This is a continuation of a multi-post article. You can read the first post here. You can also find the previous post here. This is also part of a larger series called "The Koran from a Christian perspective." You can find other posts in this series here.While Muhammad admits to Jesus being a prophet, there are many claims about Jesus that he flatly denies.
"They are unbelievers [infidels] who say, 'God is the Third of Three. No god is there but One God. If they refrain not from what they say, there shall afflict those of them that disbelieve[are Infidels] a painful [grievous] chastisement." (Koran 5:77)Muhammad denies that God, being one, exists in the plurality of three persons and he explicitly denies that Jesus is one of those three persons who make up one God. Muhammad could not reconcile three in one without coming up with three in three. If there were three persons who made up God, then in Muhammad's mind, there must be three gods; something he could never accept. I have had some Muslims say that they were willing to accept the Holy Spirit as being God, making a kind of binary god, since the Holy Spirit was not born, but it seems clear from Muhammad's writings that he we be woe to accept even that. If Jesus was not God then how could the Spirit that proceeded from Him also be God?
"People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger [an apostle] of God, and His Word that He committed [conveyed] to Mary, and a Spirit from Him [proceeding from himself]. So believe in God and His Messengers [apostles], and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him – [far be it] That He should have a son!" (Koran 4:168)Here Muhammad, while acknowledging the spirit that proceeded from Jesus, denies that that spirit is God and reaffirms that God is one, not two, and certainly not three.
Muhammad also denies that Jesus was the Messiah.
"They are unbelievers [infidels] who say, 'God is the Messiah, Mary's son.' Say: 'Who then shall overrule God in any way [could ought obtain from God] if He desires to destroy the Messiah, Mary's son, and his mother, and all those who are on earth?'" (Koran 5:19)It is interesting that, in describing a messiah, Muhammad sees him not as an agent of God but as one who interviews with God to assuage His condemnation and judgment. To Muhammad, the messiah is not one who comes from God to save and reconcile mankind back to God, but one who comes from among men and tries to pacify God in His anger against mankind, thus freeing them from their guilt and their pending condemnation and judgment. In Muhammad's mind, how could there be a messiah who can change God's mind or turn back His judgment once God had determined to Judge? If a messiah did come, it wasn't because God decided to try and rescue people from sins and judgment, but a mere human effort to subvert the determined mind and will of God. However, to the woman at the well, Jesus clearly acknowledged that He was the Messiah who was to come. "The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.' Jesus said to her, 'I who speak to you am He.'" (John 4:25-26) Furthermore, Jesus clearly said that He came not of His own but was sent, not only by God, but from God, to do the will of the Father. Jesus spoke that He was the true bread that came down from heaven and was sent by God to do His will and give life to many. "It is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world...I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:32-35) Our response to Muhammad regarding the messiah aught to be, 'If there is to be a messiah, who else should he be but God?'
Finally, Muhammad denies that Jesus was crucified and suffered a painful death.
"and for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, 'We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger [an Apostle] of God' -- yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him; they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they slew him not of a certainty -- no indeed; God raised him up to Him; God is All-mighty, All-wise." (Koran 4:154-155)Here, Muhammad and the Koran are completely overthrown by the weight of history both sacred and secular. It's interesting that Muhammad acknowledges the resurrection of Jesus but denies His death, or at least His death on a cross. However, contemporary history from Jesus' own time is overwhelming in its support for the historical crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Josephus, a Jewish historian around the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, reports, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVIII, Chapter 3) Muhammad's assertion that Jesus did not die, or at least He was not crucified, is historically incorrect and wrong. Worse, he claims he got this information directly from God which make God wrong! Furthermore, he wrote this in his Koran which he claims is word-for-word correct and inerrant which makes the Koran wrong. How many inaccuracies can one accept from one man and one book before we declare him not to be a prophet and his book to be less than divine?