The books of the contemporary New Testament offer very little substance with regard to the background of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The only readily available information can be seen in Luke, where Mary is said to have been a relative of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and where it is stated that Mary spent three months of her pregnancy in the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist.20 In contrast, the Qur'an offers a great deal of information regarding Mary.
Behold! a woman of 'Imran said: "Oh my Lord! I do dedicate unto Thee what is in my womb for Thy special service: so accept this of me: for Thou hearest and and knowest all things." When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!" - And Allah knew best what she brought forth - "And no wise is the male like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the evil one, the rejected." Right graciously did her Lord accept her: He made her grow in purity and beauty; to the care of Zakariya was she assigned. Every time that he entered (her) chamber to see her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Mary! Whence (comes) this to you?" She said: " From Allah: for Allah provides sustenance to whom He pleases , without measure."21
Three points emerge from the foregoing Qur'anic quote. First, the reference to "a woman of 'Imran' appears to be a statement that the lineage of Mary's mother traced back to the Biblical Amram, the son of Kohath, a member of the Levite tribe of Israel, and the father of Moses.22 As there was a pronounced tendency among the Israelites to marry within their own clan/tribe, in all probabilities, Mary was of the Levite tribe. Second, the quotation specifically states that Mary was miraculously "supplied with sustenance" from Allah. Third, the same passage from the Qur'an distinctly says that Mary was placed in the care of Zechariah, while Luke merely says that Mary visited Zechariah and Elizabeth for three months during her pregnancy. As an additional fourth point, and referring back to a previously quoted passage from the Qur'an, it is noted that several individuals cast lots with arrows to see who would be entrusted with the care of Mary.23
The above four points find specific support in the so-called New Testament apocrypha. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary, preserved in a reference given by Faustus, the Bishop of Riez in Provence, directly states that Mary was a Levite.24 Further, a passage from the New Testament apocrypha says that angels fed Mary during her stay at the Temple in Jerusalem.25 Third, regarding Mary being entrusted into Zechariah's care, the New Testament apocrypha provides support, by noting that Zechariah petitioned the High Priest about Mary.26 Further, two passages in the New Testament apocrypha provide evidence for such an event, with Joseph being the one who was chosen to succeed Zechariah in taking care of Mary.27
Jesus Speaks in Infancy
In a moving passage, the Qur'an describes the reaction of people to Mary having given birth to Jesus. Apparently, they were all too ready to think the worst about this righteous young woman, her pregnancy, and her subsequent child. To all of them, Mary said noting in defense, but pointed to her infant child. Thereupon, the infant Jesus spoke, defending his mother's honor and preaching to the onlookers.
When she brought the infant Jesus to her people, they reacted sharply: "O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor was thy mother a woman unchaste!" But she pointed to the babe. They said: " How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?" He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelations and made me a prophet; and He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live: (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;.."28
The foregoing account of the birth of Jesus does not appear in the current New Testament. However, the story of Jesus speaking while still an infant in the cradle is preserved in the New Testament apocrypha. 29
Jesus and the clay pigeons
Two different passages in the Qur'an refer to Jesus fashioning a clay bird, and then, by Allah's will, making it come alive.
She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: Allah createth what He willeth: when He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be', and it is ! And Allah will teach him the book and wisdom, the law and the gospel, and (appoint him) a messenger to the children of Israel, (with this message): 'I have come to you, with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah's leave: and I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by Allah's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely, therein is a sign for you if ye did believe;..' " 30
Then will Allah say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! recount My favor to thee and to thy mother. Behold ! I strengthened thee with the holy spirit, so that thou didst speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught thee the book and wisdom, the law and the gospel. And behold! Thou makest out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and thou breathest into it, and it becometh a bird by My leave, and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! Thou bringest forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the children of Israel from (violence to) thee when thou didst show them the clear signs, and the unbelievers among them said: "This is nothing but evident magic."31
The story of Jesus causing, by the will of Allah, a clay bird to come to life is not found in the contemporary New Testament. But, this story in the Qur'an can be found in the New Testament apocrypha.32
Summary and Conclusions
Taken together the Bible and the New Testament apocrypha offer dramatic parallels to many passages in the Qur'an. Such parallels suggest that Christians are well advised to explore the substantial interface between Islam and Christianity. With this vary view, the chapters in this book are presented.
Excerpted from the book "The Cross & The Crescent" by Dr. Jerald F. Dirks.
20. Luke 1:35, 39 -56
21. Qur'an 3:35-37.
22. Exodus 6:16-20.
23. Qur'an 3:44.
24. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary. In Platt RH, Brett JA.
25 The Protevangelion of James 8:2. In Platt RH, Brett JA.
26. The Protevangelion of James 8:3-4 In Platt RH, Brett JA.
27. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary 5:4 - 6:7 and The Protevangelion of James 8:6 - 16. In Platt RH, Brett JA.
28. Qur'an 19:27 - 32.
29. The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ 1:2 In Platt RH, Brett JA.
30. Qur'an 3:47 - 49.
31. Qur'an 5:110.
32. The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ 15:6. In Platt RH, Brett JA.
To Brother Samir and other Muslims, I had challenged Velde and Kam in the other articles in my post e mail, I challenged them to tell us that since there are so many versions of the bible, so which version was claimed to be copied from ?
Yet they, with the arrogrance failed to respond to my challenge. I did even mentioned that the Quran even contained the finding of science, i.e. one in which scientist found only about a hundred of years ago, but has always been in the Quran ever since, like the development of life in the embryo or womb, and these matters are not found in the bible.
And I told them not to have the audacity to create such baseless or presposterous claims and even challenged them again on which version of the bible was said to be copied into the Quran.
I posed a challenge to them - Is it the bible version with most contradictions. They didn't answer to my challenge and it speaks for itself.
Salaamu alaikum all,
Please answer this simple question:- How come the Quran did not copy all the false statements that contradict established scientific facts found in the Quran and scientic text books false statements such such as the earth is flat etc...
You can't answer this question because it's beyond what you know. The correct answer is Islam came before Judaism and Christianity and the Quran is the true word of God and all scientific statements in the Quran are proven today to be 100 true facts!!!
- The Arabic version of the Bible was not present at the time of Prophet Muhummad (pbuh). The earliest Arabic version of the Old Testament is that of R. Saadias Gaon of 900 C.E. - more than 250 years after the death of our beloved Prophet. The oldest Arabic version of the new Testament was published by Erpenius in 1616 C.E. - about a thousand years after the demise of our Prophet.
- The Biblical description of the flood in Genesis chapter 6, 7 and 8 indicates that the deluge was universal and it destroyed every living thing on earth. This story of the flood, as given in the Bible, contradicts scientific evidence from archaelogical sources which indicate that the eleventh dynasty in Egypt and the third dynasty in Babylonia were in existence without any break in civilisation and in a manner totally unaffected by any major calamity which may have occurred in the 21st century B.C. This contradicts the Biblical story that the whole world had been immersed in the flood water. In contrast to this, the Qur'anic presentation of the story of Noah and the flood does not conflict with scientific evidence or archaeological data.
It is illogical to assume that Prophet Muhummad (pbuh) had borrowed the story of the flood from the Bible and corrected the mistakes before mentioning it in the Qur'an.
[Dr. Zakir Naik]
Muhammad (PBUH) The seal of all Phrophets could not have had that comprehensive a knowledge to be able to write the Holy Quran based on his faculties. Proven and Analysed over and over again throught time.
What was revealed to him and written in the Holy Quran is the Word of Allah.. Mr Velde.. show evidence to the contrary, not with wild conjecture.
Bravo! May ALLAH bless you for taking the time to read the chapter Al-Maidah or the Table Spread and highlighting the issue I had mentioned in my previous email. I had mentioned that perhaps the author of the article should write another book with this Surah in mind. It seems that he would not need to any longer.
The Quran heralds the Truth! They are afraid to accept this book because it would tarnish the scribes who have written about Allah books. They cannot do so, since it would mean a loss of complete faith in religions other than the religion of Islam! "But if only they knew, if only they knew!"
Thank you brother. The quotes from the Quran are profound indeed!
The Quran vindicates the Prophet Isa. "Have they not learned?"
Thank you for emailing me this article. I really enjoyed reading this as it is such a beautiful story to read in the Holy Quran. Before I converted to Islam I was a christian so the stories of Mary and Jesus (A.S.) always hold a special place in my heart. I will also plan to purchase the book as well . Islam and Christianity are so closely related. It is so important to talk about the simulairities in a clear, beautiful, and peaceful way.
Inshallah , I plan to share this article with my family who are Christians.
Suzan Sofia McGovern
We have been telling the Christians and the Jews that Jesus is NOT A JEW but A LEVITE hundreds of times and since 1989. Thanks in part to the master evangelilogist DD (Doctor in divinity) the self-learned late great Allama (master scolar) (the 20th century renewer of the deen of the Christians) AHMAD DEEDAT but very few of them are good listeners and are willing to investigate...
For more details pls buy AHMAD DEEDAT's book: THE CHOICE and also buy his tapes. I am not sure if Islamic book stores have his VHS tapes on DVD Rom format or not but please give it a try.
Pls ignorant Christians and Jews and Muslims & others do us a favor pls keep your mouth locked if you are going to jump the gun and say things like Jesus is a Jew or make ignorant statements such Islam started with the messenger of Allah Muhammed instead of Ibraham (peace be upon them all).
However, it is as impossible for Christians as it is for Muslims to accept the Gnostic Texts under any circumstances. Gnostic writings are completely outside the acceptable framework of both faiths.
Please consider the following text taken from Wikipedia, and you will not be able to fall for such a nonsensical idea as this author proposes.
Quote: In Gnosticism, Jesus is said to have brought the secret knowledge (gnosis) of the spiritual world necessary for salvation. Their secret teachings were paths to gnosis, and not gnosis itself. While some Gnostics were docetics, other Gnostics believed that Jesus was a human who became possessed by the spirit of Christ during his baptism. Many Gnostics believed that Christ was an Aeon sent by a higher deity than the evil demiurge who created the material world. Some Gnostics believed that Christ had a syzygy named Sophia. The Gnostics tended to interpret the books that were included in the New Testament as allegory, and some Gnostics interpreted Jesus himself as an allegory. The Gnostics also used a number of other texts that did not become part of the New Testament canon.
Let none venture to present something that distorts the established truth.
Thank you for highlighting this issue. The family of Imran were indeed very pious. And yes, they were blessed by Allah. What a pity that some of us has wasted valuable time denying the words of Allah.
Thank you. Thank you indeed.
Did you look at Surah Al-maidah? In this Surah Jesus denied that he told the people that he and his mother were Gods. Perhaps, another book?