Misquoting Jesus and Others in the Qur'an
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Qur'an 5:112
- 3 Analysis
- 3.1 Speaking Styles
- 3.2 Calling Jesus by His Name
- 3.3 Adding the Qualifier "Son of Mary"
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 See Also
- 6 External Links
- 7 References
"O Jesus son of Mary!" said the disciples, or so claims the Qur'an in surah 5:112. On the surface this quote from one of Jesus' (Isa's) disciples may seem unextraordinary, but there is a subtle error here that few ever notice. However, once it is noticed, few will ever forget.
Let's take a look at this verse in full using several widely accepted translations.
Pickthal: When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is thy Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if ye are true believers.
Shakir: When the disciples said: O Isa son of Marium! will your Lord consent to send down to us food from heaven? He said: Be careful of (your duty to) Allah if you are believers.Transliteration: Ith qala alhawariyyoona ya AAeesa ibna maryama hal yastateeAAu rabbuka an yunazzila AAalayna ma-idatan mina alssama-i qala ittaqoo Allaha in kuntum mu/mineena
Doesn't this quote from the disciples strike you as a little odd?
We'll begin by examining the use of the word "O" at the beginning of the supposed quote of Jesus' disciples. There are quotes from others which begin in a similar fashion. Let's take a look at a few.
It would seem that Allah has the same poetic speaking style as the disciples, but considering Allah is almighty and eternal, we can rightly conclude that it was the disciples who spoke like Allah and not the other way around.
Jesus himself spoke a lot like Allah.
In the following quote, there is the added bonus of a prophesy concerning Muhammad.
Mary's neighbors also spoke in the same poetic style of Allah.
Abraham spoke just like Allah also.
And Moses too.
Lot and the people of Sodom
Lot and the homosexual inhabitants of Sodom whom Lot detested, spoke like Allah.
Even the jinn spoke like Allah.
It is unlikely that such a varied group of individuals, men and women who were separated by thousands of years, would speak in the same manner as one another.
Unlike the Gospels which are universally accepted as being written by humans, the Qur'an is supposed to be the verbatim words of Allah spoken through a messenger, so the quotes should be exact quotes unhindered by the fickle nature of the human memory.
Yet like a substandard Shakespearean rip-off, it would seem that almost any time someone is quoted in the Qur'an, they begin with the poetic "O".
While the Qur'an is supposed to be the words of Allah, there are many verses with grammatical issues which raise doubts.
Transliteration: Waqalati alyahoodu AAuzayrun ibnu Allahi waqalati alnnasara almaseehu ibnu Allahi thalika qawluhum bi-afwahihim yudahi-oona qawla allatheena kafaroo min qablu qatalahumu Allahu anna yu/fakoonaShakir: And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
Muslims often use the "majestic plural" excuse and the iltifat poetic style of switching between 3rd and 1st person, supposedly to keep the listeners attention. But what makes verse 9:30 different to others which may be excused is the subjunctive mood being employed here; the fact that the speaker is wishing for Allah to do something.
For instance, Allah never says "May I find disfavor with you". That would not make any linguistic sense at all. Allah never wishes for himself to do something.
If you read the context of the whole surah, this is a very angry and bitter surah. It would seem the author was personally very angry. Maybe he was so angry, bitter and worked up that he lapsed for a moment and forgot who was supposed to be speaking? We find the same error in the following verse:
So could the explanation for this consistent speaking style found throughout the Qur'an then be because it's this same person inventing the quotes? If its not Allah's words, then what did he stand to gain by fabricating quotes by figures revered by Jews and Christians?
Calling Jesus by His Name
In the Christian Gospels (Injil) the disciples do not call Jesus by his name. His name is only mentioned when the gospel author quotes Jesus or gives us commentary on what Jesus was believed to have done. The disciples themselves called him "Lord", "Teacher", "Christ", etc., and they did so in order to show respect.
In the Gospels, just as in the Qur'an, Jesus is the Messiah, God's chosen one, so to call him by his name would have been disrespectful, yet (judging by Christian standards) in the Qur'an we see a consistent effort in a theological game of lowering Jesus' status while elevating the status of other biblical prophets by making them "sinless".
Adding the Qualifier "Son of Mary"
As with the poetic "O", there are quotes from others which use the qualifier "son of Mary" whenever addressing Jesus. Let's take a look at a few of them.
His name will be the "son of Mary"? Note how the Angels also speak in the same style as Allah.
In the following verse, even the Jews, who are apparently aware that Jesus is the Messiah, seem to think it was important to mention that he was also the son of Mary. Why is this?
Interestingly, according to the Gospels, "Son of Mary" is what the doubters among the Nazarenes called Jesus, when they were incredulous of his miraculous powers.
And yet the Qur'an quotes Jesus' disciples as calling him the very same thing.
To go out of one's way to add the qualifier "son of Mary" or even "son of God" after they had addressed Jesus as Teacher, Master, Lord or even by his name is unnatural speech and makes no sense unless it was used as a form of mockery or disbelief (as in the Gospels).
In the above verse, Moses is simply addressed by the Israelites (who suspiciously also spoke in that same poetic manner of Allah) as "Moses". There is no additional qualifier of "Moses, son of..."
So that leaves us with the question; why is "son of Mary" explicitly added when someone addresses Jesus? Why would the disciples feel the necessity to mention that he is the son of Mary when they were talking directly to him? Are they telling him something he did not already know?
It is because the author of the Qur'an was trying to make a theological point that Jesus was not the son of God, but merely the son of an ordinary women. But why would the disciples bother to make that point?
According to Muslims, Jesus never said he was the son of God, so therefore his disciples would never need to make such a point. To make such a point would have been a ridiculous, redundant, and derogatory thing to do.
The fact that he was the son of a women and only a prophet would have already been clearly understood. Adding these qualifiers onto the disciples speech when they were speaking directly to him surely mean that this qualifier is an addition to what was actually said.
In addition to the subjunctive mood being employed incorrectly in several Qur'anic verses, it was simply not necessary for the disciples or the angels to clarify that Jesus was the son of Mary, but it would be necessary if someone was fabricating sayings of the disciple and others to make them confirm the points they wanted to make.
Jesus, his disciples, Mary's neighbors, Angels, Abraham, Moses, Jews, Lot, the people of Sodom, the Israelites, and the mythical jinn also spoke just like Allah, and "Allah" revealed all this poorly thought-out speech by speaking through one person; namely, Muhammad.
At this point, it should be apparent to all beyond a doubt that Muhammad was putting words in other people's mouths and fabricating quotes so that he could artificially create reinforcement and confirmation of the points he was trying to make, which is that Jesus was not the Son of God and Muhammad is Allah's prophesied final Messenger.
It was by Muhammad's good fortune that he was such a great military leader, for as a playwright he would have been sorely lacking.
- Parallelism Between the Qur'an and Judeo-Christian Scriptures
- Muhammad's Revelations - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Muhammad's Revelations
- Bart Ehrman Explains Why He Doesn't Criticize the Qur'an - Answering Muslims
- Who's talking here, Allah or Muhammad?? - FFI Forum