Questions on sources used by the Quran

  1. What are the sources for the Quranic teachings of Christ that are not found within the Bible; and how authentic [both historically and theologically] are they?

  2. Same as 1, but in regards to Quranic teachings that claim to be from Judaism but that aren’t found in the Jewish holy text.

I’m assuming the sources are heretical works [within both faiths] and/or are local myths/legends/stories.

I do believe, but cant quote any particular instances, that gnostic writings circulated throughout the arabian world (indeed, throughout the entire mid-east). Possible source? Add a dollop of misunderstood Christian theology - nature of the Trinity, position of Mary, etc. and it could lead to anything!

The Quran uses a number of sources, as mentioned some gnostic scripture is used, but in addition to that the Infancy Gospels play a large role, as do a number of apocryphal books.

Christian Tradition also makes use of these sources to a much lesser extent, for example the names of the Theotokos’s parents are taken from the Proto-evangelon of St. James.

Speaking Baby Jesus

The story in sura 19:29-30 where the baby Jesus speaks from the cradle is from the apocryphal Christian legend, The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ. I’ll just post the “speaking” part.

“Then she, Mary, pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet…”

Now if you compare that to The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ:

“…Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother: “Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God. That word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel…”

Jesus Turning Clay into Birds

The story in the Koran in which Jesus took clay and turned it into living birds is found in sura 3:49 is undoubtedly from Thomas’ Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ.

“And will make him a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah’s leave.”

Now, compare that to Thomas’ Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ:

…"Then he took from the bank of the stream some soft clay, and formed out of it twelve sparrows…Then Jesus clapping together the palms of his hands, called to the sparrows, and said to them: “Go fly away.”

These are just a few, but there are many other fairy tales, heretical writings and fables of the old.

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