Does the Qur’an actually contend that Jesus was not crucified?
Lets look at this:
4.154. And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: “Enter the gate with humility”; and (once again) we commanded them: “Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath.” And we took from them a solemn covenant.
4.155. (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the signs of Allah. that they slew the Messengers in defiance of right; that they said, “Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve Allah.s Word; We need no more)”;- Nay, Allah hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe;-
4.156 That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;
4.157. That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of God.;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-
4.158. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;-
4.159. And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he will be a witness against them;-
This is countering the Talmud. This is not saying he wasn’t crucified but its saying the events did not occuer the way the some Jewish sects claimed. The issue of Jesus in the Talmud is still a big debate among Talmudic scholars.
Now if you were told that your grandma passed away yesterday and say she came back to life again. People can say grandma never died but she was brought to life again. Others will say grandma died and was brought back to life. It depends on the time frame you are talking. And yet others will say grandma is not dead, she is alive.
They are all correct depending on the time frame. When the Koran says it appeared to them, it means they thought they killed him or he was dead, but he came back to life again. Of course the Jews do not believe that Jesus can come back to life again. So they denied that and said he was killed. But it appeared to them so, just like it appeared to people grandma was dead and gone.
The Koran says that God has his wrath on the Rabbinic Jews for their rejection of Jesus and their animosity towards him because, I believe, he attacked the Talmud. They were known in the Gospel as the Pharisees. The Pharisees today are the dominant school among Judaism and the Talmudic sign of the star of David is the national symbol of Israel.
Now go and read the Talmudic accounts about Mary and Jesus and you will see what the Koran is talking about.
If Jesus was never crucified the Koran would have never said it confirmed the Gospel and ordered so called Christians to follow its command:
Let the People of the Gospel judge by what God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel. (Surah 5, Maida, verse 47)
**If only they had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, **they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: But many of them follow a course that is evil. (Surah 5, Maida, verse 69)
Say: "O People of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord…" (Surah 5, Al Ma’idah, verse 68)
In truth** We have sent the Quran to you, confirming all the previous heavenly books that were revealed before you **and bearing witness to them. – 5:48
It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong). – 3:3
Also the Koran did not say “he was not killed and he was not crucified”, but said “they did not kill him and they did not crucify him”.
I think Jesus was crucified but brough back to life. They thought they killed him but he was brought back to life and then resurrected. The accounts in the Gospel are pretty clear about this.