Obviously if we look at Christian or Islamic sources, they will have a bias towards whether the crucifixion happened or not. So let’s look at neutral sources about the crucifixion:
Agnostic Bart Ehrman currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill “One of the most certain facts of history is that Jesus was crucified on orders of the Roman prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate”.
Atheist John Dominic Crossan An Irish New Testament professor and historian. He teaches Jesus existed but wasn’t the Son of God: “that he was crucified is as sure as anything historical can ever be, since both Josephus and Tacitus...agree with the Christian accounts on at least that basic fact.”
Agnostic Marcus Borg Ph.D. Former Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon state university. “Some judgments are so probable as to be certain; for example, Jesus really existed, and he really was crucified,...We can in fact know as much about Jesus as we can about any figure in the ancient world.” 1
Let’s consider non-biblical manuscripts that were written during the same generation as Jesus.
Flavius Josephus was a Jewish historian who rejected that Jesus was the Messiah and wrote, “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When Pilate, upon hearing him accused by men of the highest standing amongst us, had condemned him to be crucified, those who had in the first place come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared to them restored to life, for the prophets of God had prophesied these and countless other marvelous things about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.” 2
This is taken from one of the earliest pieces of historical evidence of Jesus outside the New Testament confirming Jesus crucifixion, called The Antiquities of the Jews, written in 93 A.D.
Another non-biblical manuscript confirming Jesus’ crucifixion was recorded by Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus . The Romans hated Christians and wouldn’t write anything to favour their cause and this biased account still confirms Jesus death. “Therefore, to scotch the rumour, Nero substituted as culprits, and punished with the utmost refinements of cruelty, a class of men, loathed for their vices, whom the crowd styled Christians. Christ the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilate, and a pernicious superstition was checked for the moment.” (Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome, tr, M Grant (Harmonsdsworth: Penguin Classics, 1985), 15.44 . 3
The strongest argument that Jesus rose from the dead was his numerous appearances. He stayed with disciples for 40 days after his crucifixion and was seen by more than 500 people. That is the testimony of the Bible, eye witness accounts of people who saw Jesus rise from the dead and wrote it down so the world would know that Jesus had power over death. Let’s look at some of these accounts.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave ... The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified...And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him. - Matt 28:1,5,9
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” -John 20:26-29
Jesus appeared before all his disciples, He showed them His risen body. And Thomas’ response was to worship him and call Him God. Jesus never rebuked Thomas for this; He accepted worship and the title of God.
“That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.” -1 Cor 15:3-8
Here is an account of who Jesus appeared to after his resurrection. The list of people is enormous. If this was a lie, many of these people would repudiate these accounts as false. But there is no testimony from any of these people denying they saw Jesus. There are 12 accounts in the Bible of Jesus appearing to people after his crucifixion, he showed them his scarred body and it was touched by them. On one occasion he ate with them and they saw him be taken up to Heaven after his crucifixion. The Christian faith is built on this truth, that Jesus rose from the dead. The Bible says, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” -1 Cor 15:17
The Apostles were so confident that Jesus rose from the dead that they were willing to die for Him. They suffered terrible torture and none of them recanted of their faith. Now many people die for a lie, but people won’t die for a lie when they know it’s a lie. If Jesus Christ didn’t rise from the grave they would have known He was liar, and they wouldn’t have died such horrible deaths. The disciples were willing to be burned, stoned, and crucified because they knew that Jesus had risen from the grave and conquered death. They were eyewitnesses of this fact.
“But you put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.” -Acts 3:15
Muslim friend, are you willing to take two ayah’s written by one person 600 years after Jesus existed, from a different part of the world, and let that discredit eye witness accounts of hundreds of people who walked and talked with him after his resurrection, and then saw him ascend up to Heaven? These eyewitnesses then wrote four Gospels all within a generation after he rose from the grave, and then were killed for their belief without recanting their faith.
Here are the two ayah’s that are written in the whole Qur’an contradicting Jesus death on the cross:
And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” -Surah 4:157-158
Muslim friend, why would Allah trick two billion followers of Jesus, including all of Jesus’ closest disciples, by making it look like He died on the cross? Allah is then directly responsible for creating the Christian religion. That is the very foundation of our faith, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead, proving he has power over death. Why would Allah participate in starting one of the greatest false religions, by Muslim standards, and deceive the whole world and cause so much confusion?
The Qur’an contradicting itself, says Jesus died and rose again: “Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive!’ That is Jesus, son of Mary.” -Surah 19:33-34.
Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave. That is proof he conquered death, and it’s your hope for eternity in Heaven.
God does not want you to go to Hell, but every sin you have commited stands between you and him, and death is the penalty for sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Rom 6:23
God’s love for you was to pay your penalty. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” - Rom 5:8
Please tell God that you are sorry for all the sins you have committed against Him and trust that Jesus paid your punishment on the cross. If you do this you will become a child of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” - John 1:12
1 Quotes from Ehrman, Crossan and Borg http://reasonsforjesus.com/jesus-exist-scholars-agreecertainly-existed/
2 https://carm.org/regarding-quotes-historian-josephus- about-jesus
3 https://atheistforum.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/does- tacitus-provide-independent-testimony-about-jesus/
Bibles for Muslims
Head Office: 1832 Halifax St, Regina SK, S4P 1T3 and Mailing Address: 14 Nicol Pl, Regina SK, S4V 0B9
Copyright © 2018 Bibles for Muslims - All Rights Reserved.
The next missions frontier is next door.