By Dr Salama AbdelHady
Translation Revised By Magdy Abd Al-Shafy
The Jesus Seminar is a group of academic theologians who studied Christian writings from the first to the third century from a religiously liberal respective. The Seminar was founded by Robert W.Funk in 1985 with over 200 fellows as a project of the Westar Institute in Santa Rosa , CA. R. W. The procedure, policies assumptions, conclusions and remarks of the "Jesus Seminar" are published in many sites as: http://religion.rutgers.edu/jseminar/
We are Muslims, who believe in our Holy Book, the Quran. Our belief in the divine source of the Quran has its proofs which cannot be ignored by any wisdom. Who suspect such a divine source may look at thousands of references which touch the Miracles of the Quran. It cannot be written by people and surely it is the word of Allah. The Quran which is in our hands is read and written with the same language as was inspired to Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, with more than 1200 million Muslims in the world nowadays. The historical evidence that the Quran which is read now is the same Quran inspired to the prophet of Islam is available. We have our own comments on the Jesus Seminar. Our comments on Jesus Seminar will be stemmed directly from the verses of the Holy Quran. The main conclusions of the seminar are introduced in red color and the Quranic comments are added normal one.
First: Jesus did not claim to be God:
This conclusion is in complete agreement with Quranic beliefs. Jesus, Moses and Mohammed are just prophets and messengers from Allah. Allah is beyond our imaginations as the verses of the Quran told. ( Al An'am).
103. No vision can grasp Him (Allah), but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.
The Quran states that Jesus is just a man and whoever claims that he is a God should be condemned. These meanings can be read from Surat Al Maa-idah.
72. They do blaspheme who say: "(Allah) is Christ the son of Mary." but said Christ: "O Children of Israel ! worship Allah, My Lord and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah,- Allah will forbid Him the garden, and the Fire will be His abode. there will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.
73. They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three In a Trinity: for there is no god except one Allah. if They desist not from their word (of blasphemy), Verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.
74. Why turn They not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? for Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.
75. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before Him. His mother was a woman of Truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. see How Allah doth make His Signs Clear to them; yet see In what ways They are deluded away from the truth!
The Quran states that all messengers, including Mohammed, Jesus and Moses are just men who had specific missions: (Al Anbiyaa')
7. Before thee, also, the apostles we sent were but men, to whom we granted inspiration: if ye realize This not, ask of those who possess the Message.
25. Not an apostle did we send before Thee without This inspiration sent by us to him: that there is no god but I; Therefore worship and serve Me.
Second : Jesus did not claim to be the Messiah:
This claim is against the teachings of Islam. The Quran states that Jesus is the Messiah, in Arabic language, and is the Christ in English language. From Surat Ali Imran we may read:
45. Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth Thee glad tidings of a word from him: His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held In honor In This world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.
46. "He shall speak to the people In childhood and In maturity. and He shall be (of the company) of the righteous."
Third : Jesus did not believe that his execution was necessary for those who trust in him as Lord and Savior to be saved from the eternal damnation.
The Quran states that there is no eternal damnation. Adam made a mistake, then, he asked Allah for forgiveness. Allah, as a Forgiver, forgave him. Adam's mistake was expected from him because he was created with the ability to choose. The earth was created to receive the human beings and such choice had already planned. That is inspired to Mohammed in the Quran as follows: (al-Baquara)
35. We said: "O Adam! dwell Thou and Thy wife In the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein As (where and when) ye will; but approach not This tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."
36. Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) In which They had been. we said: "Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. on earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood - for a time."
37. Then learnt Adam from His Lord words of inspiration, and His Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
Each man is responsible for his deeds. The burdens of father will not be inherited by the sons. So, Adam's burden is his own deeds and he received forgiveness. These statements are clear in the following verses: (Al-Israa)
15. Who receiveth guidance, receiveth it for His own benefit: who goeth astray doth so to His own loss: no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would we visit with Our wrath until we had sent an apostle (to give warning).
And (Al Muddatstir):
38. Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds.
So, Muslims don't believe in salvation or execution by any human being or God. Paul had introduced such salvation in Christianity, but no one of Jesus followers agreedwith him. The Quran states that Jesus was not executed at all but Judas was executed in his place instead.
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.
Such statement is in full agreement with the last found gospel “Gospel of Judas” which was released in 2006. This gospel was introduced by an article published in THE WASHINGTON TIMES in 7th of April, 2006 with the title: Judas stars as 'anti-hero' in gospel, By Julia Duin. The author mentioned a sentence in his article as translated from the found gospel codex which states: Jesus tells Judas you will "exceed" the rest of the disciples "for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me."
This means that Judas would be clothed by Jesus and that he will be crucified in his place as the Quran states. This article is found in the site:
Fourth : About 18% of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the four canonical Gospels and Thomas were probably said by Jesus. The remaining passages attributed to Jesus were actually created by the Gospel writers.
This statement is in agreement with Muslim's belief as stemmed from the Quran. The Quran states that Jesus mission was only to confirm the law (The old Testament ) and to give glad tidings to the coming or expected Messenger, Ahmed ( or Mohamed). The name of Islam's prophet means the man who is (much praised ) or as found in the Gospels "Paraklitos". this word was reolaced with the (Al Saff)
6. And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: "O Children of Israel ! I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the law (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of an Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad." but when He came to them with Clear Signs, They said, "This is evident sorcery!"
The Quran states also that of the Jews there would be people who displaced the words of Jesus and Moses: (Al Nisaa)
46. Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: "We Hear and we disobey"; and "Hear what is not Heard"; and "Ra'ina"; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. if only They had said: "What Hear and we obey"; and "Do hear"; and "Do look at us"; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.
& (AL Baqarah)
57. And we gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things we have provided for you:" (But They rebelled); to us They did no harm, but They harmed their own souls.
The doubt of the people in the Bible was stated in the Quran: (Asy Yuura)
14. And They became divided only after knowledge reached them,- through selfish envy As between themselves. had it not been for a word that went forth before from Thy Lord, (tending) to a term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: but truly those who have inherited the Book after them are In suspicious (disquieting) doubt concerning it.
Fifth: Many, if not most, of the miracles described in the Gospels did not actually occur:
There was no virgin birth
Such statement is against the belief of Islam. The Muslims believe that Mary was pregnant by the word of Allah. This is stated in the Quran in many verses. (Mary)
16. Relate In the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from Her family to a place In the East.
17. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then we sent Her Our angel, and He appeared before Her As a man In all respects.
18. She said: "I seek refuge from Thee to ((Allah)) Most gracious: (come not near) if Thou dost fear Allah."
19. He said: "Nay, I am only a Messenger from Thy Lord, (to announce) to Thee the gift of a holy son.
20. She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?"
21. He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint Him As a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us':It is a matter (so) decreed."
2. There was no walking on water, no feeding of thousands with a few fish and loaves, no bodily resurrection, walking through walls, transfiguration, ascension into heavens.
Such miracles are not stated in the Quran. So, they may be myths as the seminar claims.
3. Jesus did not bring anyone back to life.
This is against the statements of the Quran. Jesus was supported by miracles from Allah to strengthen his call to the Jews.(Ali Imran)
49. "And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with This message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, In that I make for you out of clay, As it Were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah.s leave: and I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah.s leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store In your houses. surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;
4. There are no such entities as indwelling demons. Jesus probably healed mental and physical illness in the same way that religious healers work today.
This is against the Islamic beliefs. A man, like those theologians, in the age of science cannot believe these things to happen without a proof. The Muslims believe that this Book, the Quran, is a miracle and sure it the word of God. So, they believe that the miracles of Jesus -as stated in their book - surely occurred. They believe that Jesus was supported by the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is only an angel from Allah but having higher capabilities than the manhood. He is not a God in any way. Of course, who will not believe in such entity, will describe Jesus as a religious healer. Such statements are described in the Quran. ( Al Maidaa)
110. Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! Recount My favour to Thee and to Thy mother. Behold! I strengthened Thee with the holy spirit, so that Thou Didst speak to the people In childhood and In maturity. Behold! I taught Thee the Book and Wisdom, the law and the Gospel and Behold! Thou makest out of clay, As it Were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and Thou breathest into it and it becometh a bird by My leave, and Thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. and Behold! Thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. and Behold! I did restrain the Children of Israel from (violence to) Thee when Thou Didst Show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: 'This is nothing but evident magic.'