dinsdag 30 augustus 2011

The Jesus Verses

In 2006 I published a book on the Jesus Verses in the Qur'an. It has a translation of the 100 verses about Jesus, a commentary related to the context of the various surah's and some suggestions for further development of a doctrine/image about Jesus. Many of the old and established ideas are repeated here, but one new theory has been put forward: in imitation of the theory of Snouck Hurgronje about a changing perception and role of Ibrahim in the 'earlier' and 'later' texts of the Qur'an, I also suggest here a change in perspective about Jesus.
In surah 19, one of the earlier texts, Jesus is seen only in a positive way, without polemics (if we take the verses 34-40 as a later interpolation). The death of Jesus is mentioned more or less as a refrain, repeating the text on John:

19:15 (on John/Yahya)
may peace be upon him on the day that he was born,
on the day that he dies
and on the day that he will be raised up again to life

19:33 (on Jesus/Isa)
peace is with me on the day that I was born,
on the day that I die
and on the day that I will be raised up again to life.

It is quite interesting that 19:33 is also on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, but then in the third person, exactly in the same wordings as 19:15 on John!

The idea about Jesus who did not die on the cross can be read in 4:157 where the text says about the Jews:
They have not killed him. And they have not crucified him. This can also be read as it was done in surah 8:17 about Muslim killed at Badr. The Qur'an says here to the unbelievers: You have not killed them, I, God, have killed them.
The interpretation of the believer can accept such strong wordings.

I thank Dr. Simon Rae of Dunedin/New Zealand, who made a clear translation and also Dr. Varghese Manimala of the Henry Martin Institute in Hyderabad who organized this English translation, published atMedia House, Delhi. See their website:

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