Do only Muslims reject the historical crucifixion?

I recognize that the Qur’an states that Jesus was not crucified but was a product of divine intervention. I was wondering if there are any historical sources which also deny Jesus dying on the cross?

I decided to wiki the historicity of Jesus and when it came to the crucifixion all I found was this:

Although there is disagreement about issues such as the calling of disciples, the agreement on crucifixion is very widespread, and most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable.[23][59][60][61] Eddy and Boyd state that it is now “firmly established” that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus.[24]Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him.[60]John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.[23]John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that based on the criterion of embarrassment Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.[61] Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation (i.e. confirmation by more than one source), the criterion of coherence (i.e. that it fits with other historical elements) and the criterion of rejection (i.e. that it is not disputed by ancient sources) help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event.[62]

Although scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it, e.g. both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion, but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion, and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a Christian story.[63]Geza Vermes also views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it.

It seems that the Roman historian tacitus, Jewish historian Josephus and even the Jews (and of course Christians) went into the second century certain that Jesus was crucified:

Tacitus states" Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome"

What is the extreme penalty?

Some of what Josephus said can be believed to have added words, but not when describing the crucifixion:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared.

So my question remains, are Muslims the only ones who accept Christ’s existance but deny His crucifixion?

Logically those who deny Christ’s existence would also deny his crucifixion, but these are an obscure minority.

The difficulty people have in imagining that Christians would make up such a story about their founder is probably the main reason why so many historians accept the fact of the crucifixion even when they reject almost everything else recorded about Jesus. Your quotes also gave other reasons.

One thing that one does find a lot of skepticism on is the role of the Jews bringing about the crucifixion. Since modern Western prejudices tend to be pro-Jewish and anti-Roman, arguments against any Jewish role in the crucifixion easily gain traction.

Why would you care what the koran says about our religion? The events surrounding the invention of the koran were hundreds of years after even NT writtings. The supositions in the koran are hostile to and are meant to supplant Christianity. What you are interested in is your business but if you are interested in who else challenges Christian history…there are plenty of those and I reject and ignore all of them.:shrug:

There are several heresies that state that, while *something *was crucified, it was not the Son of God. For example, one says that Jesus was only a spirit, and that His physical body (and hence the Crucifixion) was an illusion. In that sense, the Crucifixion didn’t take place.

Others say that Our Lady gave birth to a mere human, and His spirit took over that physical body later. The spirit left before the Crucifixion. So God the Son was never crucified. Only the poor guy that was taken over. :frowning:

I don’t know why it’s so important to these people to believe that Jesus/God never suffered. I find it sad. :crossrc:

Another belief is that Jesus was not nailed to a cross, but to a tree or stake. I guess that makes calling that event a “crucifixion” wrong. It is based (like other beliefs of theirs) on one or two Bible verses that say “tree” instead of “cross.” They ignore the multitude of verses that say “cross.”

I can’t remember if there are others that say the Crucifixion just never took place at all.

Sounds about right. :slight_smile:

I would think however those writings that came say more than 500 years after the event would say it was someone else on the Cross:rolleyes:


All the earliest sources say he died, only the gnostics said otherwise and that wasn’t due to any historical consideration but rather more or less predicated on their dualistic philosophy. It shouldn’t hurt Muslims however, God intended to deceive people with this action, the quran says as much, it just so happens if islam is true that we were all deceived. Jew pagan and Christian alike, all fooled by the greatest of schemers.

The Nag Hammadi scrolls, which were a recent discovery, have some gnostic texts that deny the crucifixion, like the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter and the Second Treatise of The Great Seth. Both of those writings pre-date the formation of the New Testament Canon.

“He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, **this is the living Jesus. **But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me.”

"Neither he nor those before him, from Adam to Moses and John the Baptist, none of them knew me or my brethren. For a doctrine of angels is what arose from them, to keep dietary rules and bitter slavery. They never knew truth nor will they know it, for there is a great deception upon their soul…

I never knew Muslims believed this!

This is false.

It is worse than false: it is true but entirely misleading. The New Testament books had been written but the final canon of the New Testament had not yet been proclaimed on a universal level.

OH! Haha, I see what he did there.

Sneaky sneaky.

And where are the earliest Islamic writings that state that when the final canons were finalized the “false” teachings were taught? I’m still waiting for this answer…:rolleyes:

Or do we need to depend on outside Islam for the allegations. Can’t Islam stand on its own?


Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet. They believe in the same God as Christians. All else they believe is in the Koran and a lot of them are parsing it wrong.

Muslim belief is that Jesus was not God and the triune is invalid. Please don’t confuse the true religion with heresy.

Salam / Peace to all,

As Muslims, we more than accept Jesus’ existence; we respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him) and consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers. The Quran confirms his virgin birth in the chapter ‘Maryam’ (Mary).

We believe all prophets were sent to convey the message of the Oneness of God (Allah means God in Arabic, hence Christian Arabs use Allah to refer to God) and prostrates to God as Jesus did in Matthew 26:39:

“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

The specific quote in the Quran refuting the crucifixion is Surah 4:157:

and their saying : we killed Jesus Christ, son of Mary, The messenger of Allah - but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it was made to appear to them so; and those who disagree concerning it are full of doubts; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; For surely they killed him not; but Allah took him up unto Himself; and Allah is ever mighty, wise.”

The general interpretation amongst Muslims is that the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man as we consider it unacceptable that such a revered prophet would suffer such an excruciating fate. We do not depend on his sacrificial death for salvation but salvation is obtained through direct prayers to God the Merciful.

Interestingly as mentioned in earlier posts some early Christians, many of whom here consider as heretic groups did have texts that refuted Jesus’ crucifixion. I find the rest of their beliefs though difficult to grasp and much different from Islamic beliefs.

If I may… the earliest Islamic writings on this were nearly 700 years after the fact.

Thank you for the summary, Idaith.

Regarding the groups that refusted the Crucifixion… they were tiny minority sects, and I am not aware of any of them personally being among Jesus’ followers. Muslims often mention that Paul didn’t know Jesus personally. I wish that same standard would be applied to these minority sects.

I think it’s possible that someone died in his place, Pilot sure seamed sympathetic to Jesus. I think it’s atleast a possibility, as I’m not a believer in him being resurrected.

Then wouldn’t it be fair to ask whether Mohammed ever spoke about Paul? Can Muslims point out where their prophet mentions Paul? I would like to see it.


I’ve read the following hadith books:

Sahih Buklhari
Sahih Muslim
Sunan Abulawd
Malik Muwatta

Not a single one mentions Paul - Not one…!!!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit