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It is a myth that the Quran, the holy book of Islam claimed to have been written by God, refers to Jesus Christ.  The figure in it has one or two similarities but not enough to make him the same person as the figure of the New Testament.  There is no evidence that Muhammad meant us to take his Issa as Jesus.




Many teach the two are not the same person.  If Jesus as in the Christian Jesus is a major Muslim prophet then why do Muslims never object when he is mocked but go berserk when Muhammad is depicted or insulted? The answer for many is that they are more about politics and less religious than they realise!  An answer that may apply to the rest is that they know the man in the Koran is not this Christian figure.  For Muslims, he is a rip-off of the Muslim Saint Issa and is thus not entitled to respect.


For the purpose of this article, we are treating Issa as a figure whose story absorbed some inspiration from the Jesus tale.  Some might say the Jesus narrative stole from Issa - the other way round.




The earliest indication that Jesus had an Arabic name comes from a Jordanian inscription.  In 1950, Enno Littman got copies of many texts thanks to a G. Lankaster Harding who was  Chief Curator of Antiquities Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan.


He looked at the inscription Harding Number 476.  He said, "there are four letters: a y, a sh, a ʿ, and again a y" which "are so placed that they can be read from right to left or from left to right y-sh-ʿ, probably pronounced Yashaʿ, and this name is the same as Yashuaʿ, the Hebrew form of the name of Christ."


This is controversial for it matches  ישעיה or y'sha'yá, which we know as Isaiah best.    Issa is most likely an Isaiah.  Isaiah means Yahweh is Salvation.  Isaiah was a common name and it is best understood to suit Muhammad's belief that Issa was not a saviour and who emphasised it by saying only God saves.


It is telling that Muhammad did not use the Arabic Christian name for Jesus, yasūʿ which he would have encountered.


Suggestions that Jesus may have been an Esau and that is where Issa comes from are doubted for there is no good evidence that Jesus was an Esau.



In the book, Who Was Jesus? A Conspiracy in Jerusalem, page 144) we read that an “ancient god called Issa, or Jesus, was worshipped in Arabia at one time”. This worship predated the worship of the Christian godhead “by many centuries” (ibid, page 144).

In John, Jesus meets a woman at Sychar which happens to be in Arabia and not in the Holy Land. John has constructed the story from an ancient myth about the Jesus god. There is evidence that the New Testament authors mistook places where the Arabian Jesus worked for places in the Holy Land.

Now we move on to new evidence for the existence of Christ that is in the book, Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten.

Volume 19 of the Purana was written between the third and the seventh centuries.

It says that a king in Kashmir, King Shalavahana, met a handsome man sitting on the mountains. The man was white and robed in white. The man said he was virgin-born. The man called himself Isha-Masiha, which means the Lord, the Messiah. He called himself Isha-putra which means the Son of God. He said that in another land an evil goddesses persecuted him and he became the Messiah. He destroyed the goddess by prayer and by disciplining his body.

Now, the reign of the king was in 49AD or in 78 AD. Was Jesus alive and in India then as Kersten believes? The interpretations of what the white man really meant is a matter of dispute.

The king might just have had a vision. There are some reasons why the man he saw could not have been Jesus.

Jesus was a Jew and he was not white.

Jesus would not wear white robes when he was a wandering preacher even according to the gospels. They dirty too easily and give a bad impression. He might have worn them once on the Mount of Transfiguration but that is okay.

Messiah means King of the Jews. Jesus would not have used the title outside of a Jewish context. A Messiah is supposed to work for political power and Jesus if he was an ordinary man as these accounts say could not have used the title for he could hardly come back in the second coming to rule could he?

Why did Jesus not say he disciplined his body by getting crucified and that he survived it?

How could Jesus have been handsome when he had come through so much and been out in the sun which would have wrinkled his face a lot? Matthew says he was born before 4BC. The Christians believed that Jesus was ugly because they said that Isaiah 53 was about him and it said he was far from handsome.

The story may be true but it is certainly confused if it is about Jesus which would be natural when it was recorded so long after the event. Anyway the story is too late and might have been devised by a mythmaker under the influence of Christianity. If it were credible we still could not rely on it but would have to be undecided. But the earliest evidence indicates that Jesus never existed so it has the pre-eminence.

If this man is Jesus then he denies the gospels. The Gospels are proven wrong when they say Jesus believed in one God and died on the cross and rose again and was nearly forty if not forty when he was killed. Their Jesus would be pure invention. But at the same time, the earlier documents, the gospels, have more authority terrible as they are.

But when there is evidence that Jesus was believed to have lived before the time given by the gospels it is possible that Shalivahana was not the king who met Jesus – it was an earlier one. Evidence for this could be the fact that Jesus says that the people he first lived among, the Jews saw the terrible goddess in all her frightening glory. He called the Jews barbarians which fits his attitude to them as recorded in the gospels (Matthew 23). The Jews did not have a vision of the goddess in the first century so it must have been long before in an age when records were badly kept for there is no real evidence that such an event happened. And plainly, there is no evidence for Jesus either if that is the case.

It seems that a testimony that Jesus, who was called Jesus the prophet of Israel and Yuz Asaf (the leader of the healed people), started to prophesy in 54 AD was engraved on an ancient Temple, in Srinagar India in 78 AD. But they could have been put on later.

There is no good evidence that Yuz Asaf was Jesus Christ. The evidence is late and flimsy. It is overridden by the gospels as the gospels were earlier. The gospels say that Jesus left this world after his resurrection. So there is no evidence in the final analysis. Yuz Asaf’s tomb at Srinagar is asserted to be the tomb of Jesus. There are feet on the tomb with crescent shaped marks on them. Kersten thinks they are the crucified feet of Yuz Asaf who was Jesus Christ. But the marks do not resemble nail holes and there are no New Testament grounds for holding that Jesus was nailed through the feet. If a man was believed to have supernatural powers one might think of showing the crescent of the moon on his feet as a sign that he walked in the ways of magic. The moon is a magical emblem.

An Iranian historian who died in 962 AD, called Sheikh Al-Sa’id-us-Sadiq identified Jesus with Yuz Asaf and said that Yuz Asaf preached the parable of the sower in India. But this testimony is too late. The historian’s work could have been affected by confusion and was certainly influenced by the gospels for the parable he recorded is almost exactly as they have it.

A man called Notovitch who was born in 1858, who has never been discredited, claimed that he read information about a Jewish prophet, Issa, who he believed was Jesus, in the documents of a Tibetan monastery. He published a book on it all. But if these writings which have never been found exist then we don’t know when they were really written or if they were lies made up from the New Testament and other materials and imagination. And it is odd and suspicious that the monastery will not let the world see the writings. There are photocopiers in Tibet today. But Notovitch suffered greatly over his story which adds credence to his honesty or perhaps he was dishonest and thought suffering would win him the honour and respect he craved eventually. But did he report what he seen or what he thought he seen? And there were people after him who said they saw the writings. These writings say that Jesus Christ survived the crucifixion by yogic techniques. The writings are hidden because they are late fantasies.
"The Arabic transliteration of Yeshua (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) is Yasu, which is the name for Jesus used by Arabic-speaking Christians. The Qur’an, however, in Arabic refers to Jesus as Isa (pronounced “eesa”), and there is no small amount of confusion among commentators concerning the origin of this name. The most likely proposals are (1) that Isa is an indirect transliteration of Yeshua through multiple languages, (2) that Muhammad modified the name for literary purposes, and (3) that Muhammad was tricked into using the Arabic form of the Hebrew name “Esau” (presumably by Arabian Jews who referred to Jesus as “Esau” in a derogatory sense)." David Wood PhD, Fordham University COMMENT: Muhammad then likely did not mean Jesus but a new figure whose story was partly borrowed from the Jesus legends. 3 sounds as if it is the top explanation. Muhammad had no excuse for getting the name wrong or altering the name. He had Esau not Jesus.
The "Jesus" in the Koran is not Jesus for the information is different at all core points and Miriam Moses's sister is said to be his mother. The disciples are named differently so it is a figure who has overlaps with Jesus but who is not Jesus. Jesus and the disciples are so close in New Testament thought and Jesus gave them his authority that a Jesus with different ones is not the biblical one.
The reference to Mary being purified in the Koran seem to refer to her knowing and being changed by the Muslim faith. The Koran is clear that she was a Muslim. She is not the biblical Mary for she is clearly Moses sister. Muslim praise for Mary as a Muslim is hardly a good thing when it is her as a representative of Muslim belief such as death for apostasy and cutting hands off and allowing polygamy and concubinage that is honoured.  The name Jesus did not exist in those times so saying he was a contemporary of Moses might be seen as tantamount to denying he was named Jesus.
Issa and his mother are to be a sign for all peoples (21:91, Yusif Ali). Moreover, the Koran is not clear that Issa had no father. It merely says his conception was an example of God commanding something to exist but it says nothing about what this meant. The emphasis on it being a sign indicates more that the child had a divine mission than about anything obviously miraculous being meant. A virgin conception such as what Mary supposedly experienced was too private to count as a sign.
Islam may call Jesus the Christ or Messiah but not in the Christian sense. Islam says that Jesus is not the Messiah but his name is the Messiah. It is clear he is only a spokesman for God while Messiah in the Bible means Lord and ruler and king as in political king not just of Israel but of the whole world. Calling Jesus Messiah as in name is no good for it does not amount to confessing him as Messiah which is required doctrine in the New Testament. The writings of the apostle John say that there is no salvation for anybody who refuses to believe that Jesus is the Christ.
“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Issa the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs" (4:171, Yusif Ali). This seems to refer to Christianity. If Issa was Christ and Christ Jesus was the wrong Christ the fact remains that the Christians believe in Christ but the wrong one. So the text does not show that the Koran thinks Christians have the right Christ. The text refers to God owning all creation for he makes it which is why he cannot have a son. What does that mean? If son of God meant God simply making a child without a father then it fits the notion of a creator God. So the Koran is not denying that Christ was the son in that sense. It denies it in the sense that God is too great and different to have a son in any sense adoptive or otherwise. Issa is no more a son of God than anybody else. The Christian notion that Jesus is son of God as in having no human father and son of God as in being God and that he has made us God's adopted children is core Christian teaching so the Koran sees such teachings as irrational and extremist nonsense.
He is called Issa which was not Jesus' name. The Koran knows nothing of Jesus Christ but has another Messiah. Even the disciples have different names and Issa does not die on the cross and ascends to Heaven without a death or resurrection.