A comparison of the Islamic and Christian views of Jesus

The Hagia Sophia: A Byzantine church later converted into a mosque.

The person of Jesus or Isa in Arabic (peace be upon him) is of great significance in both Islam and Christianity. However, there are differences in terms of beliefs about the nature and life occurrences of this noble Messenger.

Source of information about Jesus in Islam

Most of the Islamic information about Jesus is actually found in the Quran.

The Quran was revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and memorized and written down in his lifetime. Today, anyone who calls him or herself a Muslim believes in the complete authenticity of the Quran as the original revealed guidance from God.

Source of information about Jesus in Christianity

Christians take their information about Jesus from the Bible, which includes the Old and New Testaments.

These contain four biblical narratives covering the life and death of Jesus. They have been written, according to tradition, respectively by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are placed at the beginning of the New Testament and comprise close to half of it.

Encyclopedia Britannica notes that none of the sources of his life and work can be traced to Jesus himself; he did not leave a single known written word. Also, there are no contemporary accounts written of his life and death. What can be established about the historical Jesus depends almost without exception on Christian traditions, especially on the material used in the composition of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke, which reflect the outlook of the later church and its faith in Jesus.

Below are the views of Islam and Christianity based on primary source texts and core beliefs.


1. Do Muslims believe he was a Messenger of One God? YES

Belief in all of the Prophets and Messengers of God is a fundamental article of faith in Islam. Thus, believing in Prophets Adam, Jesus, Moses, and Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon them) is a requirement for anyone who calls him or herself a Muslim. A person claiming to be a Muslim who, for instance, denies the Messengership of Jesus, is not considered a Muslim.

The Quran says in reference to the status of Jesus as a Messenger:

"The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a Messenger before whom many Messengers have passed away; and his mother adhered wholly to truthfulness, and they both ate food (as other mortals do). See how We make Our signs clear to them; and see where they are turning away!" (Quran 5:75).

2. Do Muslims believe he was born of a Virgin Mother? YES

Like Christians, Muslims believe Mary, Maria in Spanish, or Maryam as she is called in Arabic, was a chaste, virgin woman, who miraculously gave birth to Jesus.

"Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family, to a place in the East. She screened herself from them; then We sent to her Our spirit (angel Gabriel) and he appeared before her as a man in all respects. She said: I seek refuge from you in God Most Gracious (come not near) if you do fear God. He said: Nay, I am only a Messenger from your Lord, to announce to you the gift of a pure son. She said: How shall I have a son, when no man has ever touched me, and I am not unchaste? He said: So it will be, your Lord says: ‘That is easy for Me; and We wish to appoint him as a sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It was a matter so decreed" (Quran 19:16-21).

3. Do Muslims believe Jesus had a miraculous birth? YES

The Quran says:

"She (Mary) said: ‘O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me.' He (God) said: ‘So (it will be) for God creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: ‘Be!'- and it is" (3:47).

It should also be noted about his birth that:

"Verily, the likeness of Jesus in God's Sight is the likeness of Adam. He (God) created him from dust, then (He) said to him: ‘Be!'-and he was" (Quran 3:59).

4. Do Muslims believe Jesus spoke in the cradle? YES

"Then she (Mary) pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?' He (Jesus) said: ‘Verily! I am a slave of God, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet; " (19:29-30).

5. Do Muslims believe he performed miracles? YES

Muslims, like Christians believe Jesus performed miracles. But these were performed by the will and permission of God, Who has power and control over all things.

"Then will God say: ‘O Jesus the son of Mary! recount My favor to you and to your mother. Behold! I strengthened you with the Holy Spirit (the angel Gabriel) so that you did speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. Behold! I taught you the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel. And behold: you make out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, by My leave, and you breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by My leave, and you heal those born blind, and the lepers by My leave. And behold! you bring forth the dead by My leave. And behold! I did restrain the children of Israel from (violence to you) when you did show them the Clear Signs, and the unbelievers among them said: ‘This is nothing but evident magic' (5:110).

6. Do Muslims believe in the Trinity? NO

Muslims believe in the Absolute Oneness of God, Who is a Supreme Being free of human limitations, needs and wants. He has no partners in His Divinity. He is the Creator of everything and is completely separate from His creation.

God says in the Quran regarding the Trinity:

"People of the Book (Jews and Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, and attribute to God nothing except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His command that He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and in His Messengers, and do not say: ‘God is a Trinity.' Give up this assertion; it would be better for you. God is indeed just One God. Far be it from His glory that He should have a son. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth. God is sufficient for a guardian" (Quran 4:171).

7. Do Muslims believe that Jesus was the son of God? NO

"Say: "God is Unique! God, the Source [of everything]. He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered, and there is nothing comparable to Him!" (Quran 112:1-4).

The Quran also states:

"Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be' and it is" (Quran 19:34-35).

8. Do Muslims believe Jesus was killed on the cross then resurrected? NO

"“They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.” (Quran 4:156) “God lifted him up to His presence. God is Almighty, All-Wise” (Quran 4:157) .


1. Do Christians believe Jesus was a human being and Messenger of God? YES & NO

With the exception of Unitarian Christians, who like all the early followers of Jesus, still do not believe in the Trinity, most Christians now believe in the Divinity of Jesus, which is connected to the belief in Trinity. They say he is the second member of the Triune God, the Son of the first part of the Triune God, and at the same time "fully" God in every respect. 

2. Do Christians believe he was born of a Virgin Mother? YES

A chaste and pious human woman who gave birth to Jesus Christ, the second member of the Trinity, the Son of God, and at the same time "fully" God Almighty in every respect.

Christians believe however, that while she was a virgin, she was married to a man named Joseph (Bible: Matthew:1:18). According to Matthew 1:25, Joseph "kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus".

3. Do Christians believe he had a miraculous birth? YES

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit" (Bible: Matthew 1:18)

4. Do Christians believe he performed miracles? YES

"And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to thy servants to speak thy word with all boldness, while thou stretches out thy hand to heal, and sign and wonders are performed through the name of thy holy servant Jesus (Bible: Acts 4:30).

Christians believe that Jesus performed these miracles because he was the Son of God as well as the incarnation of God. 

5. Do Christians believe in the Trinity? YES

With the exception of the Unitarian Christians, who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ, the Trinity, according to the Catholic encyclopedia, is the term used for the central doctrine of the Christian religion. The belief is that in the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three Persons or beings are distinct from each another, while being similar in character: uncreated and omnipotent.

The First Vatican Council has explained the meaning to be attributed to the term mystery in theology. It lays down that a mystery is a truth which we are not merely incapable of discovering apart from Divine Revelation, but which, even when revealed, remains "hidden by the veil of faith and enveloped, so to speak, by a kind of darkness" (Const., "De fide. cath.", iv). The First Vatican Council further defined that the Christian Faith contains mysteries strictly so called (can. 4). All theologians admit that the doctrine of the Trinity is of the number of these. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that of all revealed truths, this is the most impenetrable to reason.

6. Do Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God? YES

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (Bible: John 3:16).

However, it is interesting to note that the term "son of God" is used in other parts of the Bible to refer to Adam (Bible: Luke 3:38), Israel (Bible: Exodus 4:22) and David (Bible: Psalms 2:7) as well. The creatures of God are usually referred to in the Bible as children of God.

The role of Paul of Tarsus in shaping this belief and the belief in Trinity

The notion of Jesus as son of God is something that was established under the influence of Paul of Tarsus (originally named Saul), who had been an enemy of Jesus, but later changed course and joined the disciples after the departure of Jesus.

Later, however, he initiated a number of changes into early Christian teachings, in contradiction, for instance, to disciples like Barnabas, who believed in the Oneness of God and who had actually lived and met with Jesus.

Paul is considered by a number of Christian scholars to be the father of Christianity due to his additions of the following ideas:

  • that Jesus is the son of God,
  • the concept of Atonement,
  • the renunciation of the Law of the Torah.

Paul did these things in hopes of winning over the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). His letters are another of the primary sources of information on Jesus according to the Christian tradition.

The original followers of Prophet Jesus opposed these blatant misrepresentations of the message of Jesus. They struggled to reject the notion of the Divinity of Jesus for close to 200 years.

One person who was an original follower of Jesus was Barnabas. He was a Jew born in Cyrus and a successful preacher of the teachings of Jesus. Because of his closeness to Jesus, he was an important member of the small group of disciples in Jerusalem who had had gathered together following the disappearance of Jesus.

The question of Jesus's nature, origin and relationship with God was not raised amongst Barnabas and the small group of disciples. Jesus was considered a man miraculously endowed by God. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view.

The Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as a Canonical Gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 CE Iranaeus (130-200) wrote in support of pure monotheism and opposed Paul for injecting into Christianity doctrines of the pagan Roman religion and Platonic philosophy. He quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas in support of his views. This indicates that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity. 

In 325 (CE), a council of Christian leaders met at Nicaea and made Paul's beliefs officially part of Christian doctrine. It also ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script which contradicted Paul's beliefs should be destroyed. An edict was issued that anyone in possession of these Gospels would be put to death.

The Gospel of Barnabas has miraculously survived though.

7. Do Christians believe he was killed on the cross? YES

This is a core Christian belief and it relates to the concept of atonement. According to this belief, Jesus died to save mankind from sin. However, this is not stated explicitly in the four gospels which form the primary source texts of Christianity. It is found, however, in Romans 6:8,9.

Christians believe Jesus was spat on, cut, humiliated, kicked, striped and finally hung up on the cross to endure a slow and painful death.

According, to Christian belief, the original sin of Adam and Eve of eating from the forbidden tree was so great that God could not forgive it by simply willing it, rather it was necessary to erase it with the blood of a sinless, innocent Jesus.


The four Gospels and the Epistles of St. Paul are the main sources of Christianity which discuss the Resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion. According to St. Matthew, Jesus appeared to the holy women, and again on a mountain in Galilee. Mark's Gospel tells a different story: Jesus was seen by Mary Magdalene, by the two disciples at Emmaus, and the Eleven before his Ascension into heaven.

Luke's Gospel says Jesus walked with the disciples to Emmaus, appeared to Peter and to the assembled disciples in Jerusalem. In John's Gospel, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, to the ten Apostles on Easter Sunday, to the Eleven a week later, and to seven disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.

Another account of the resurrection by St. Paul is found in Bible: Corinthians 15: 3-8.

According to Christian belief, Resurrection is a manifestation of God's justice, Who exalted Christ to a life of glory, as Christ had humbled himself unto death (Phil., 2: 8-9). This event also completes the mystery of Christian salvation and redemption. The death of Jesus frees believers from sin, and with his resurrection, he restores to them the most important privileges lost by sin (Bible: Romans 4:25).

More importantly, the belief in the resurrection of Jesus indicates Christian acknowledgment of Christ as the immortal God, the cause of believers' own resurrection (Bible: I Corinthians 4: 21; Phil., 3:20-21), as well as the model and the support of a new life of grace (Bible: Romans 4: 4-6; 9-11).


Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hagia_Sophia_weekend.jpg


Then why do you do things in the name of jesus? Eg when praying, when trying to visit the sick , when confronted with any difficulties



It does not befit the majesty of God to become a Man. God by his Nature is Perfect Whereas man is Imperfect.
God is so merciful that He forgives our sins if we make sincere repentance. He created us weak and fully expects us to make mistakes.

God loves us even more when we call on Him for forgiveness because this is an act of worship that glorifies Him.

God became a man to die on the Cross effectively committing suicide.

He had to do this because, like a debt collector, sins can’t just be forgiven, they have to be settled.

These are sins that he knew we would commit before he even created us,
Because human beings by our very nature are fallible.
I am sure You are not a person who follows opinions of others without doing your own research,”

O seeker of truth, if you really seek the truth put aside all preconceived notions, and open your heart….do not let others judge or make a decision for you.

And do not follow (blindly) any information of which you have no (direct) knowledge.(Using your faculties of perception and conception, you must verify it for yourself. (In the Court of your Lord,) you will be held accountable for your hearing, sight, and the faculty of reasoning. " (Quran17:36)

Pray to Allah,Elohim,God,Dieu,Dius,Buh,Gott etc. by whatever name you know Him.
Pray to your Creator, the Creator of the Universe and everything in it and in-between with sincerity ask Him to Guide You In Your Heart and in Your Mind to The Religion Of Truth and to make you pleased with it and you will find if you are sincere
He will answer your Prayer and you will find the religion of truth enters your heart.

So don’t trust me—trust Our Creator. Read the Quran, read books and study good websites. But whatever you do, get started, take it seriously, and Pray For Our Creator To Guide You.
Your Life May Not Depend On It, But Your Soul Most Definitely Does.

Read The Last & Final Testament Of God The Quran On Line With An Open Mind

Read about Jesus(Peace be upon him) Quran Chapter 3:33-84 Chapter 5:72-78 and Chapter 19 Surah Maryam


Read on line Books( Islam, Muhammad, Jesus, Mary etc.)

Which Religion Makes More Sense?
One Life, One Chance – Chose The Right Path!


london uk

Great comparison- I was really interested in your perspective. I was just casually reading on the net and found this.
Well, as stated in your summary of your ideologies on interfaith differences, you believe there are dramatic differences in what each religion's believers consider to be the object of their own faith- in this case, whom is holier, and who is most holy. There are intricate defining features of faith in Christianity, but of my own experience, I can summarize how your conclusions may be violently flawed. Your perception , in what it seems, is based on your own personal evaluation of surface exposure to spirituality.
For example, though Christians may claim to be Christian, they may not be. There are branches of "Christianity" which believe and practice daily the exclusion of Christ's direct teachings, including the baptism, etc. What these branches do NOT know is that the Catholic Church and it's members, which , unlike them, are not brought together by a potluck dinner, is the head of real Christianity. Catholicism is real Christianity- it is logical, rational, enlightening, it's goals are peace, holiness, veneration of the Saints, the Adoration of Christ, reverence for the mother of Christ, obedience to the Heavenly Father through a sacred baptism administered by an ordained priest. Where the Baptists and Muslims fall short, Catholicism reigns in through its Great Holy Mysteries, sealed, awaiting the light to pierce the darkness. But I guess that's more a matter of opinion.
This I can tell you, Catholics belonging to the higher order know that even Islam utters under her breath that only the Heavenly Father can redeem her. The utterances of the heart are a far better truth to serve than the words spoken by mouth. They may say they do not believe, but their mouths betray their heart's and minds. Say, if one had access to the spiritual identity of another through Christ, then one may begin to identify the defining features of one's such faith or unbelief in a deity. When does this person have faith in the Christian God, the Heavenly Father, when does he not? Most Muslims would say they never have faith that Christ is the Savior, The Lord, The Son of man, the Son of David,etc. But if all it takes to become part of the Kingdom of God is a baptism, then their reason and theology fails. Instantaneously, faith is administered to the baptised so that they may receive blessings, instruction, knowledge, weakness, bumblebees. The intricacies of the faith are close to endless.
Catholics are different my friend, we have the Holy Orders, priests to help us, we believe much differently, well I do, than most. God Bless You. I looked into it- it was the Last Supper that saved us, not the blood at the cross. Can you say The Rosary? As one says the rosary within himself, he asks God to reveal the Mysteries to him.
Islam is different. God encompasses Islam, even though it is devoid of loyalty to the Heavenly Father.
And in short.(it's getting early) most of your misunderstandings about Catholicism are about technicalities. I wish I had more time to witness to you, but Mary, the mother of God IS the holy spirit, Christ is not always second in the Trinity, etc.
I have advice for you- before you draw drastic conclusions about faith, please attempt a traditional prayer to Mary- and to The Heavely Father. often, most don't find God because they forsake the traditional prayers their father taught them to pray. God Bless!!

I am a Christian who was raised Catholic. There was too much about Catholicism that I could not reconcile. Jesus Ok but with too many side dishes that didn't complement the main entree.



This article is very good. slightly tilted, slightly biased, slightly ignorant of the various schools of Christianity,.....but , a good , thought provoking article.
In Christianity,....there is only ONE God. But in Christianity, God , is ALL Powerful, he thinks it, wills it , and it is. In my school of Christianity,....God , can do ANYTHING. Jesus was the physical manifestation of God. God literally, placed His soul, His Spirit, as it exists in himself, into Jesus. The soul , spirit of Jesus, was literally, God's. (remember, God, can do ANYTHING), ......that is why the bible refers to the son as having ALWAYS existed. Gods soul, spirit has always existed, Jesus was God's soul, spirit, and hence , he always existed. Jesus was the physical manifestation, of God on earth. His heart, his soul , his spirit, was literally, Gods. That is why the bible refers to Jesus as fully man (human) and fully divine , at the same time.
All of us , I think, and Christians , I am sure, have had moments of uplifting revelation and inspiration, from God, regularly, throughout our lives. That is the spirit of God upwelling in us. The Holy Spirit is how God accomplishes things in our lives, how he communicates with us, and intervenes in our lives,....the Holy Spirit is the vehicle of intervention, how he speaks to us.
Hence the concept, perception, of Father , Son, and Holy Spirit . Christians do not "worship Jesus" in isolation,...Jesus is NOT literally God. There is only ONE God in Christianity. But, God (who can DO ANYTHING that He wills)......chose to use his Holy Spirit, to intervene with us, and Jesus, was the fleshly incarnation OF God, he was not literally God. He was God speaking His thoughts and wishes to us, in a form that we, humans, could understand (fully human) but with a message that was fully divine,...from God, as Jesus's spirit/soul was literally God's. (note, Jesus's spirit/soul, was not like God' s; it was , literally, God's.
So as Christians, we have the Father , Son , and Holy Spirit. The triune, ....but there is only ONE God, in my experience of Christianity.....the view from Islam , that Christians worship 3 gods,....is very much a misinterpretation , of Christianity. The Islamic view that Christians worship 3 Gods , is absolutely incorrect, and a misinterpretation of Christian practises. We revere Jesus, and we, have a personal relationship with God via the Holy Spirit,,,,, but Jesus spirit, and the Holy Spirit, are Gods, manifestations,...there is only ONE God.



Just a simple thing for you to ponder on, the most popular slogan of Christians (Catholics & the rest) in my country is "Jesus is Lord"...except Lord does not mean God.




I found the article informative. I'm a muslim & do not approve of insulting the belief of others. I just thought the article could have included what Muslims believe about the return of Jesus to earth. Shukran.


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The Muslim scholar Cyril Glassé states:

As regards the "Gospel of Barnabas" itself, there is no question that it is a medieval forgery. A complete Italian manuscript exists which appears to be a translation from a Spanish original (which exists in part), written to curry favor with Muslims of the time. It contains anachronisms which can date only from the Middle Ages and not before, and shows a garbled comprehension of Islamic doctrines, calling the Prophet "the Messiah", which Islam does not claim for him. Besides its farcical notion of sacred history, stylistically it is a mediocre parody of the Gospels, as the writings of Baha'Allah are of the Koran.

The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, Harper & Row, 1989, p. 64


Ok to all the Christians - if jesus (pbuh) was god then why did he not claim divinity in HIS lifetime? why does Paul, after jesus' (pbuh) death many centuries later declare him as God? if Jesus is your god and he is all knowing and all loving, why did he not tell everyone that he is indeed God?



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