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Understanding Quranic Jesus Based on Its Narrative on Crucifixion

  • Muslim-Christian Encounter
  • Abbr : MCE
  • 2018, 11(2), pp.9-44
  • DOI : 10.30532/mce.2018.11.2.9
  • Publisher : Torch Trinity Center for Islamic Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Christian Theology > Mission Theology
  • Received : September 12, 2018
  • Accepted : September 29, 2018
  • Published : September 30, 2018

Ah Young Kim 1

1횃불트리니티신학대학원대학교

ABSTRACT

Did Jesus die on the cross and then rise from the dead? This question has generated vigorous discussion between Muslims and Christians for more than fourteen centuries. The long history of Christian-Muslim encounter has seen Christology as a primary issue of controversy, often the subject of acrimonious debate, rarely productive of interreligious understanding. Aware of this, some scholars from both religions argue that Christology should be put aside because Islamic meanings of Christ are quite different from those of Christian theological confession: There can be nothing theologically agreed upon on this matter, they argue, because Islam rules out any incursion of the human into the sphere of the divine. While the Quran elevates Jesus above other mortals, he remains no more than“a subject of the history of prophets”by which God guided humankind until revelation was sealed by the final prophet, Muhammad. Christians and Muslims have differed sharply especially over the question of whether Jesus Christ died on the cross; Christians affirm that he did and Muslims insist on the basis of the prevailing interpretations of Quran 4:157-158, that he did not. The Quran indisputably denies the core of Christian doctrine, that is, death at crucifixion. In other terms, God’s prophet could not be killed by human beings. The Quran clearly speaks on the people’s intention to kill Jesus, only to fail because of God’s intervention. However, discussions and analyses show what a rich and diverse range of answers to this question have historically been seen as legitimately supported within the Muslim community. I believe that there can be room to find common ground regarding the reason why crucifixion had to historically occur, especially based on the understanding on the human condition. The crucifixion represents an urgent and ongoing call – addressed to Christians and Muslims alike - to faith in the divine power which redeems, transforms and delivers through suffering love; and only through this faith, we can overcome evil with good.

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