A reimagining of the identity of Jesus Christ.
This debut book’s main argument takes a meandering journey, but some of its main points can be summarized as follows: first and foremost, Yusuf asserts that Jesus was not divine; specifically, he challenges the idea of a Trinitarian God and argues that Jesus never referred to God as his “biological father,” nor did he say he came to be crucified or resurrected. Although the author agrees with the Gospels that Jesus was conceived miraculously and that he conducted miracles throughout his life, this doesn’t prove divinity, he says. He also hints that Jesus prophesied about the coming of the Muslim prophet Muhammad when he said that the Father would send a “comforter” in John 14:16. He asserts that Jesus wasn’t crucified on a cross; instead, he argues that Judas Iscariot’s face was miraculously changed so that he looked like Jesus, causing him to be crucified in Jesus’ place. Finally, Yusuf notes that Jesus came to minister to “the lost sheep of Israel,” which he interprets as the lost tribes of the Northern Kingdom, which have been lost to history; he therefore believes that Jesus left Palestine and traveled throughout Asia. In this thoughtful but difficult work, Yusuf provides a uniquely Islamic view of Jesus as a person. His conclusions will likely be difficult for Christian readers to accept, but they’ll also challenge Muslim readers, as well. The author shows a high regard for Jesus’ teachings and appears to see him as a distinctly holy figure. However, his attempt to meld the New Testament and Quranic representations of Jesus are often confusing. His work is made especially difficult to follow by numerous errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Overall, this book would have benefited from a more thorough edit, and endnotes would also have been helpful.
A challenging, unconventional mix of Christian teachings and Muslim interpretation.