Nov 082008

This is the “Preface” to the book The Mystery of the Crucifixion: The Attempt to Kill Jesus in the Qur’an, the New Testament, and Historical Sources

 In 2007 the first edition of my book The Mystery of the Historical Jesus: The Messiah in the Qur’an, the Bible, and Historical Sources was published. That comprehensive study covered all aspects of Jesus’ life and teachings. It was always my intention to use parts of that work as the basis to publish smaller, more focused books each of which covers certain aspects of the life of Jesus.This book is based mainly on the two chapters on the crucifixion in my book on the historical Jesus. Content from other chapters in that book has also been used. The study has also been expanded with new material.

Numerous books and articles have been published about the crucifixion, studying in detail the Christian narratives and any historical sources. Most of these publications completely ignore the Qur’an’s account, with a small number of works referring to it in passing and only to dismiss it.

Muslim scholars have studied the Qur’an’s story of the crucifixion, but mostly in exegetical works that focused on the Qur’anic account, with some comparative references to the Gospel accounts. Furthermore, most of these are general works that do not focus on Jesus, so they are even less focused on the crucifixion.

This book takes a new approach by considering the Qur’anic account of the crucifixion, the Christian narratives, and the early historical sources that mention this event. The book does not only discuss the serious flaws in the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion, but it also examines the Qur’anic account in the light of history. It shows how the Christian story of the crucifixion developed, and it also challenges the common alternative readings of the history of that event, which are based on some faith in the Christian sources, even if the adherents of these views are not religious themselves.

Like all of my works, this book has benefited greatly from the extensive comments of my wife Shetha Al-Dargazelli on earlier drafts and the many discussions that I have had with her about the topic of the study. Shetha’s contribution to this book, as it is to all of my books, is invaluable.

I would also like to thank my close friend Tariq Chaudhry for his many comments that helped me improve the book.


 Copyright © 2008 Louay Fatoohi
All Rights Reserved

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