles that explain this position are as follows: 1, 2 and 3.
      • Examples of the Christian view that Jesus must have died on the cross include: 1, 2
    • Some verses in the Qur’an support the idea that at some point Jesus did die.
      • So for example, fascinatingly Surah 19:33 states that Jesus said to his mother:“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)” which taken out of context could even be seen as a support for the Christian view of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  4. Whether Jesus was substituted for us on the cross or another man was substituted for him.
    • Many Muslims would question the Christian concept that Jesus could justly die as a substitute for us so that we did not have to die. Many of them do, however, believe that God provided a substitute for Jesus so that he should not have to die.
  5. Who Jesus promised as his replacement
    • In John 14 Jesus promises “another comforter.” Some Muslims believe this is a prophecy that refers to Mohammed, Christians believe it refers to the Holy Spirit.
  6. How can people be saved?
      • Muslims and Christians alike believe in moral instruction and have a set of rules to follow. Our lifestyles will often differ very little, and we alike would be criticized by many today. We have much more in common than either group would have in common with the “permissive” society in which we live.
      • However, Muslims believe that it is possible largely to keep God rules, “they are not burdensome,” although asking for forgiveness and submitting to Allah is needed when people do sin.
      • Christians on the other hand believe that it is impossible to keep the commands of the Bible, and especially those of Jesus in the sermon on the mount without Christ’s help. They believe that Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf, and that faith alone saves. It must of course be stressed, however, that Christians do believe that although faith alone saves, the faith that saves is never alone and will always be accompanied by what the Bible calls “fruit in keeping with repentance.”

More Posts about What Christians Believe


About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor, a writer, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he serves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso. Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus. Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway. Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.


You are warmly invited to comment on this blog. By doing so you demonstrate that you accept Adrian's comment policy.

    • Kayvee

      Some ask why? While others ask why not?


  • Kayvee

    Hi Adrian

    I am a Muslim. I found this article very useful. It is refreshing to see anyone who is aware and knowledgable about others and their beliefs. It helps with us understanding each other better.

    Thank you for posting this.

    • Adrian Warnock

      Thank you very much. Did you see the sister post as well about what we AGREE about Jesus over? Is there anything I could have said better from a Muslim perspective?

      • Kayvee

        You are welcome. Yes, I did see the sister article as well which mentioned the commonalities in belief about Jesus (peace be upon him).

        Another difference I can think of is that is in regards to the prohibition of showing any imagery of Jesus or The Virgin Mary, and including that of God, the angels and all other Prophets and Messengers.

        In Islam, it is not allowed to show any images depicting Jesus.

        While in Christianity, it has become accepted to have Jesus shown in the form of artwork,, video, picture or statue. I don’t know what The Bible says about this, but I am just saying that it has been accepted as the norm by Christians themselves.

        It hurts me when I see Jesus (peace be upon him) being mocked on American television in shows like the simpsons, family guy, saturday night live and so many other shows. It has become so prevalent that the public has become numb to the fact that

        It also makes me said that Muslims don’t speak out when Jesus or Moses (or any other Prophet) is mocked on American television the way they do when Mohammed (peace be upon him) is mocked.

        Islam teaches us that a Muslim must accept and love all Prophets and Messengers of God. Otherwise that person would not be considered a Muslim.

        Is it possible that allowing God or Prophets to be shown in pictures this way is what has led to them being mocked and not seen as sacred.

        If we see depictions of Jesus being mocked everyday in cartoons, tv shows and movies, the respect that we have for such important poople will begin to fade.

        I urge all my Christian friends to stand up against this attack and mockery of Jesus and The Virgin Mary in American media.

        How can children (or adults) hold sacred someone who they grow up seeing being mocked everyday on TV.

        Secondly, I should mention that in regards to the “Jesus Swooning” theory, the links all point to the “Ahmadiyya” sect of Islam.

        The Ahmadiyya sect of Islam is founded by Mirza Ghluam Ahmad, who claimed to be the Messiah and the 2nd coming of Jesus.

        Their beliefs and teachings fall outside of mainstream Islam. They believe that Jesus settled in Kashmir India and died there. They believe that Jesus is buried there

        Based on that, I would say the theory that Jesus “swooned” has no basis in mainstream Islam.

        You can read more about the Ahmadiyyas here:

        • pculbert

          I am not sure why there is even an attempt to reconcile Islam with Christianity. Islam is false. When the apostle Peter tried to stop Jesus from being killed, Jesus called him ‘satan’ because he was trying to prevent the will of God. Muslims view the idea of Jesus being killed for the sins of others as blasphemy, when in fact their view is blasphemous! Until Muslims realise who Jesus really is and ask for forgiveness from Him, they remain under condemnation.

          • Adrian Warnock

            I am not trying to reconcile the two religions. Just to help us understand what each other believe. As this article demonstrates Muslims and Christians disagree about Jesus very profoundly. But there is no harm in us understanding what it is that we each believe.

          • pculbert

            Well I would just ask what exactly is the ultimate goal of ‘understanding’ each others belief? Just to understand for the sake of it? When Jesus warned us to beware of so-called ‘prophets’ that would come after him who teach a different truth from what he had taught, it is clear that Islam is exactly one of the religions he was talking about. I find it interesting that Mohammed initially thought it was a demon talking to him when he allegedly heard God’s voice. He only changed his mind when his wife assured him it was God. Says it all really.

          • Adrian Warnock

            Well there is a temporary goal, which is for some level of peace and understanding between us so we can live in the same world without killing each other. Then of course there is an eternal goal which is that as a Christian we should obviously want to share the gospel with them in ways that they will understand, and in such a way that it is only the gospel itself that is offensive and not the way we describe it, because, we should desire that the come to know Jesus. Of course, one assumes that they too will want us to become Muslims.

          • hosam

            Well said and god bliss you, thats true peace

          • hosam

            WHR did you come up with that??, according to Islam the only prophet spoke to god was moses, the story you mentioned is prophet speaking to an angel not god( get your facts right please), your extremist and we Muslim have extremist people like you in Muslim world , Mr. Warnock doing great job to help people to coummnicate( no one forcing you to believe something you don’t wanna believe coz its not beliving if it is forced )

          • pculbert

            Either way, the demonic was involved from the very start of this false religion, so its not one I would choose to follow. As Jesus said, Satan is the father of lies, and this religion is full of lies about God and his revelation to mankind. And if you think im an ‘extremist’ then clearly you think the same of Jesus!

          • hosam

            OK u need to relax and no need to get angry, I dnt understand why u even upset, see how Adrian is good christian and not hurting others by his words, I believe Jesus wouldn’t do that too, watch this video

          • pculbert

            Oh dear, you clearly do not understand Jesus at all if you think Jesus’ words did not ‘hurt’ others. I would advise you actually read Jesus’ words in the Gospels before you make a judgement on what He would say or do. Jesus only ever spoke the truth: about us, God and Himself. You need to come to Jesus and accept He died on the cross to deal with your sins and offer you forgiveness. There is no other way to be reconciled to God. If you are genuinely interested in the truth and reality, could I suggest you read firstly the Gospels in the New Testament, and such books as John Stott’s ‘Basic Christianity’, Michael Green’s ‘The Day Death Died’, and Lee Strobel’s ‘The Case for Christ’.

          • hosam

            His wife didn’t assure him, she calm him down and took him to christian cousins of her who had knowledge of religions, read this link so you learn more

      • omega pal

        Thank for you effort to do what you have done here.But I have found a verse in quran you wanted to use and justified that Jesus is died ,is far being interpreted as you have done or understood.This verse Surah 19:33 is talking about death of Jesus after coming back ( Muslims too believe that Jesus will come back) not the one Christians are talking about. For Muslim is raised up into heaven. God bless us all and shows us the right path.

  • Kayvee

    I would like to make one more observation. I have spoken to many Christians who have left their faith and become atheist.

    They see Jesus as some mythical person who didn’t exist. After I began asking them questions, I believe I have found the reason for this.

    The reason that so many of the Christians I spoke had become atheists was this:

    Growing up they were led to believe that Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy etc were all real.

    When they grew up, they of course realized that they had been misled.

    Somewhere along the line, they began to think that even Jesus was not real. That even God was not real. After all, the people who told them about Jesus and God, were the same people who had LIED to them about santa clause, easter bunny, tooth fairy etc.

    “The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire

  • Abdul269

    First one is right but second one Jesus(PBUH) went to India? Seriously? This is not a Muslim perspective, but it is related to Ahmedi community, which are not Muslims as they don’t believe in the finality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). Moreover, they believe in the Mirza Qadyani and accept him as a prophet, which came when Britishers were ruling India.

    • Naila

      And God has given YOU the right to declare people Muslim and Non Muslim? We believe The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the last “Law Giver Prophet” meaning after Him, the religion of Islam is perfect. However, please take the time to look at the work of Ahmadi Muslims, comparatively and see that we are living the true Muslim life. The rest of the Ummah is lost without a Khalifa, but we are not. Visit

      • Abdul269

        God has certainly NOT given me the right, but there are terms and conditions in every religion that you have to follow to become a follower of that religion.For example, you have to believe in God, then the prophets, angles, holy books, judgement day etc. Similarly, when we talk about Islam, there are some MUST terms & conditions, that you have to follow, which also include believing in finality of the last Prophet Mohammad(P.B.UH). All major sects in Islam, including Shias, Sunnis, Wahabis agree to this definition of Islam, which includes the stipulation that there will no Prophet in any form after the Prophet Mohammad(P.B.U.H). This is also clearly mentioned in Quran in Surah Anfal. Whereas you guyz believe in the Mirza Qadyani and claim that he is a Prophet, which according to my religion i.e, Islam is not right. So, please dnt confuse people and facts. No Muslim country has declared Ahmedis as Muslims as they clearly violate the most important condition and they are not allowed to visit the holy places which include Mecca and Media. In the end, You have your religion and i have my religion. its your right to choose the right path, but you can’t associate yourself with the any religion, by accepting accept 9 out of 10 conditions and fabricating and making the 10th condition yourself. You must have to follow and submit to all as it is. Thanks, Cheers:-)

        • Naila

          I dont need yours or any governments/ country’s acceptance to call myself a Muslim, Mr Abdul. God is knows what we believe and He is the ultimate judge. I did provided you with a link where you can understand WHY we believe what we do. I call myself a Muslim and associate myself with Islam and shall till the day I die. When you dont have the knowledge of what we believe, then how can you claim that we “fabricated” what we believe? Please touch-up on your knowledge before making these profound statements.

          • Abdul269

            To be become an american citizen, you have to follow the guidelines of the state. Either u born in America or you must comply with the terms and conditions to be an american. You can’t just associate yourself with american without complying to the stipulations and US is there to make sure tht u comply to all the terms & conditions. Same is the case with the religion. I read ur link, but i’m not going to buy that. You mean 2 billions muslims living are following a wrong religion. It is your choice to choose the right path, but i will not let you guys corrupt the religion Islam. U hav ur equal rights to practice and even propagate ur religon but not under the umbrella of Islam, as Islam Ahmediya is no religion. Either u want to live as Muslim or Qadyani, it is ur choice..but STOP associating urself with Islam. Thanks!

          • Naila

            To become a Muslim, you have to say the Kalma: There is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad PBUH is the Messenger of Allah. You dont submit an application form and then there is a selection process of any kind. Anyone, anywhere can be Muslim. So you cant compare that to getting the nationality of a country. I am not saying 2 billion Muslims are wrong, but do you show anywhere by your actions that you are right? I wouldnt know that either. I can go around calling YOU a non-Muslim as well cos you dont believe what tens of millions of Ahmadi Muslims believe. But I wont because I have been taught that that is wrong. God is the best judge so lets leave the judging to Him, shall we?

            “Corrupt the religion of Islam”? Provide me any proof of an Ahmadi Muslim doing anything wrong. Planting bombs or killing people by the masses. Who do you think is REALLY corrupting the religion of Islam? Please rethink your statement.

            We dont call our selves Ahmadis, we call our selves Muslims. You are correct, Islam Ahmadiyya is not a religion. Islam is our religion and faith. No matter how much you “plead”, I will not stop associating myself with this religion. Not until the day I die. Inshallah. I cant change your behaviour, all I can do is remind you & hope that Allah will clear your heart.

          • Abdul269

            Let me correct you: its not the only kalma that you have to recite. You must also believe in all the holy books, messengers, judgment day..which u guys do..but most important and crucial is “to believe in the finality of the Holy Prophet(P.B.U.H)”..which u guyz don’t and that makes you non Muslim. Its common sense..How can a guy coming in a British rule call himself a messenger..? Dny u think its best to DIE as a Ummati of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), so that there is a chance of forgiveness? Anyways..May God show us the right path..Ameen…

          • Naila

            You keep your common sense and I will keep my beliefs. May God show you the right path too. Ameen.

  • jjmf

    As a former atheist, I formerly did not believe in God because I grew up Catholic. The school I attended was Catholic. Filled with un-love, racism & traditions that were outdated. Mass was tradition – not applicable to life. It didn’t help me understand how Catholicism relates to my daily life. Throughout Mass it was ‘Stand Up , Sit Down.’ People did it because they simply grew up with it. Also to me, bible thumpers at times are close minded. They aren’t open to different views and different beliefs. What about logic and common sense? For some , they are in so much pain, they use religion to cope, so its not a bad thing.
    Later, I studied theology, simply out of curiosity. My take away?
    All religions or beliefs share one thing- Love & the existence of God or God(s). I overlook the semantics because its an endless argument. We as people are flawed thus any translation would be filled with agendas & have flaws. Logically, the commonalities and traits we share amongst all living beings is a miracle in itself – thus the existence of “God” or a realm beyond this physical life. Anyone who has studied Anatomy & Physiology, Biology & Microbiology or other similar science would see the commonality & miracles. Look around you , see nature , that in itself is spiritual. My point isn’t to convince others but merely to state, that today, I believe in God and the existence of another realm beyond this life. Without Faith, this world would be in Chaos because many of us try to abide by the teachings or rules and this keeps us inline. We aren’t perfect but we try to be civil.

    • PC

      you are right.. (Y) may god bless your soul (Y)

  • lrb

    That white man you all see in pictures depicted as Jesus is NOT Jesus. The Bible describes Jesus to be black.

    • john

      Jesus was a jew sir.

    • hosam

      Black or white, doesn’t matter , focus on what’s important and stop being racist against yourself

  • so cool


  • Joe Theisen

    Muslims believe strongly in the Qur’an.

    The question is, “Why?”.

    • Aya Dernayka

      simply, I care about both religions … Christianity and Islam… a lot of verses in the bible seriously has a weak terms … even though it’s great …than I saw that in the Qura’an it said that the bible was distorted …the quraan believes that christanity is RIGHT is a holy book …but because of the bible was distorted ..god sent his last messenger mohamad (PBUH) and he promised that the quran will be protected and never distorted ….
      simply the bible is full of doubts in ways … and as i said .. very weak terms and things that any logical person wouldn’t believe that it’s a holy book…written by god .. the real bible does not exist anymore…that’s why I personally believe in the quran
      the quraan is full of truthful events … there’s a verse in the quran said that the moon was split in 2…. and a couple of years ago NASA discovered that the moon have been splited … /// another event //
      A scientist been studying the life of ants for 40 years and he discovered that ants talk to each other …but we the muslims already know that cause it’s written in the quraan …do some research ..peace

  • Adam h

    Allah guides who he will to the right path.If you choose to believe then so be it and if you choose not to believe then so be it.Surely the judgement day is coming and Jesus himself will deny your claims on that day.All those led astray be Satan shall burn in hellfire with no way out.While those who believe in Allah and the prophet’s guiding shall find peace in paradise.Verily,Allah is all knowing.

  • Jackm Cm


    • Aya Dernayka

      okay jesus is god … just explain this following to me . Does a god need to eat food ? does a god need to use the toilet ???!!!!! LOGIC MAN !!!! HE CREATED THE WHOLE WORLD ..AND NEED TO GO THE TOILET ???!!! ISN’T THAT INSULTING JESUS ??? he’s a great full man …he’s a prophet that has a message from allah to make people believe in him !!!

  • Jackm Cm

    without jesus you go to hell no other way,not other beliefs only JESUS CAN SAVE YOU FULL STOP.