By Absolute truth
The Story of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) is mentioned several times in the Qur’an. He and his mother, Mary, are presented as great role models to be loved, honored and imitated. Muslims believe that Jesus is a great Prophet who preached worshipping Allah alone.
presents 7 miracles of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) mentioned in the Qur’an.
By Absolute truth
The Messiahship of Jesus in the Qur’an, New Testament, Old Testament, and Other Sources (by Louay Fatoohi)
By Eric bin Kisam
To my knowledge there is no academic studies of what the messiahship of Jesus means in the Qur’an in comparison with the messiahship in Judaism and Christianity. This book: The Mystery of the Messiah: The Messiahship of Jesus in the Qur’an, New Testament, Old Testament, and Other Sources, by Louay Fatoohi (Luna Plena Publishing, 2009 ), is the only one of its kind.
I consider Dr. Louay Fatoohi a unique muslim scholar of comparative religion. He came from Arab Christian background and has been passionate in studying the Qur’an, Islam and comparative religion since his youth . He is one of a few muslim author I know who is equally conversant with scholarly works on religion on both Christian and Islamic tradition, modern and classical as well as other historical sources, or on combinations of these writings.
This book, I must say, is concise yet dense with information with meticulous crafted analysis on why and how the Messiah was developed in Judaism and Christianity. Fatoohi seeks to show that the Qur’anic Messiah is actually the historical one. Fatoohi drew upon his extensive study on the historical Jesus as he went through the concept of the “Messiah” in the Qur’an, the Bible (canonical and non canonical sources) and Dead Sea Scrolls and scholars from this field.
In one chapter Fatoohi examines the concept of “Messiah” in the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish sources, including the Dead Sea Scrolls,. He make a very important observation that this title “Messiah” in the Hebrew Bible is applied only to historical never prophetic / future saviour figures, only later Jewish theology and literature started to invent this title as prophetic King, the salvational eschatological Messiah serving to free an oppressed jews abandoned by God. Fatoohi also explains different messiahs in other Jewish writings, the most prominent is the one described as the “son of David” the Royal military saviour and other is the priestly Messiah of Aaronic decendant, albeit the jews were not unanimous in their depiction of the awaited Messiah.
In another chapter Fatoohi go through the concept of the term Messiah in the greek New Testament, Christos (Χριστός) from which “Christ” is derived. All New testament writers recognise Jesus as the Christ but in the New Testament the concept of “the Messiah”reflect the substantially bigger role as opposed to the Hebrew Bible. However Fatoohi explains Jesus of the Gospels was not properly anointed according to jewish tradition so that Jewish authorities and most jews did not recognise his messiahship. The same chapter Fatoohi highlight that the term “Christ”makes most of its appearance in Paul’s letters. Paul incorrectly use the term “Christ” as a proper name not title. This show his flawed understanding of what the term mean. Paul’s Christ is a spiritual figure who came to redeem people, by being crucified and raised from the dead. This version of Christ, Fatoohi argues, blur the historical Jesus because it is lack of Jesus historical details. Over centuries, most christians took Paul version of historical Jesus and focus only on the alleged crucifixion and the resurrection of him.
Fatoohi dedicated a chapter discussing Al-Masih in the Qur’an. Essentially Fatoohi shows that the title is never presented as the reason for a special prophethood that make Jesus one of the most favoured prophets (yes , Jesus is one of those prophets) however Qur’an 3:45 give indication that the Messiah was a concept that God had previously revealed: a prophecy, although this prophecy is not specifically cited anywhere in the Qur’an as mentioning it centuries after it was fulfilled would not serve any purpose. Also Fatoohi explains that the use of definite article Al Masih does not necessarily mean that the Qur’an implies that there was only one Messiah although Jesus was the one special Messiah.
The rest of the chapters Fatoohi discuss the different identities and attribute that the Gospel writers presented the Christ and examine each one of them from the Qur’an perspective, here are some salient points from this book, which I find it interesting:
King of the Jews — in addition to anointed priests and prophets , the awaited Messiah is seen by the Jews as King, however the general context in NT, Fatoohi argues that Jesus never sought nor was he ever given the Kingship title. Jesus confirmed that he was the Christ in a way that a prophet and rabbi who remind people to go back to the religion of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron and all Hebrew prophets. The Christian image of the Messiah as a Spiritual King is the result of blending the Jewish concept of the messiah as an earthly King with the fact that Jesus historical role who was a spiritual leader to the Jews. The Qur’an corrected this distortion and put Jesus as a prophet who teach his people to go back to the teaching of what earlier prophets had brought. Jesus of the Qur’an is not a political leader who was expected to re-establish an earthly kingdom i.e. israel nor a quasi God who posses the throne of Heaven.
Second Coming — Fatoohi persuasively argues that the concept of Jesus second coming was developed by Jesus early followers to explain his failure to deliver what they thought the Christ was going to do. The Qur’an does not support this concept of returning Messiah. The Qur’an messiah fulfilled his mission on earth. Although there are a number of hadiths attributed to Prophet Muhammad that seems to confirm Jesus second coming, it must have been influenced by Christian understanding. I am surprised that Fatoohi arrive at this conclusion there is Qur’anic verses which indirectly seems to suggest Jesus return e.g.[sûrah al-Nisâ’: 159, Sûrah al-Zukhruf: 61] as well as those hadiths predicting the returning of Jesus which are considered authentic, nevertheless I still find Fatoohi position plausible albeit minority position among Islamic scholars. I will look into this matter.
Son of David — Many christians are eager to link Jesus as being descendant to David, the second King of israel (later just Judah) who had descendants also upon the throne. Here Fatoohi shows how contradictory position in the four gospels in relation to Jesus as being the son of David, and how those position were not reconcilable. On the other hand the Qur’anic position is consistent in maintaining that Jesus is “the son of Mary”, this mean the Qur’an reject any idea that Jesus is a warrior Messiah like David who was going to restore israel thus the fulfilment of the prophecy to David in 2 Samuel 7:16. In my opinion Fatoohi also spot on when bringing the point that Jesus link to Aaron because the fact that the Qur’an call Jesus’ Mother as “sister of Aaron. While as Fatoohi pointed out it is common mistakes among Biblical scholar to understand the expression “sister of Aaron” as meaning that Mary had brother called “Aaron” not as title of tribal connection , I have personally fascinated by this Qur’an term. To me there is a good reason why the Quran refer Mary to Aaron kinship. It emphatically gives a particular significance that Mary’s son ie. Jesus has the birth right as “the Messiah” or anointed one as we can read in Exodus 30:30-31 when God ordered prophet Moses to anoint his brother Aaron with a special type of anointment with a particular oil for kings …..from this anointing it give him and his heirs the right to the priesthood title down to prophet Jesus, hence the title Jesus “the Messiah”.
Saviour — Fatoohi explains that the Qur’anic Messiah of Jesus is neither a saviour to bring the jews to restore its own kingdom nor the one who save people from sin by playing role as atoning agent, he is no unique saviour, a messenger and prophet albeit one of special messenger who was conceived miraculously and performed impressive miracles.
Suffering Messiah — Fatoohi rightly mention that Judaism actually never knew of a suffering or resurrected messiah and the Qur’an reject the idea that the Messiah ever suffered the Passion. The concept of suffering messiah was a novelty that Christian writers introduced.
As a final point, Fatoohi concluded from his study that the messiahship of Jesus in the Qur’an represent the original concept of the messiah or one messiah which was revealed by God which predate any shift in the meaning by Jews and Christian. At first the Jews did not expect a redeemer Messiah as this title is just for any past figures who were anointed as a gesture to sanctify themselves. Later the Jews started to invent a eschatological warrior messiah and associate him with King David to restore the Kingdom of israel. Christians inherited this type of Messiah and projected it even more on their Christ: a King from throne of Heaven who already came to atone people sin. Jesus saw his messiahship as a mandate to conform divine messages that had been revealed to previous prophets that is calling people back to the way of God of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Aaron and all Hebrew prophets. That is the historical Messiah the Qur’an is telling us about.
I can say Fatoohi’s study is helpful in considering critically how the significance of Messiahship evolved from just anointed past figures to eschatological warrior King of Judaism to Pauline god-men Jesus and later how the Qur’an corrected Jesus messiahship back into rightful role : to led jewish people to salvation by showing them the right way to God.
As no other Muslim writer/scholar I know have ever attempted to author a book focusing on the concept of “Messiah” like this book, I praise the author for his initiative.
Also Dr. Fatoohi has also authored books on similar genre in my collection which I also recommend
The Mystery of the Crucifixion: The Attempt to Kill Jesus in the Qur’an, the New Testament, and Historical Sources. (2008)
The Mystery of the Historical Jesus: The Messiah in the Qur’an, the Bible, and Historical Sources. (2007)
By Absolute truth
John 8:58 is perhaps one of the best verses to disprove the deity of Christ, most Christians simply fail to see the problems with utilizing such a verse and in this article I’d like to demonstrate just how useful the “I AM” statement attributed to Christ is. Let’s first take a look at the verses in question:
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14.
“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” – John 8:58.
There is something very important to note, we must ask, who is God in Exodus 3:14? The Hebrew from the Westminster Leningrad Codex references God as Elohiym, see here. According to Christian belief, Elohiym can either refer to the Father (God) or the Godhead (all three persons of the Trinity). If Christ is claiming to be the Elohiym of Exodus 3:14 then there exists a major problem.
Elohiym consists of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit of one substance, united by the Godhead. If Christ is claiming to be this Elohiym (the united Three Persons), then he is claiming to be the Father as well as the Holy Spirit. According to Trinitarian dogma, the Son is not the Father or the Spirit. In other words, if Christ is claiming to be the Elohiym (of Three Persons) then he is effectively breaking the rules of the Trinitarian dogma as the Son is claiming to be other persons in the Godhead.
If the Elohiym of Exodus 3:14 is the Father alone, then Christ who is the Son is claiming to be the Father and according to Christian Trinitarian belief, the Son is not the Father. Therefore if the Christian is claiming Christ to be Elohiym – the Father, then the Christian is admitting that the Trinity in this case is a false teaching or that Christ did not believe in the Trinity that they appeal to.
The Fallacy of False Equivocation.
Jack is a boy.
James is a boy.
Jack is James.
Obviously Jack is not James.
Orange is a fruit.
Apple is a fruit.
Oranges are Apples.
Obviously Oranges are not Apples.
God says I am.
Jesus says I am.
God is Jesus.
Clearly we can see that this is the fallacy of false equivocation.
The Christian claims that while the Son cannot claim to be the Father or the Spirit, the Son can claim to be God. For explanation purposes, let’s use a common learning aid which Christians use to explain this reasoning:
However, this makes it worse for the Christian. Consider the following examples:
You cannot say that John is an employee in the company, but you can say that John works for the company.
You cannot say that Shem and Ham are brothers, but you can say that they have the same mother and father.
You cannot say that a banana is a fruit, but you can say that the banana belongs in the fruit basket.
You cannot say that the Son is the Father or the Spirit, but you can say that the Son is the Father, Son and Spirit.
It’s a contradictory claim. The Son is not the Father or the Spirit, yet they believe the Son is the Father and the Spirit unified. Allow the Christian to ponder on this logic and see where it leads them, aid their thinking process by using the other examples provided above.
The Christian cannot appeal to John 8:58 without disproving the doctrine of the Trinity by means of demonstrating that Christ himself did not know he could not claim to be the other persons of the Godhead. We can also demonstrate that they are applying faulty reasoning in their argumentation and thus can quickly disarm their frivolous claims.
and God knows best.
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Volume 5: Zechariah to Jesus
By Absolute truth
Difficulties, Contradictions and Problems in the Crucifixion tale
by Ibn Anwar
".but they killed him not, nor crucified him."(Qur'an 4:157)
Jesus' Crucifixion is the bedrock of mainstream Christianity. It is such an important foundation in Christianity that even sects that have departed from "Orthodoxy" such as Unitarianism and the Jehovah's Witness have retained the crucifixion. Paul says, "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1 Cor. 15:14). Without crucifixion there is no resurrection. Because the preaching of Christianity is based on the resurrection it goes without saying that the crucifixion is equally significant and important which is why the official symbol in mainstream Christianity is the cross.
It is often claimed in Evangelical circles and by Christian missionaries that there is a consensus among scholars and historians both conservative and liberal that Jesus certainly died on the cross. This is misleading. There are scholars who argue that because there is such a paucity in early reliable historical records attesting to Jesus' existence that must mean that he is a myth, a legend, a fiction. Granted that the circle of scholars of this persuasian is small in number that does not discount the fact that they exist. Tom Harpur who was professor of New Testament and New Testament Greek at Wycliffe(The Pagan Christ), Bruno Bauer (Critique of the Gospels and History of Their Origin), Earl Doherty(The Jesus Puzzle), Prof. G.A. Wells(The Historical Evidence for Jesus), Prof. Michael Martin(The Case Against Christianity) are some of the scholars who have questioned Jesus' existence. Thus to continue claiming that all scholars both liberal and conservative agree on the crucifixion is untrue. Undoubtedly, a vast majority of scholars say the crucifixion happened, but not without serious qualification. They do not say it as a fact, but rather as a probable occurence. Historians involved in this area of study base their judgment on probabilities rather than conclusive historical data. Using the historical method scholars comb through available historical materials, assess them and thereafter produce what they think to be the most probable conclusion. Historians using the critical historical method do not recognise supernatural events because they are the least probable occurences which is why God cannot be in the equation hence discounting both resurrection and Jesus' ascent to heaven as historical(at least according to the historical method). A person living 2000 years ago would be regarded as dead because it is highly improbable(or impossible) for a man to live that long. Because Jesus lived around 2000 years ago historians conclude that he must have died. This is of course according to the critical historical method. The real question that historians are interested in is how he died. And for this they look at the historical records surrounding the person Jesus. According to their perspective based on their research the most probable explanation or cause for Jesus' death is the crucifixion. Thus many modern (non-Muslim) historians have no qualms over Jesus' death itself not because they think that Jesus was factually and definitely crucified but because a man living 2000 years ago cannot still be alive. In this article we will be looking closely at some of those major data and sources used to propose that Jesus died by crucifixion. God willing, we will illustrate by proposing nine contentions(using historical and theological arguments) that the historical material employed are insufficient in proving the crucifixion and that Jesus certainly did not die the shameful death of a crucified man.
How much do we know about Jesus? As we have mentioned before there is a paucity of material.
"However desirable it might be to have available records of Jesus' words and deeds that were made during his lifetime, we must acknowledge that we have none." (emphasis added)
"Reliable knowledge of Jesus, his life and teaching, is limited. The years of his adolescence and young manhood are shrouded in silence, and his active ministry of not over two or three years is treated only briefly in the Gospels. There are only four short accounts of Jesus' ministry, and these record what people though of his as well as what he did and taught. Beyond the narrative of his teachings and actions nothing is known of his personality, physical appearance, or bearing that might account for the remarkable charismatic power which he held over his disciples and the masses who at one time followed him."  (emphasis added)
Contention 1: The passion narratives are inconsistent which means they cannot be trusted.
If one were to compare the four gospels analytically one will find that there are many inconsistencies between the narratives given in the gospels. However, in fairness it should be noted that there are fewer contradictions between Matthew and Mark. Some stories are found in one or two of the gospels but not in the others for example Jesus being troubled is mentioned in Matthew and Mark, but not in Luke and John. The excuse given by apologists is that the authors simply did not mention them(or were not aware of its occurence) and this does not actually give rise to contradiction. This excuse is untenable when the Gospels and external historical evidence are studied carefully. Nevertheless, they would argue that in general there are many similarities between the passion narratives in the four Gospels. That's all fine. But what about those serious discrepencies that we do find in the Gospels? Can two conflicting stories presented in two different books be equally and simultaneously true? According to Christian apologists they can. What they will do is try to harmonise the conflicting stories by building a new story where both are included into one story with some modifications here and there. Is this a legitimate recourse? The eminent Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman, the prodige of one of the greatest New Testament scholars of America Bruce Metzger in Misquoting Jesus and Jesus Interrupted says that such a course of action does injustice to the gospels. Harmonising the conflicting gospel accounts does violence to what the authors and their work intend and convey. Each author wrote with a specific intention in mind and a specific audience in sight hence mixing and mashing one author's narrative with the other is unjustified. By doing such a thing they are in reality reconstructing a gospel that none of the gospel writers had in mind. By doing such a thing they have in reality introduced a new gospel. Let us now consider some of those contradictions.
1. When was Jesus arrested? Was it on the Passover or before it?
The four Gospels place the crucifixion on a Friday (Mark 15:42, Matthew 27:62, Luke 23:54 and John 19:31), however John departs from the synoptics(Matthew, Mark and Luke) in that the incident occured on the day of rest of the Passover, that is one day earlier. The Synoptics on the other hand asserts that the Friday on which the crucifixion happened was the first day of the Passover. Jewish law stipulates that the lamb of the Passover should be slaughtered in the evening of the 14th of the first month of the Jewish calender, Nisan. The lamb is then eaten on the same night as mentioned in Exodus 12:1-8). Based on Genesis 1:5 the Jews measure a day as that from sunset to sunset. So that means the night of the Passover is the start of the 15th of Nisan. According to the synoptics Jesus was arrested after having the Passover meal with his disciples which was the first night of the first day of the Passover (Mark 14:12-46, Matthew 26:19-50 and Luke 22:7-54). He was then crucified in the morning of the 15th of Nisan.
John on the other hand has it that Jesus was arrested and taken to Pilate early in the morning of the day of rest of the Passover which means that he was arrested the night before (john 18:28). The crucifixion then according to John's timeline should be placed on the 14th of Nisan some hours after the arrest. Thus according to John the day of the crucifixion was the Friday during the day of the rest of the Passover as opposed to the synoptics that place it on the first day of the feast. In conclusion, John's arrest and crucifixion is a day earlier than the synoptics version. There is a reason why John has made the crucifixion coincide with the time of the slaughter of Passover lambs. John's account is theologically motivated. He presents Jesus in the first chapter of his book as the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29 and 1:36). John wishes to pass Jesus off as the true Passover lamb. He makes Jesus fulfill a prophecy (John 19:36) with a description that the Old Testament uses for the Passover lamb. Because John's timeline corresponds intimately with his Crucifixion theology some scholars have been led to dismiss his narrative as fiction. 
2. How many Passovers were there? Was it one or three?
Whilst the synoptics mention only one Passover that is the one during which Jesus was crucified John deviates as mentions two extra Passovers (John 2:13, 2:23 and 6:4).
3. When was Jesus' trial? Was it at night or in the morning?
Both Matthew and Mark agree that Jesus was arrested and put on trial before the Jewish council at night (Matthew 26:31-57 and Mark 14:30-53. John asserts the same in John 18:28. Luke on the other hand departs from them and says that the trial was in the morning in Luke 22:66.
4. Who questioned Jesus? Was it the Sanhedrin or the high priest?
According to Mark 14:53-55 and Matthew 26:57-59 it was the Sanhedrin who tried Jesus in the house of the high priest, Caiaphas. Who were the Sanhedrin? The Sanhedrin was a Jewish council that dealt with religious and Jewish legal matters consisting of 71 members. How is it that 71 people fitted in Caiaphas' house 2000 years ago is a mystery to me. Perhaps he lived in a palatial palace? Luke 22:66 says, "At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them." One can understand from this that Luke may very well be referring to the Sanhedrin as Matthew and Mark does. But John departing from the synoptics claims that Jesus was first brought to the house of Annas, "Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year."(John 18:12-13) Only after he had been interrogated by Annas that he was then taken to Caiaphas(John 18:24). There are mutiple problems with these narratives. Firstly, the Sanhedrin is totally missing in John's account even though he says earlier in John 11:47-53 that Caiaphas led the Sanhedrin in planning to kill Jesus. If John saw it fit to mention the Sanhedrin's plan to kill him why not mention it also when Jesus was interrogated? The question then is was Jesus ever tried by the Sanhedrin as claimed by the synoptics? Who's telling the truth? The second problem that we find is that two high priests(kohen gadol) are mentioned together namely, Annas and Caiaphas. Annas is addressed as the high priest repeatedly in John 18:15-22 amd in the same passage in verse 24 Caiaphas is described as the high priest. This cannot be true because the Old Testament , Josephus, Philo and Rabbinic material all agree that the position of high priest can be occupied by one person only at any one time. Further more, the eminent authority in Jewish studies, Geza Vermes says that John's claim in John 11:49,51 and John 18:13 that the high priesthood went through annual rotations is unhistorical.
5. Who sentenced Jesus to capital punishment?
Matthew 26:66, Mark 14:64, Luke 24:20 and Acts 13:27 says that the Sanhedrin passed the death penalty on Jesus implying that they have the capacity to sentence someone to die. John departs from that and makes it clear that the Sanhedrin and the Jews in general have no legal power at all to put someone to death, "Pilate said to them, "Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.' The Jews said to him, ?It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.'"(John 18:31) Looking at that verse carefully another problem arises. How is it that Pilate the Roman prefect who had been ruling the Jews for around four years and responsible for legal affairs did not even know that the Jews are not permitted to sentence anyone to death?
6. How many people tried Jesus?
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all agree that Jesus was brought before Pilate to be sentenced, but Luke deviating from the other three gospels adds something extra in that Jesus was also tried by Herod in Luke 23:6-12). In this episode Jesus gets mocked and ridiculed by Herod. Why is this event completely omitted in all the other three gospels? Could it be that it did not happen and was simply Luke's invention to add more drama to the narrative?
7. How did Judas the traitor die?
This is quite relevant to the passion narratives because it happened during the same time and that he is charged with the responsibility of deserting and betraying Jesus to the Jewish leaders for some money(Mark 14:43-46, Matthew 26:47-50, Luke 22:47-54 and John 18:2-12). According to Matthew the following is what happened to Judas Iscariot,
"Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
"Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of israel did value; And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. " (Matthew 27:3-10)
The passage cites a prophecy that is attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. No such prophecy exists in Jeremiah. Christian apologists have tried to reconcile the problem by mixing together Jeremiah 18:2-3 and Zechariah 11:12-13. This is utterly disingenuous because anyone can see that the author cited Jeremiah, not Jeremiah and Zechariah. Prof. Raymond E. Brown in his volume 1 or his 2 volume work on the crucifixion says about this confusion, "That conglomeration of words cited by Matt exists nowhere in the standard OT."  In the passage Judas' manner of death is mentioned, that is, he hanged himself. Acts 1:18-20 relates the same incident, but the details differ heavily,
"(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) "For," said Peter, "it is written in the book of Psalms," ?May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,'[d] and, " ?May another take his place of leadership." (Acts 1:18-20)
As we can see the above passage presents a totally different picture of Judas' death. Whilst Matthew says he hanged himself, Acts on the other hand says he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. If the latter is true why did Matthew not include it? Isn't such a dramatic and gruesome death of a traitor to one's Lord and Master worth mentioning? We can also see that a totally different prophecy is cited for the incident if it ever happened. One would think that the same prophecy would be applied for the same incident like the incident of Jesus going into Jerusalem on a donkey whereby the same prophecy from Zechariah 9:9 is quoted. This means that the two authors are retelling different stories. The only similitude is the person involved.
8. False promise by Jesus?
In Luke 23:43 we have Jesus making a promise to his fellow crucified victim,
"Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.""
This was during the crucifixion. According to the Creed of the Apostles which may well have been based on 1 Peter 3:18-20 Jesus went down to hell after the crucifixion, "Jesus who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, buried and descended into hell." (Apostles' Creed) Further more, in John 20:17 Jesus says, "Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ?I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' " Where is the father? The Father is in heaven according to Matthew 6:9-13 and Matthew 23:9. What was the promise again? The promise was that he would see Jesus in heaven today i.e. on Friday. Apostles' Creed says Jesus went to hell after he died and John 20:17 says Jesus did not yet ascend to the Father(in heaven) on Sunday. It is clearly a contradiction.
9. Who and where were the women at the crucifixion?
Matthew 27:56 claims that Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James, Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee were watching at the scene. Mark 15:40 claims that Mary Magdelene, Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses and Salome were watching. Luke 23:49 says, "And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things." If Luke is correct then all the witnesses including the women were standing at a distance watching the incident. John goes against the rest and claims that Jesus' mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdelene were standing close to the cross. It was so clase that Jesus was able to speak to mother. (John 19:25-26) Did you also notice that the women were all MARYS? Were there no other name among Jewish women other than Mary? How very coincidental that all the women mentioned are Marys. Is it easier to say it's a coincidence or that they are inventions of the authors?
10. Who did Jesus appear to?
According to Paul, Jesus appeared to the 12:
"that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. " (1 Corinthians 15:4-8)
From the Gospels we know that there were no 12 disciples soon after the crucifixion because Judas had gone. Some apologists might suggest that the 12 is merely an "appellation" and di not designate the actual number of disciples who were around. This is inconsistent with the fact that the Gospels treat the disciples as 11 when Judas was no longer around. Had it been an appellation i.e. a special designation for the disciples despite their actual number the gospel authors would have retained the 12, but they did not. There were 11 left so they were called the eleven and not the twelve (e.g. Mark 16:14).
Luke 24:33- 43 tells us that Jesus appeared to the 11 and ate honeycomb and broiled fish in their midst in the upper room. However, John 20:24 tells us that Thomas was not around when Jesus appeared i.e. as related in Luke 24:33-43. That means that the number of disciples that were present should have been TEN at the most and not eleven as Luke 24:33 claims! Paul says 12, Luke says 11 and John asserts 10. Which one is true? Scholars like Dr. William Lane Craig have tried to reconcile this conundrum by proposing a sequence of events where Jesus is suggested to have first appeared in Jerusalem then the disciples went back to Galilee and after that they return to Jerusalem for Pentecost. Is this harmonising attempt coherent? One of the most eminent Bible scholars and praised as such by Dr. William Lane Craig, Prof. Raymond E. Brown disagrees. Such a sequential harmonising according to Prof. Raymond E. Brown, "does violence to the Gospel evidence".  Raymond E. Brown in the same book postulates that the several appearances recorded in the gospels are actually fictitious inventions stemming from one single appearance.
11. Jesus' trial could not have taken place at night and concluded in the same night.
The Mishnah says about capital punishment,
"Civil suits are tried by day, and concluded at night. But capital charges must be tried by day and concluded by day. Civil suits can be concluded on the same day, whether for acquittal or condemnation; capital charges may be concluded on the same day with a favourable verdict; but only on the morrow with an unfavourable verdict. Therefore trials are not held on the eve of a sabbath or festival. In civil suits, and in cases of cleanness and uncleanness, we begin with [the opinion of] the most eminent [of the judges]; whereas in capital charges, we commence with [the opinion of] those on the side [benches]. (Sanh. 32a)
Matthew 26:31-57, Mark 14:30-53 and John 18:28 claim that Jesus' trial took place at night. According to the Jewish law as we have read above this cannot be true unless the Jewish leaders and the high priest were altogether ignorant or perhaps they were involved in an evil conspiracy where they bent their own law? If that is true why isn't the error of their actions exposed and rebuked in the gospels? Why did Jesus not himself question the manner in which he was tried being himself a learned Jewish teacher? As Prof. Craig A. Evans tells us in his Context, Family and Formation in the Cambridge Companion to the Bible p. 19, "Jesus is frequently called ?Rabbi' or ?Rabboni', or its Greek equivalents ?master' (epistata) or ?teacher' (didaskalos)." So, Jesus was no doubt a Rabbi(Mark 12:29). Being a Rabbi and learned in the Jewish law he would have questioned the Jewish leaders concerning the unconstsitutional nocturnal trial. But, no such disagreement is found either from Jesus or from anyone else in the entire New Testament. Earlier we argued against the location of Jesus trial which took place at the house of the high priest. This is very unusual in Jewish tradition since the place of assembly was the hall of cut stone located within the temple as Geza Vermes notes in his The Passion and Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz mentions their The Historical Jesus.
There are many more discrepencies, contradictions and difficulties in the Gospels concerning the crucifixion and other things besides. However, the inconsistencies that we have contended are sufficient in proving our point. The anonymous gospels are far from consistent in their narratives. If we can't establish which incident actually happened how can we be certain that any of them happened at all? In order to have a reasonable commentary on the events one should be able to know what truly happened first. The inconsistencies give proof to the Qur'anic declaration concerning the crucifixion that, ".those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no certain knowledge, but they only follow conjecture." (Qur'an 4:157)
Christian apologists tend to argue that the crucifixion is true based on the multitude of independent multiple attestations. This brings us to our second contention.