One of the authors who failed last week to win a plagiarism case against Dan Brown's international bestseller The Da Vinci Code has written a new book just in time for Easter that questions the basic tenets of the Christian faith.In the Qur'an, we are told that Jesus was not the son of God and was not crucified:
Michael Baigent's The Jesus Papers tries to strip Jesus of his divinity by claiming he wrote a letter to a Jewish court denying he was the son of God.
It also suggests there is evidence Jesus survived the crucifixion and that his death was faked as a cover to allow him to escape his enemies. Roman procurator Pontius Pilate is said to have aided and abetted the "mock execution" because Jesus had told the Jews to pay their Roman taxes.
In court, Baigent and another author, Richard Leigh, claimed Brown had stolen the ideas for The Da Vinci Code from them. They have been left with a $4.8million legal bill.
O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, "Trinity." You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master. (Quran 4:171)The Qur'an is very clear on this issue: Jesus is not God's son. In the previous post, I've shown from the Qur'an that Jesus wasn't crucified.
The Messiah, son of Mary, is no more than a messenger like the messengers before him, and his mother was a saint. Both of them used to eat the food. Note how we explain the revelations for them, and note how they still deviate! (Quran 5:75)
GOD will say, "O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, `Make me and my mother idols beside GOD?' " He will say, "Be You glorified. I could not utter what was not right. Had I said it, You already would have known it. You know my thoughts, and I do not know Your thoughts. You know all the secrets.
"I told them only what You commanded me to say, that: `You shall worship GOD, my Lord and your Lord.' I was a witness among them for as long as I lived with them. When You terminated my life on earth, You became the Watcher over them. You witness all things. (Quran 5:116-117)
Of course there are many Christians who don't believe in the divine authorship of the Qur'an or the prophethood of Muhammad. To them, Islam is a false religion or a heretical construct. The fact is, unlike the Gnostics, Islam's following is quite substantial, a millenia after the death of its founder and, somehow fatefully, seems in direct conflict with the followers of the Church.