Between Allah & Jesus: Part 1
How would a Christian and a Muslim debate Jesus and Muhammad; the Bible and the Qu'ran; and theology and religion? Follow the compelling conversation as imagined by Peter Kreeft, in part one of this excerpt from his new novel "Between Allah and Jesus.” Then join a discussion between Beliefnet’s Muslim and Christian bloggers.
Chapter 3: On Jesus and Muhammad
One day ‘Isa and Evan were having lunch together at the Boston College cafeteria, where the arguments were better than the food. ‘Isa asked Evan about the quid pro quo that Muslims often propose to Christians: “We accept your Jesus as a great prophet; why do you not accept our prophet Muhammad? We accept your scriptures and your prophets as sent by God. That is what the Qur’an says. So why do you not accept our scripture?”
“I have not read all of your Qur’an,” Evan admitted. “What does it say about our scriptures?”
‘Isa knew his Qur’an very well and was ready with the answer: “Here is what it says about the Jewish scriptures: ‘We gave Moses the Book...we appointed it for a guidance to the children of Israel’ (32:24). And here is what it says about the Christian scriptures: ‘We sent...Jesus son of Mary....We gave him the Gospel wherein is guidance and light’ (5:50). And then here is what it says about itself: ‘We have sent down to them the Book with the Truth, confirming the Book that was before it, and assuring it’ ”(5:52).
Evan had studied theology, and was ready with a reply: “But our two scriptures contradict each other about Jesus. Our Bible says that Jesus was more than a prophet, that he is the Son of God. And I think your scriptures deny that, don’t they?”
“Yes,” answered ‘Isa. “They do.”
“And two ideas that contradict each other can’t both be true, can they?”
“Of course not,” answered ‘Isa, who knew logic as well as Evan did.
“So one of our scriptures must teach something false.”
“And God never teaches what is false, does he?”
“So either your Qur’an or our New Testament is not from God. So if ours is, then yours is not. And if yours is, then ours is not. But you just said that the Qur’an says they are both from God. So the Qur’an must be wrong.”
“No,” explained ‘Isa, “the Qur’an is speaking about the Gospel God sent down from heaven, not the Gospel you have now. They are not the same. The Gospel God sent down did not claim that Jesus was the Son of God.”
“Where is this original gospel?” Evan wanted to know. “Show me a single sentence in it. Show me a single quotation from it. Show me a single reference to it by anybody, before the Qur’an. You can’t do it. There is no such book. It exists only in your imagination. The only Gospel is the New Testament as we