Like my books The Mystery of the Messiah (2009) and The Mystery of the Crucifixion (2008), this book is derived from parts of my comprehensive book The Mystery of the Historical Jesus: The Messiah in the Qur’an, the Bible, and Historical Sources (2007). The latter is a broad study of Jesus’ life and teachings, whereas the derivative works each focuses on and studies in more detail a specific aspect of the history of Jesus.
This book is based mainly on two chapters — “The Divine Son of God That Jesus Never Was” and “The Human Jesus” — from my book on the historical Jesus, as well as some material from my other writings. I have also expanded the study significantly with new material. Furthermore, I have changed the structure of the borrowed content for a better presentation, which was also necessary to incorporate the new material.
Like my other writings, this book tries to bring the Qur’an to the study of the historical Jesus which Western scholarship has mainly restricted to the Old and New Testaments, along with historical writings. My other, related goal is to get Islamic scholarship to show more interest in historical sources and to also look at the Old and New Testaments and other Jewish and Christian sources from a historical perspective.
This book focuses on contrasting the human Jesus of the Qur’an with the divine Jesus of Christian sources. Admittedly, this subject has been examined by Christian, Muslim, and other scholars considerably more than other topics of the historical Jesus. However, one new contribution to the literature that my book makes is to show that the human Jesus as presented in the Qur’an is the one that fits in history. The concept of a divine Jesus can only be an invention from the post-Jesus era.
This book, as is the case with all of my other works, has been significantly improved by the insightful comments and feedback of my dear wife Shetha Al-Dargazelli. Without Shetha’s support, it would have been very difficult for me to write my books.
The book has also benefited from the careful reading and comments of my ever helpful friend Tariq Chaudhry.