Additional Reasons for Islam’s Rejection of Biblical Christology -- By: Imad N. Shehadeh

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 161:644 (Oct 2004)
Article: Additional Reasons for Islam’s Rejection of Biblical Christology
Author: Imad N. Shehadeh

Additional Reasons for
Islam’s Rejection of
Biblical Christologya

Imad N. Shehadeh

Imad N. Shehadeh is Founder and President of Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, Amman, Jordan.

The previous article in this series analyzed one of the last surahs of the Qur’an, Surah 5, in order to show that holding certain theological concepts informs the qur’anic picture of Christ as taught by Muhammad.1 Surah 5 is divided into six major segments according to certain structural markers as well as subject matter, with an apparent argument for each segment. The three Christological assertions of Surah 5 (v. 17, vv. 72–77, and vv. 116–19) appear in its even-numbered segments (second, fourth, and sixth). In all three segments the deity of Christ is denied. These denials appear within contexts that reveal related theological presuppositions that call for exploration. The previous article examined the first denial of the deity of Christ in Surah 5. This article examines the second and third denials of the deity of Christ. While the first denial was immersed in a theological system that disagrees with the biblical concept of grace, the second and third denials are couched in an expansion of the same theme with specific applications.

The Second Denial of Christ’s Deity

In the fourth segment of Surah 5 (vv. 44-86) the second Christological statement occurs toward the end (vv. 72–77) in a climactic

fashion. This fourth segment contains some of the same features as the second segment (vv. 12–26). The difference lies mainly in an intensification of varous aspects of the subject. This is done by contrasting the Bible with the Qur’an, the Jews and Christians with Muslims, and Jesus with Muhammad. This segment rejects the Bible, Jews, and Christians, and the Christian understanding of Jesus, and it also elevates the Qur’an, the Muslim people, and Muhammad.

A Dismissal of all Previous Revelation

This theme, though present in the second segment, is strongly emphasized in verses 41–50. First, these verses maintain that all prophets before Muhammad were Muslims in the essence of their faith. The term “surrendering prophets” of ‘Ali’s translation of verse 44a is literally “those who became Muslims,” that is, those who have surrendered to God. This is said to be a title given to prophets as a compliment to them and as an encouragement to Muslims.2 All the earlier prophets climaxed in Jesus, whose gospel, with which He was entrusted, is a confirmation of the Torah and an exhortation to tho...

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