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The Crucifixion and the Qur'an: A Study in the History of Muslim Thought Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B00N01TOWQ
- Publisher : Oneworld Publications (October 1, 2014)
- Publication date : October 1, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1476 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 207 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,719 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Lawson goes into detail to show the logic of each exegete. Some exegetes used linguistics to come to their conclusions, other reinterpreted Quran verse 4:157 in light of other verses that talk about the nature of death.
I recommend this book for any Muslim who wants to be honest with all the historical evidence for the crucifixion and still reconcile it with the popular belief that Jesus did not die.
The author presents multiple translations and interpretations of the passage initially for examination, but basically it is Qur'an 4:157; "They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, rather, it only appeared so to them."
"They and them" refers to the Jews (fully discussed), and many of the early Islamic writings developed the idea of a substitute for Jesus being crucified. The Qur'an and other writings accept that a crucifixion took place, but the idea is that the appearance/form of Jesus was placed on another individual who was crucified while God lifted Jesus up to the heavens.
However, author Lawson shows that Muslim authorities and scholars are divided on the exact meaning of the passage and that there is some room for discussion and re-interpretation. For readers not well versed in the Bible and the Qur'an, this book will be little more than a curiosity, but for those interested in developing better religious understanding between Christians and Muslims it is essential reading. Although most Christians have heard and most Muslims believe that the Qur'an denies the crucifixion of Jesus (his death and resurrection) -- one of the cardinal features of Christianity, there is possibly some wiggle room in this major point separating the two religions.
Lawson approaches the passage and the Muslim writings concerning the crucifixion strictly from the Muslim side as is appropriate for a true scholarly discussion. He goes forth essentially from the point of view of Neal Robinson in the "The Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an", under the entry "Jesus", edited by J.D. McAuliffe.
Robinson's points were three: (1) the Qur'an attaches no salvific inportance to Jesus's death; (2) it does not mention the resurrection on the third; and (3) although the Jews thought they had killed Jesus, from God's viewpoint they did not kill or crucify him. Everything beyond that is up for grabs and speculation.
The standard varieties of interpretation of the passage are (1) that no one was crucified, (2) that Jesus was crucified but only because God willed it, and (3) that someone else was crucified instead of Jesus. The third interpretation is the view most widely held in the Muslim world.
Lawson then reviews contributions to the Muslim tradition in selected works of exegesis from the earliest Muslim writings to the present. This presentation takes up the bulk of the book and clearly proves that the indicated passage has been subject to various interpretations. The early exegetes apparently drew on non-Muslim sources, most likely of Christian and Jewish origin. Then the exegetes tended to purge interpretations based on non-Qur'anic sources.
The conclusions leave the debate open but on an optimistic note. Frankly, my take on the subject was less optimistic than the author's.
As I noted earlier, I recommend this work to scholars and specialists, but not to the general reader. Nonetheless, it is a fine piece of scholarship and should advance knowledge and understanding in the Christian world.