Apocryphal gospels and Quran


Hi all :wave:

We’ve seen many posts regarding Jesus from Islamic point of view. It is now time to check some of these Quranic verses and trace their roots :slight_smile:

Let’s start by Jesus talking in the cradle found in the Arabic gospel Infancy:

  1. We find what follows in the book of Joseph the high priest, who lived in the time of Christ. Some say that he is Caiaphas. He has said that Jesus spoke, and, indeed, when He was lying in His cradle said to Mary His mother: I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Logos, whom thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel announced to thee; and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world.

of course Muhammad switched Jesus with the Muslim Isa who used Islamic terminologies :slight_smile:

to read the full gospel, check this link :slight_smile:


Another Quranic passage about Jesus and the clay bird is taken from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas the Israelite

  1. This child Jesus, when five years old, was playing in the ford of a mountain stream; and He collected the flowing waters into pools, and made them clear immediately, and by a word alone He made them obey Him. And having made some soft clay, He fashioned out of it twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when He did these things. And there were also many other children playing with Him. And a certain Jew, seeing what Jesus was doing, playing on the Sabbath, went off immediately, and said to his father Joseph: Behold, thy son is at the stream, and has taken clay, and made of it twelve birds, and has profaned the Sabbath. And Joseph, coming to the place and seeing, cried out to Him, saying: Wherefore doest thou on the Sabbath what it is not lawful to do? And Jesus clapped His hands, and cried out to the sparrows, and said to them: Off you go! And the sparrows flew, and went off crying. And the Jews seeing this were amazed, and went away and reported to their chief men what they had seen Jesus doing.

Another funny thing in this gospel:

  1. After that He was again passing through the village; and a boy ran up against Him, and struck His shoulder. And Jesus was angry, and said to him: Thou shalt not go back the way thou camest. And immediately he fell down dead.

to read the gospel please check:


This is where Muhammad got his info from and “islamized” them , saying they are the words of Allah :slight_smile:


Thank you inJesus,
Those 2 apocrypha are clearly latter-day inventions.

The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy of the Saviour was written around 400CE. blueletterbible.org/faq/canon.html

while the Infancy Gospel of Thomas – probably a fragment of the Gospel of Thomas was written around 140CE. blueletterbible.org/faq/canon.html

Interestingly, the Muslims themselves foolish admit that Muhammad leant the ‘clay birds’ apocrypha from some Christians he met. They even name those heretical Christians. Perhaps they were pulling Muhammad’s leg for a bit of fun.


“[Those who talked to Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, were Abu Haritha Ibn Alqama, Al-Aqib Abdul-Masih and Al-Ayham al-Said.] They were Christians according to the faith of the king with differences between them; they say: He is Allah, and say: He is Son of Allah, and say: He is the third of three * and these are the claims of Christianity. [They use as evidence for their claim that He is Allah the argument that] he used to raise the dead, cure the sick, create from clay bird-like structure then breathe into it to make it a [living] bird. All this was by the leave of Allah, the Praiseworthy the Exalted {to appoint him as a sign for men} (Maryam:21).

They also argue for saying that he is Son of Allah by saying he had no known father and spoke in infancy which is something never done by any human being. They use as evidence for their claim that He is the third of three * the argument that Allah says: We did, We commanded, We created and We judged *, and whereas if He was one, He would say: I did, I judged, I commanded and I created; but it is He, Jesus and Maryam. The Qur’an was revealed addressing all these arguments.” Abu Muhammad Abd al-Malik Ibn Hisham al-Maafiri, Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah, 1998, Volume II, Dar al-Hadith: Cairo (Egypt), pp. 181-182.

“The names of the fourteen principal men among the sixty riders were: Abdul-Masih theAqib, al-Ayham the Sayyid; Abu Haritha b. Alqama brother of B. Bakr b. Wail; Aus; al-Harith; Zayd; Qays; Yazid; Nubayh; Khuwaylid; Amr; Khalid;Abdullah; Johannes; of these the first three named above spoke to the Apostle. They were Christians according to the Byzantine rite, though they differed among themselves in some points, saying He is God; and He is the son of God; and He is the third person of the Trinity, which is the doctrine of Christianity. They argue that he is God because he used to raise the dead, and heal the sick, and declare the unseen; and make clay birds and then breathe into them so that they flew away; and all this was by the command of God Almighty, ‘We will make him a sign to men.’ They argue that he is the son of God in that they say he had no known father; and he spoke in the cradle and this is something that no child of Adam has ever done. They argue that he is the third of the three in that God says: We have done, We have commanded, We have created and We have decreed, and they say, If He were one he would have said I have done, I have created, and soon, but He is He and Jesus and Mary. Concerning all these assertions the Qur’an came down.” A. Guillaume, The Life Of Muhammad: A Translation Of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, 1998 (13th impression), Oxford University Press: Karachi (Pakistan), pp. 271-272.

Thus it is clear where Muhammad got some of his ridiculous pseudo-Christian ideas that he incorporated into the Quran as the word of Allah.***


Thank you Rodrigo! i did not know this :smiley: now it’s even clearer why Muhammad got everything regarding Christianity wrong :smiley:


Hillaire Belloc said that Islam (Mohammadism) is the only heresy that started outside the Catholic Church.

Mohammed came from paganism. What he taught was essentially Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. For example, he could not comprehend the Trinity so he chucked it out of his religion.

He was also influenced by the heresies abounding in that region in his time.


Agree Eileen T :slight_smile: Not only did he chuck it out of his book, he even misrepresented it, showing he did not even grasp it :wink:

He thought that trinity = God is the third of 3 just as some cult members told him…he thought it’s Christianity teachings and “tried” to refute it, not knowing this has nothing to do with Christianity … :wink:


Material for the Evaluation of the Sources of the Qur’an

The Origins of the Qur’an - An Enquiry into the Sources of Islam by W. Goldsack

Judaism and Islam by Abraham Geiger

Jewish Foundations of Islam by Charles Cutler Torrey

The Original Sources of the Qur’an by W. St. Clair Tisdall (Comprehensive, 287 pages, 1905)

The Sources of Islam is Tisdall’s earlier book (from 1900) on the same topic. It contains already most of the important material, but being only a third in size (about 100 pages) it is not as thoroughly documented as the later edition (it also has a few minor mistakes that have been corrected in the later edition), but this is the version that has been reprinted many times, probably because it is much quicker to read.

A Word to the Wise: Being a defence of the “Sources of Islam” in response to two Muslim reactions to his above book.

The Influence of Animism on Islam by Samuel M. Zwemer

Legends, Myths and Fables incorporated into the Qur’an

Apocryphal gospels in the Quran is a short introductory article by James Arlandson.

The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg does not directly discuss Islam, but is a valuable resource for possible sources.





The Origins of the Koran: Classic Essays on Islam’s Holy Book (Hardcover)
by Ibn Warraq (Editor)


Thanks to inJESUS for this excellent thread :wink:

The astonishing similarities between certain narratives in those Apocryphal Gospels and a few chapters in the Quran are not easy to jettison as trivial or petty! More interestingly, the Muslims believe that those stories in the Quran are direct revelation from Allah. However, the story of Jesus’ birth and His speaking in the cradle are impossible to be in the so-called lost Injil revealed to the Islamic prophet Issa :smiley: This is because the same Muslims claim that today’s Christianity was unknown to Jesus and His followers until Paul’ conversion. Despite this common and traditional Islamic assertion, Allah makes Issa speak in the cradle in the Quran to deny his divinity and highlight his prophetic mission. Here we strangely see a robot named Issa, the latest miracle of Allah’s technology, programmed to rebuke the fundamental tenets of Christianity which were said to occur after his ascension?!? If there were no claims for Jesus’ divinity at Issa’s time, why did he deem it necessary to speak and repudiate that creed? :stuck_out_tongue:

This proves that the writers of the Quran distorted **even **the apocryphal writings to replace true Jesus the Lord with a false prophet named Issa,who makes a fool of himself through his weird expressions.

Peace to all seeking the truth to embrace it


very intersting insight indeed !!



:clapping: Great post!


Continuing this discussion:


The Bible canon does not contain the episode of Mary, Jesus and the palm tree as this is included in the apocrypha. On the other hand the Quran does contain the story.

19:22 Maulana Ali Then she conceived him; and withdrew with him to a remote place.

‏19:23 Maulana Ali And the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten!

‏19:24 Maulana Ali So a voice came to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath three.

‏19:25 Maulana Ali And shake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on thee fresh ripe dates.

‏19:26 Maulana Ali So eat and drink and cool the eye. Then if thou seest any mortal, say: Surely I have vowed a fast to the Beneficent, so I will not speak to any man to-day.

This is a clear parallel of the account in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew.

“CHAP. 20.-- And it came to pass on the third day of their journey, while they were walking, that the blessed Mary was fatigued by the excessive heat of the sun in the desert; and seeing a palm tree, she said to Joseph: Let me rest a little under the shade of this tree. Joseph therefore made haste, and led her to the palm, and made her come down from her beast. And as the blessed Mary was sitting there, she looked up to the foliage of the palm, and saw it full of fruit, and said to Joseph: I wish it were possible to get some of the fruit of this palm. And Joseph said to her: I wonder that thou sayest this, when thou seest how high the palm tree is; and that thou thinkest of eating of its fruit. I am thinking more of the want of water, because the skins are now empty, and we have none wherewith to refresh ourselves and our cattle. Then the child Jesus, with a joyful countenance, reposing in the bosom of His mother, said to the palm: O tree, bend thy branches, and refresh my mother with thy fruit. And immediately at these words the palm bent its top down to the very feet of the blessed Mary; and they gathered from it fruit, with which they were all refreshed. And after they had gathered all its fruit, it remained bent down, waiting the order to rise from Him who bad commanded it to stoop. Then Jesus said to it: Raise thyself, O palm tree, and be strong, and be the companion of my trees, which are in the paradise of my Father; and open from thy roots a vein of water which has been hid in the earth, and let the waters flow, so that we may be satisfied from thee. And it rose up immediately, and at its root there began to come forth a spring of water exceedingly clear and cool and sparkling. And when they saw the spring of water, they rejoiced with great joy, and were satisfied, themselves and all their cattle and their beasts. Wherefore they gave thanks to God.”

Dating issues
The dating of this apocrypha is contentious. Most scholars date it to the fourth or fifth century, although some date it later to the eighth or ninth century. However, the balance of probability suggests that it pre-dates Islam. This is because of its reference in the ‘Decretum Gelasianum De Libris Recipiendis Et Non Recipiendis’ as ‘the book of the nativity of the saviour and of Mary or the midwife’. tertullian.org/decretum_eng.htm

{Note: Apocrypha are known by various names, particularly in translations.}

The Decretum is said to have been issued by Pope Gelasius I (492-496AD) in 494 although some scholars claim it was wrongly attributed to Gelasius I and believe it was written in the sixth century. newadvent.org/cathen/03281a.htm

Here are some evidence of the dating of the apocrypha:
58. Pseudo-Matthew, Gospel of, a late Latin infancy gospel of 8th or 9th century. Our earliest MSS are of the 11th century. When certain infancy gospels had been condemned by Popes Damasus, Innocent I, and the Gelasian Decree popular interest seems to have motivated the writing of Pseudo-Matthew. It is substantially a rewrite, with additions, omissions, changes of the Protoevangelium of James and the Gospel of Thomas. It seems also to have aimed at the veneration of Mary as Queen of Virgins. It had great influence on medieval literature and art.



When asking about sources or origins of the Nativity, we are well advised to look with one eye to the Bible (the Infancy Narrations in Luke and Matthew), and with the other eye, to the so-called apocryphal writings. Among them are four I would like to mention: the Pseudo-Gospel of James (150-2–), where the midwife and her friend are mentioned; the Arabic Infancy Gospel (500); the Book about the Infancy of the Savior (500-800); and the Pseudo-Gospel of Matthew (550-700).

Gospel of St. Matthew
This is a Latin composition of the fourth or fifth century. It pretends to have been written by St. Matthew and translated by St. Jerome. Pseudo-Matthew is in large part parallel to the “Protoevangelium Jacobi”, being based on the latter or its sources. It differs in some particulars always in the direction of the more marvellous. Some of its data have replaced in popular belief parallel ones of the older pseudograph. Such is the age of fourteen in which Mary was betrothed to Joseph. A narrative of the flight into Egypt is adorned with poetic wonders. The dragons, lions, and other wild beasts of the desert adore the infant Jesus. At His word the palm-trees bow their heads that the Holy Family may pluck their fruit. The idols of Egypt are shattered when the Divine Child enters the land. The “Gospel of the Nativity of Mary” is a recast of the Pseudo-Matthew, but reaches only to the birth of Jesus. It is extant in a Latin manuscript of the tenth century.

The Pseudo-Matthew (otherwise called Hist. Nativ. Mariae) “may belong to the fifth century.” (Cowper, p. 27; cf. Introd., p. liv.)

Jacques Hervieux writes in “The New Testament Apocrypha”, published by Hawthorn Books, page 18: “About the sixth century there appeared in Latin a certain book on the birth of the Blessed Mary and of the Savior’s infancy. An introductory letter presented this new work as a “supplement” to the Gospel of St. Matthew, translated personally by St. Jerome the great fourth century exegete.”[35] “The New Testament Apocrypha”, Hawthorn Books

8. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. The “Protoevangelium Jacobi” has its Latin counterpart in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew, entitled Liber de Ortu Beatae Mariae et Infantia Salvatoris,[15] the contents of which are much the same as that of the “Protoevangelium,” plus the subject matter of the “Gospel of Thomas.” It is a compilation of the fifth century.

The greater number of the authorities on the subject, however, seem to agree in assigning to the first four centuries of the Christian era, the following five books: 1. The Protevangelium of James; 2. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew; 4. The History of Joseph the Carpenter; 5. The Gospel of Thomas; 9. The Gospel of Nicodemus.

The parallel between the Quran and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew suggests a non-divine source for the Quran. This story, in which Jesus was still in the womb during the flight to Egypt, is clearly at odds with the canonical gospels which suggest that Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1,5-6,8,16; Luke 2:4,15; John 7:42) and the flight to Egypt occurred only after his birth at Bethlehem.

KJV Matthew 2:13-14:
And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:


Glory to God in the highest & peace to His people on earth :slight_smile:

Another interesting note related to the infancy narrative in the Quran. We all know that many Atheists delight in highlighting the so-called astonishing similarities between Jesus & Mithra’s life. Some unbelievers takes this issue further to asserting that Christianity was born of Mithraism and developed later through Paul’s zeal. Not to our surprise, most Muslims scholars and commentators enjoy referring to the alleged similarities between Mithraism & Christianity to present Christianity as a false copy of Mithraism. They like to present the two infancy narratives in the Quran as the pure and original form of the religion not containing any elements of Mithraism unlike today’s Christianity. However, they deliberately forget that Mithra was believed to be born under a tree near a river newadvent.org/cathen/10402a.htm

Read the following verses to see and be shocked how the Quran makes Jesus’ place of birth identical with that of Mithra’s:

**019: 22-24 **So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree: she cried (in her anguish) “Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!” But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): "Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee.

Now we know that the Quran is not exempt from the accusations of making associations between Mithraism and Jesus’ story :smiley:


Peace to all :slight_smile:

That’s me again :stuck_out_tongue: I am back to attract your attention to another point! :slight_smile: It is uncanny that the writers of the Quran did not copy from **one single **apocryphal Gospel! They preferred getting information from distinct writings at different times without working them later into a single source. This was most likely because they had to believe in the authenticity of all the Gospels they came across with, disregarding the common Islamic assertion that the number of the present Gospels supports the distortion theory. To conclude, it is a must for the Islamic mentality to consider the Quran a distorted copy of Jesus’ true Gospel since it refers to more than one Christian writing of the time :smiley: What do you think?


LOL good insight as usual :smiley: :thumbsup: after all, it seems Allah did not drop one single book to prophet Isa :smiley:

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