<a href="https://biblicalmissiology.org/author/mark-durie/" target="_self">Mark Durie</a>

Mark Durie

Mark is an Australian pastor and author. He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University (1984), and a ThD (on Qur'anic Theology) from the Australian College of Theology (2016). He is a member of the Australian Academy of Humanities.

4 Comments

  1. Noah Karp

    This comment, while obviously well-intentioned, does not attempt to resolve any of the theological issues raised in this article. The Quran, while according Jesus special status amongst prophets, unequivocally states that Jesus was only a man, that he is not the Son of God, that he faked his death on the Cross, and that he advocated death for those who called him divine. It further states that God is unknowable, impersonal—which directly contradicts the whole of the Biblical record of YHWH. So by using the name of the Quranic character, Christians are referring to a completely different character, in a completely different context—and rather than trying to redefine “Isa” to agree with the Bible, it is easier to explain how Yesu is a different person altogether.

    These things obviously do invite discussion, as it is helpful for Muslims to understand what the true gospel says. The claim posed by this article is that Christians do damage to the Word of God, and close Muslims off from hearing the gospel, when they attempt to amend the beloved character of the Quran, rather than insisting on a biblically faithful interpretation of who Jesus is.

    A final note: the Quran was written perhaps 500 years after the Bible. The Bible was written by many authors, over thousands of years; the Quran was written by one man who seems to have a cursory understanding of some Biblical stories. The Bible retains incredible theological consistency and thematic integrity in all it says, and then a half-millenium later, the Quran asserts a number of incredible changes that exist in direct contradiction to the core tenets of Christian faith.

  2. Julian Bond

    Yet, clearly, Jesus is particularly distinct in the Qur’an. He is called the ‘Word’ because of its Biblical reflections, and it is linked to his Virgin Birth/conception. He has a special status amongst other prophets. Of course Islam is a different religion, but it is connected to Christianity. It exists, through the Qur’an, in tension between both rejection of Trinity and acceptance of some special characteristics of Jesus – an invitation to dialogue rather than a marker of error or falsehood.

  3. Isa

    Nicely researched and succinctly presented. I rejected Christianity and accepted Muhammad as God’s final Prophet and Messenger, and I had sometimes wondered about the Qur’an’s depiction of Jesus / Isa as being seemingly singularly pointed out as the Word or Spirit of God. This commentary reaffirms my faith that the Qur’an in its entirety is the Word of God, just as these arguments allow reaffirmation of the People of the Book’s faith in Jesus as son of God. As a Confirmed Catholic during my childhood, I will always love Jesus, just not in the manner that you do, and while I do not appreciate the comment that the Qur’an depicts Jesus as “marks of being common, everyday and ordinary”, just as Ibrahim, Musa and Adam are not common, everyday and ordinary, I I do appreciate that your intent is not another misguided attempt to insert new meaning into the Qur’an to manipulate either Muslim or Christian belief. We all can respectfully disagree and live together on this God-given Earth by remembering the 109th Surah:

    “Say, “O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor do you worship what I worship. Nor do I serve what you serve. Nor do you serve what I serve. You have your way, and I have my way.”

    Amin. May God bless you.

  4. Adam Simnowitz

    Mark, thank you for writing this much-needed article. I am reminded of what Tilman Nagel wrote in, The History of Islamic Theology: From Muhammad to the Present:

    I deliberately refrain from rashly pointing out parallels or similarities between Islam and Christianity, because this tends to be misleading. For what do we learn from an analogy which is sometimes made-of Christ as the “logos” and the Koran as God’s word? Statements of that kind only feign similarities between Islam and Christianity; the naive European reader is led to believe that Islam has a logos theory comparable to that of Christianity. That is utterly wrong! The religious pedagogues’ zeal in finding and inventing as many similarities between the world religions in order to reduce tensions by way of a superficial harmony is something I find deplorable-it attests to an (even badly disguised) ignorance of all foreign religions, to an intolerable lack of seriousness. It is more important and helpful to recognize and accept-the different nature of the other faith.
    (Tilman Nagel, The History of Islamic Theology: From Muhammad to the Present. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2000, xi)

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