Why Islam denies Christ’s crucifixion

Appended to that Jonah article we blogged about yesterday was another tidbit from Ronald F. Marshall explaining why Islam denies that Jesus was crucified:

According to the Koran, Jesus was not crucified on the cross. Some have it that he never was nailed to the cross but a look-alike was nailed there in his place, perhaps Thomas or Judas; others that he was nailed to the cross but was taken down and later resuscitated in the tomb.

On this view, the sign of Jonah (Matt. 12:39; Luke 11:29) says that Jesus will not die because Jonah did not die in the belly of the whale, and that alone is the true but forgotten point of comparison between Jesus and Jonah. This argument is made by Ahmed Deedat in Was Jesus Crucified?, published by the Library of Islam.

Islam denies the Atonement for two reasons. First, “the Christian concept of salvation presupposes the existence of an a-priori state of sinfulness, which is justified in Christianity by the doctrine of ‘original sin,’ but is not justified in Islam, which does not subscribe to this doctrine,” as one highly esteemed Koranic scholar, Muhammad Asad, put it.
Second, Islam denies vicarious suffering. The Koran teaches that we have to bear the burden for our sins all by ourselves. So the teaching that Jesus bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24) is a corruption of the original revelation, the original coming in the Koran, where we are told that God gave to Jesus the way of good works. By following them we have peace with God.

The Koran describes salvation as repenting of sin and obeying God just as Jonah did. Jesus’ life reinforces this way. This is all that is left for Jesus to do if original sin and vicarious suffering are denied, as they are in Islam (and much of liberal Christianity). The sign of Jonah is the way of good works.

Sounds like the beliefs of some people who think they are Christians! No wonder so many of them think Islam and Christianity are basically the same. Rather than OPPOSITES.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pingback: Why Islam denies Christ’s crucifixion

  • http://www.hempelstudios.com Sarah in Maryland

    Good thing we don’t have to rely on good works! I’d never make it. God help me.

  • li Chen

    . The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: “Show us Allah in public,” but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.

    154. And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: “Enter the gate with humility”; and (once again) we commanded them: “Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath.” And we took from them a solemn covenant.

    155. (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the signs of Allah. that they slew the Messengers in defiance of right; that they said, “Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve Allah.s Word; We need no more)”;- Nay, Allah hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe;-

    156. That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;

    157. That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger 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:-

    158. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-

    159. And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-

  • CRB

    Some folks think that a particular sin is the ugliest thing
    they’ve ever seen. Others think that a particular creature is the ugliest thing they’ve ever seen. While it’s true that looking at my own sins are indeed ugly beyond belief, I do think that the ugliest thing that God sees is unbelief, that is, when one has hardened his/her
    heart to the love of God in Christ Jesus what could be more ugly?! Of course, only God knows for certain when this happens (whether to a Muslim or whoever) but when *He* hardens the heart, i.e. Pharoah, it is a permanent ugliness—one that ends in total separation from Him forever!

  • Bart

    This post reminded me of a discussion I had with a young Muslim man (he was still in high school) a couple months ago in a coffeeshop. The greatest problem that he had with Christianity (besides the Trinity) was Christ’s vicarious sacrifice on the cross. Islam, like all man-made relgion, is works-based. The Muslim’s life, this fellow told me, is defined by his spiritual _jihad_ (struggle) within himself and his life. I basically had to explain Old Testament sacrifice for him to understand Christ’s sacrifice. Once we reach the crux of the matter, he finally said, “I cannot understand why God would give His Son to people who rebelled against Him!” I replied, “That’s the beauty of it–God’s love.”

  • CRB

    That’s beautiful! So, what did he say to that?

  • http://ArabsforChrist.org Johnny

    Every time I talk to a Muslim, it always strikes me as odd that they think God is Just and Merciful but they do not understand the dire need for a payment for their sins.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X