𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐈𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬? 𝐀𝐬𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐎𝐟 𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐬
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
Contradictions are present until the very end of the descriptions because neither John nor Matthew refer to Jesus’s Ascension. Mark and Luke are the only one to speak of it.
For Mark (16, 19), Jesus was ‘taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God’ without any precise date being given in relation to His Resurrection. It must however be noted that the final passage of Mark containing this sentence is, for Father Roguet, an ‘invented’ text, although for the Church it is canonic!
There remains Luke, the only evangelist to provide an undisputed text of the Ascension episode (24, 51): ‘he parted from them and was carried up into heaven’. The evangelist places the event at the end of the description of the Resurrection and appearance to the eleven Apostles: the details of the Gospel description imply that the Ascension took place on the day of the Resurrection.
In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke (whom everybody believes to be their author) describes in chapter 1, 3 Jesus’s appearance to the Apostles, between the Passion and the Ascension, in the following terms:
“To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.”
The placing of the Christian festival of the Ascension at forty days after Easter, the Festival of the Resurrection, originates from this passage in the Acts of the Apostles. The date is therefore set in contradiction to Luke’s Gospel: none of the other Gospel texts say anything to justify this in a different way.
The Christian who is aware of this situation is highly disconcerted by the obviousness of the contradiction. The Ecumenical Translation of the Bible, New Testament, acknowledges the facts but does not expand on the contradiction. It limits itself to noting the relevance the forty days may have had to Jesus’s mission.
Commentators wishing to explain everything and reconcile the irreconciliable provide some strange interpretations on this subject.
The Synopsis of the Four Gospels edited in 1972 by the Bibli cal School of Jerusalem (vol. 2, page 451) contains, for example, some very strange commentaries.
The very word , Ascension’ is criticized as follows: “In fact there was no ascension in the actual physical sense because God is no more ‘on high’ than he is ‘below’ ” (sic). It is difficult to grasp the sense of this comment because one wonders how Luke could otherwise have expressed himself.
Elsewhere, the author of this commentary sees a ‘literary artifice’ in the fact that “in the Acts, the Ascension is said to have taken place forty days after the resurrection”. this ‘artifice’ is “intended to stress the notion that the period of Jesus’s appearances on earth is at an end”. He adds however, in relation to the fact that in Luke’s Gospel, “the event is situated during the evening of Easter Sunday, because the evangelist does not put any breaks between the various episodes recorded following the discovery of the empty tomb on the morning of the resurrection…”-“. . . surely this is also a literary artifice, intended to allow a certain lapse of time before the appearance of Jesus raised from the dead.” (sic)
The feeling of embarrassment that surrounds these interpretations is even more obvious in Father Roguet’s book. He discerns not one, but two Ascensions!
“Whereas from Jesus’s point of view the Ascension coincides with the Resurrection, from the disciples’ point of view it does not take place until Jesus ceases definitely to present Himself to them, so that the Spirit may be given to them and the period of the Church may begin.”
To those readers who are not quite able to grasp the theological subtlety of his argument (which has absolutely no Scriptural basis whatsoever), the author issues the following general warning, which is a model of apologetical verbiage:
“Here, as in many similar cases, the problem only appears insuperable if one takes Biblical statements literally, and forgets their religious significance. It is not a matter of breaking down the factual reality into a symbolism which is inconsistent, but rather of looking for the theological intentions of those revealing these mysteries to us by providing us with facts we can apprehend with our senses and signs appropriate to our incarnate spirit.”
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐀𝐬𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐭 𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐒𝐚𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐀𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐇𝐞𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐒𝐮𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞𝐭 𝐌𝐮𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞 𝐮𝐩𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦?
If we use the Christian logic that the ascension of Prophet Jesus son of Mary would make him God or son of God, then the others who ascended to heavens would they become Gods or son of God as well?
As above-mentioned the bible itself claims that many ascended to heavens alive as well.
Such a faulty way of thinking is what has led Christians to such false belief that Jesus is God/son of God because he ascended to heavens alive.
Building up on the above, using death, life or ascension does not mean that Prophet Jesus son of Mary is God or son of God or superior to Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him.
In fact, the Bible itself in John 3:13 confirms that ascension or descension does not mean the any human who ascended, descended, or will ascend or descend is God or son of God or better than any future Prophet:
“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man”
In Fact, Islamically speaking Prophet Muhammed peace be upon him is better not only than Prophet Jesus son of Mary but also better than all the Prophets and messengers of Allah Exalted he and contradictions in the ascension account of the Bible. (See links at the end of this article addressing that topic).
However, Islamically speaking, the Glorious Quran confirms that Prophet Jesus son of Mary was not killed or crucified but Allah exalted He saved he by lifting him up and raising Prophet Jesus son of Mary to heavens, where he is awaiting the second return. So, the ascension of Prophet Jesus son of Mary to heavens is an Islamic fundamental creed, as demonstrated in Quran (4:157-158) as demonstrated below.
Allah Exalted He sayys in The Glorious Quran:
“and for boasting, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of Allah.” But they neither killed nor crucified him—it was only made to appear so.1 Even those who argue for this ˹crucifixion˺ are in doubt. They have no knowledge whatsoever—only making assumptions. They certainly did not kill him.
Rather, Allah raised him up to Himself. And Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” Quran (4:157-158)
𝐀𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 (“𝐢𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐞, 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫”)
𝐃𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐊𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞?
𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐨-𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐔𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐇𝐞 𝐚𝐭𝐞, 𝐰𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐭, 𝐇𝐢𝐬 𝐬𝐨-𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐰𝐨 𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐩𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞- 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐏𝐎𝐋𝐘𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐂 𝐛𝐢𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐫𝐮𝐞 𝐎𝐧𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐝 = 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐡
When Christians are questioned about whether there are differences between the father, son, and the holy spirit they rush to say that all of them share the same divine nature and they are inseparable as they are One God, and that Jesus has the two divine and human inseparable natures
However, when we Muslims point to them that fact, that Prophet Jesus on of Mary was created, ate food, went to the toilet, the very same Christians, again rush to try to make endless justifications that Jesus son of May human nature is what make him do that and he is not divine at those situations.
Which one is it, does Jesus Christ purported two natures are inseparable or are they separable based on Christian’s mode and best interest?
Christians repeatedly indicate that Prophet Jesus’ son of Mary is sinless and alive in heavens, therefore he must be God and son of God and Both are the same right?
If being sinless and alive in heavens are the determining factors in being God. Then according to such faulty Christin logic, many other sinless Prophets e.g., Enoch and Elijah who were ascended to heavens and alive up there see Genesis 5:24 NASB, Hebrews 11:5, 2 Kings 2:11-12, NKJV, they must be Gods as well as angels who are sinless and alive in heavens.
Obviously, such ideas are ridiculous, and it does not mean that when God elevates sinless Prophets alive to heavens that those Prophets are Gods or son of Gods. Only Allah is only true deity worthy of worship.
It is worth mentioning in the same breath that the same Bible has contradictory statement in John 3:13 says no one has ascended to heaven. Which one is correct?
As for Jesus’s being taken up, He was raised to heavens alive safe and sound with his body and soul, and any Muslim who deny that Islamic fact, is not a Muslim as he/she would be denying some parts of the Glorious Holy Quran.
And as for the nature of the life he is now leading, scholars hold different views in this regard, as this is not decisively established in the Quran.
It is very difficult to discuss a question when the one asking it has already assumed certain things to be the case. Also, talk of one prophet being superior to another is not helpful for a real interfaith dialogue to take place.
However, we will try to answer as best we can, we have repeated time and time again that Muslims respect all former prophets and messengers of Allah Exalted He.
Former prophets, like Jesus, Moses, and Abraham (peace be upon them all), were given a message by Almighty Allah, but His final message, according to Islam, was given to Muhammed (peace be upon him) who was the Seal of the Prophets.
Similarly, all previous messages were an important revelation by Allah at their time in history, but the Noble Quran is Allah’s final revelation to humankind
Source: The Science Faith
Are there any contradictions between: we have chosen some of those messengers above others from the noble quranic verse quran (2:253) and we make no distinction between any of his messengers. In this noble quranic verse- quran (2:285)And why Muslims Claim Prophet Muhammed Best of all Prophets and Messengers of Allah