The Muslim Jesus?
From Facing Islam
In the post below, Robert Spencer ably refutes a sly article which seeks to assimilate Jesus Christ into the Islamic tradition. I'd like to augment Mr. Spencer's comments with a few of my own:
The main absurdity in the Philip Jenkins article (reproduced below following Mr. Spencer's comments) is that the author presents supposed sayings of Jesus taken from non-canonical Christian sources, mixed in with supposed sayings of Jesus taken from Islamic sources. Jenkins states:
This degree of similarity is amazing given the chronology. All the Christian examples date from the second or third centuries, none of the Muslim examples is recorded before the ninth century. Yet they breathe exactly the same atmosphere.
Actually, there is nothing amazing about such similarity at all. In a very real sense it is the comparison of fabrications and heresies in order to imply a link between Islam and the real Jesus. The non-canonical "Christian" texts are non-canonical for very good reasons. Yet the unwitting Jenkins appeals to their ancientness, dating them to the second and third centuries. That puts them anywhere from 100 to 250 years older than the Gospels in the New Testament, and rejected by the Christian Church as outside the Apostolic tradition. (Spencer has more to say on this below.)
Further, Jenkins and the Muslim author he is deriving his thesis from appeal to similarities between sayings of the Islamic Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels: "In perhaps 30 cases, the resemblances to the Synoptic gospels are overwhelming." .. continue reading here!
The Muslim Jesus?
This is, of course, palpably absurd. Otherworldly sayings can be found in all manner of non-Christian traditions. The fact that they’re otherworldly doesn’t mean that Jesus said them. What’s more, his own argument cuts against itself, for he says: “Such words would have been treasured by Eastern Christian monks and hermits, in lands like Syria and Mesopotamia. We also know that from earliest times, some Christian monks and clergy accepted Islam. The Koran reports how their eyes filled with tears, as they prayed, ‘We do believe; make us one, then, with all who bear witness to the truth!’” If such words were treasured by Eastern Christian monks and hermits, and only some but presumably not all Christian monks and clergy accepted Islam, why is there no trace of these sayings in Eastern Christian traditions? It just happened that all the Christians who had preserved these sayings converted to Islam?... continue reading here