The Quran does not affirm the death of Jesus on the cross:
And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)]:
Islam’s denial of Jesus’ death on the cross is untrue because the death of Jesus on the cross is an established historical event. Why believe what the Quran has to say about the afterlife, when it can’t be trusted with the things of this world?
Muslims have tried to give evidence to support the mistaken claim of Quran 4:157. In their attempt to cast doubt about the fact of Jesus’ death on the cross, some have turned to the Gospel of Barnabas which is certainly a corruption of Scripture.
The Gospel of Barnabas is available in Islamic bookstores and often the first and only “gospel” Muslims read. What many Muslims don’t know is that the Gospel of Barnabas appears to have been written more than 1,400 years after Jesus and more than 800 years after Muhammad.
A text called the Gospel of Barnabas has had a wide circulation in modern times. It was discovered in an Italian manuscript in Amsterdam in 1709. Since its translation into Arabic in the early 20th century, some have claimed that it preserves the original Gospel, of which the Qurʾān speaks. In fact, the Gospel of Barnabas has been shown to have its origins in the western Mediterranean world, probably in Spain, in the 16th century.1
Muslims have been presenting a 16th century work to try and disprove an established historical event from the 1st century. By appealing to the Gospel of Barnabas, Muslims are guilty of tampering with 1st century Scripture (tahrif).
Watch to learn more about the Gospel of Barnabas.
You may want to read:
- “Gospel.” Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān. General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe; Brill [Leiden and Boston].