Jesus in Christianity and Islam
A Comparative analysis of Jesus in Christianity and Islam, and why Islam got Jesus correct.
Islam and Christianity are the only religions in the world which make it an article of faith to accept Jesus. No Muslim can be a Muslim unless he accepts Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Throughout 2000 years Jesus was viriously seen as A Jewish reformer, an opponent of the Temple and Jewish Religious practice, A pietist who sought peaceful accommodation with Roman rule, a sexual ascetic, a glutton and drunkard, a underminer of family values, suggesting a religious family to replace the biological one. Historians see Jesus as a preacher and a leader of a religious movement in Judaism. Jesus was active in Galilee and Judea during the first half of the first century. According to the New Testament a virgin named Mary was chosen to bear the son of God (Yahweh)[i]. After some time Jesus mission started only after he was baptized by John the Baptist[ii]and after that a divine relationship between Jesus and Yahweh was made (Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:23, etc.) After that Jesus’ ministry began. Jesus performed many miracles[iii], gained twelve disciples, preached only to the house of Israel[iv], gained huge crowds in support for his preaching in Galilee (Israel) and Perea (Jordan) and taught in parables and taught the famous Sermon of the Mount[v]. Jesus came with his followers to Jerusalemduring Passover and caused a disturbance by overturning the tables of money changes at Herod’s temple[vi]. Jesus and his followers observe Passover and Jesus prophesizes that one of his disciples will betray him[vii]. Jesus and his disciples pray at the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is identified by a kiss from Judas Iscariot and is arrested[viii]. Jesus is condemned for blasphemy and a Roman procurator Pontius Pilate asks a mob of people who he should release either Jesus Christ or an insurrectionist named Barabbas. The crowd chooses to have Jesus crucified and Barabbas released. Pilate washes his hands and says he is innocent of their decision[ix]. Jesus is later crucified and rises on the third day.[x]
Islam’s view and story about Jesus is different from Christianity however. The Quran(The Muslim Bible) states that a righteous woman named Mary was chosen by Allah (the name of God in Arabic) to be given a gift of a holy son, Prophet Jesus[xi]. Angel Gabriel blows a spirit into her and she becomes Pregnant with Jesus. Alone she gives birth to Jesus under a palm tree and is told to remain silent and to fast. She brings baby Jesus to her people and her people accuse her of doing an evil and shameful deed. Baby Jesus as a miracle from Allah, speaks to the onlookers to defend his mothers honor.[xii] Jesus is strengthened by the Holy Spirit (Angel Gabriel) and is protected from evil.[xiii]Because Jesus is strengthened by Angel Gabriel he is able to perform many miracles. Jesus preaches monotheism, to worship and serve One God—the God of Abraham and Moses.[xiv] Jesus performs many miracles including healing the sick, the blind, the lepers, bringing clay birds to life and is taught the Torah and the Gospel by Allah, gains twelve disciples, and calls the Children of Israel (Jews) to listen to him and obey Allah[xv]. He tells of another Prophet who will come after him named Ahmed (Prophet Muhammad).[xvi] The disciples lack the faith Jesus has, and Jesus performs a miracle by Allah and brings a table of food from heaven. In a Flashforward to the future on the Day of Judgment, Allah asks Jesus whether he told anyone to worship him or his mother. A frightened Jesus says he said such a thing and told everyone he preached to to worship Allah alone(in other words Jesus preached monotheism towards God and never preached self worship) [xvii]. Back in the times of Jesus, The Jews continue to give him and his disciples a hard time. They constantly mock and abuse him and his followers. So much so that they plan to kill Jesus. Allah tells Jesus that he will save him from any kind of violence they are planning.[xviii]Allah then saves Jesus from crucifixion and makes it look like he died when in reality he wasn’t. Allah raises Jesus to safety in heaven where he still is[xix]. The Early Christians later on have a covenant from Allah but forget about it and start making up their own doctrines such as Allah having a son and the doctrine of the trinity[xx]. Different sects or groups of Early Christianity start to make up different doctrines about Jesus.[xxi]Allah confirms that Jesus is only a prophet, who was orally taught the Torah and the Gospel (presumagily a new oral message of revelation)[xxii]. Allah then tells that Christians need to follow Islam as it is the final religion for mankind.[xxiii]
Islam sees Jesus Christ as a human and a prophet of God only.[xxiv]Christianity on the other hand sees Jesus Christ as the begotten son of God and all modern branches of Christianity sees Jesus as the lord and the savior. It is even implied by many Christians that Jesus is God incarnate. However it should be noted that Christianity was actually confused about the nature of Jesus in its early years. So much so, that early branches and groups of Christianity were actually confused over the nature of Jesus and everyone had their own view regarding this matter. As a matter of fact the New Testament actually supports the Islamic claim that Jesus wasn’t divine and that he was a prophet[xxv]as we can see here:
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazarethin Galilee." (Matthew 21:11 New International Version)
Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (Mark 6:4 NIV)
The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazarethin Galilee." (Matthew 21:11 NIV)
They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he (Jesus) was a prophet. (Matthew 21:46 NIV)
They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." (Luke 7:16 NIV)
In any case, I (Jesus) must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophetcan die outside Jerusalem! (Luke 13:33NIV)
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. (Luke 24:20 NIV)
He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true." "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. (John 4:16-19 NIV)
After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophetwho is to come into the world." (John6:14 NIV)
Some of the people therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, "This certainly is the Prophet." (John 7:40NIV)
So they said to the blind man again, "What do you say about Him, since He opened your eyes?" And he said, "He is a prophet." (John 9:17 NIV)
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (Hebrews 3:1 NIV)
(Of note, High preist could mean prophet).
Before getting into the New Testament, the Old Testament (or the Hebrew Bible as Chrsitans like to call it) clearly tells readers that God is one and he should be worshipped alone. The following verses demonstrate this:
Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:39 New International Version)
"You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3 New International Version)
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior. (Isaiah 43:10-11 New International Version)
So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. (1 Kings 8:60 New International Version)
Jesus himself called to the worship of only one God as this verse from the New Testamentindicates:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one” answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Mark 12:29New International Version )
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. (Luke 4:8 New International Version)
Paul tells the same thing in 1 Corinthians:
So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. (1 Corinthians 8:4 New International Version)
Not only that but the New Testament also denies any special powers Jesus had and states that these powers were not his own and these verses deny any divinity to Christ and attributes them to God alone:
"...All power is givenunto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18 NIV)
"...I cast out devils by the Spirit of God then the kingdom of God is come unto you." (Matthew 12:28NIV)
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me. (John 5:20 NIV)
"I with the finger of God cast out devils" (Luke 11:20 NIV)
Peter, the closest disciple of Prophet Jesus states that Jesus was a man approved of God and not God himself. He was only able to do wonders and signs by God’s permission.
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, A man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know." (Acts 2:22)
The “Son of God”:
Now a Christian might argue that the New Testament clearly indicates that Jesus was the son of God as these verses point out:
But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ the Son of God." (Matthew 26:63 NIV)
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Mark 1:1 NIV)
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" (Luke8:28 NIV)
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31NIV)
However it should be noted that this is just the way the language was spoken. It doesn’t necessarily mean a begotten sonship. The sonship of Jesus, doesn’t really prove hisdivinity, as sonships existed way before Jesus in the Old Testament. Even in the New TestamentGod has other sons who are regular people. The following quotes are revelant to this disscussion:
The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:2 NIV)
You are the children of the LORD your God. (Deuteromy 14:1 NIV)
"Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.' (Hosea 1:10 NIV)
"Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD," (Job 2:1 NIV)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7 NIV)
Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israelis my firstborn son, (Exodus 4:22 NIV)
I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. (2 Samuel 7:14NIV)
He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israelforever.' (1 Chronicles 22:10 NIV)
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. (Psalms 2:7 NIV) (To King David)
The son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38 NIV)
and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. (Luke 20:36 NIV)
Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14NIV)
"That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" (Philippians 2:15 NIV)
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10 NIV)
As one can see the term “sons of God” has been used well before the coming of Prophet Jesus and doesn’t necessarily mean “begotten” status all it means is servant or slave. Moreover if one were to read Luke 4:41, Jesus himself refused to be called the “Son of God”:
Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ. (Luke 4:41NIV)
If the begotten status is to believed, then how many sons does God have? It makes more sense to believe it as servant or slave. The term "Son (or sons) of God" during the time of Jesus meant to the Jews someone who had a closer moral and spiritual connection with God than do ordinary men. It was understood by the contemporaneous Jewish culture to be an honorary title. There was no hint of any connection of that title with the divinity of the holder. Moreover Jesus said that the Father in heaven is for all and not only his father. Even Paul of Tarsus, the second “founder” of Christianity, in his epistles writes that God is one and the “Father of all” (Ephesians 4:6) and not just to Jesus. Consider these verses which refute God being the Father of only Jesus and God being the father for others (humans) as well:
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45 NIV)
so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:4 NIV)
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 NIV)
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. (Mark 11:26 NIV)
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke6:36 NIV)
"Jesus saith unto her, ...I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your." (John 20:17 NIV)
The New Testament’s term “son of God” is used in an allegorical sense. Finally the Bible itself refutes God becoming a man and I leave you with the Biblical verse:
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Numbers 23:19 (New International Version)
Jesus himself said that he is the son of man:
"It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born." (Mark 14:20-21 NIV)
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew8:20 NIV)
So Jesussaid, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (John 8:28 NIV)
There is no way Jesus can be God, since he clearly referred to himself as the Son of Man[xxvi]while Numbers 23:19 clearly says that God cannot be the son of man.
Miracles of Jesus
Some Christians have said that the miracles of Jesus, prove his divinity and prove that he is God and the Son of God. However it should be noted that none of Prophet Jesus’s miracles are unique in anyway. As a matter of fact all of them have been done before by other prophets in the Old Testament. Below is a table that proves that almost all of Prophet Jesus’s miracles were all done before and are in no way unique.
Miracles of Jesus Similar Miracles of other Biblical Personalities.
Jesus healing others Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34, Luke 8:43-48, Matthew 12:15-21, Mark 3:7-12, Luke 6:17-19, Matthew 15:29-31,
Others have done this before such as Elisha in 2 Kings 5:14, 6:17, 20 along with other Christian believers in Acts 3:7, 5:15-16
Jesus feeding 5000 people Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, John 6:1-14
Done before by Elisha in 2 Kings 4:42-44
Jesus walking on water Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:15-21
Similar to Prophet Moses’s split of the Red Sea in Exodus 14:22
Jesus rebuking and calming the seas, winds and waves Mark 4:39-41
Similar to Joshua stopping the sun and the moon for a day in Jousha 10:12-13.
Jesus raised the dead in Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56, etc.
Others such as Ezekiel, Elisha, Elijah have raised the dead in Ezekiel 37:1-14, 2 Kings 4:35, 13:21, 1 Kings 17:22.
Jesus’s ascension to the heavens Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, John 20:17
Others have also ascended into heaven in Genesis 5:24, Hebrews 11:5, 2 Kings 2:11-12. Moreover this seems to be inconsistent with John 3:13.
Jesus born without a father, the virgin birth in Matthew 1:1-25, Luke 1:30-35, Luke 23-38. Jesus was with God in John 1:1.
Similar to Melchizedec, the King of Salem in Hebrews 7:1-4. Prophet Solomon is also said to have been with God at the beginning of time before all of creation in Proverbs 8:22-31. Also Prophet Isaac and John the Baptist were also born miracoulously—like Jesus.
Jesus casting out devils and doing exorcisms in Mark 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37, Mark 16:9, Mark 7:24-30
Said others could do so to in Matthew 7:22, 12:27, Luke 11:19.
Moreover Prophet Jesus had said that all power was given to him by God (Matthew 28:18, Luke 11:20, Matthew 12:28, John 10:25) and that he does nothing by himself but does so because of the power of God in Matthew 9:8 and John 8:28-29. The Miracles of Jesus help prove that Jesus was a truthful person and a true prophet of Allah (God) however does not really prove his divinity since all his miracles have been done before.
Lordship of Jesus
It is an acknowledged fact that no where in the New Testament does Jesus say that “I am God or worship me”. Peter and Paul never claimed that Jesus was God. Peter (Jesus’s closest disciple) called Jesus “the Messiah”. Paul called him the “son of God” (in the Jewish Sense). Some Christians have indicated that Jesus was called Lord. But again the term Lord goes back to Old Testament times and was used with, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Joseph, Prophet David, etc way before Prophet Jesus.
Esau: He also commanded them saying, "Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: 'Thus says your servant Jacob, "I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed until now; (Genesis 32:4 NASB)
Prophet Abraham: Sarah laughed to herself, saying, After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (Genesis 18:12 New American Standard Bible)
Just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord…….. (1 Peter 3:6 New American Standard Bible)
Prophet Joseph: We said to my lord, 'We have an old father and a little child of his old age Now his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.' (Genesis 44:20 New American Standard Bible)
Prophet David: Go in to King David and say to him, 'My lordthe king, did you not swear to me your servant: "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne"? Why then has Adonijah become king?' (1 Kings 1:13 NIV)
Then Bathsheba bowed low with her face to the ground and, kneeling before the king, said, "May my lord King David live forever!" (1 Kings 1:31 NIV)
"Not at all!" Jonathan answered. "Our lord King Davidhas made Solomon king. (1 Kings 1:43)
Finally it should be noted that just because Jesus was called “Lord” by his disciples or others doesn’t mean he is Lord or God in any sense. It simply meant that he was their master. As John McRay (2003) writes:
“While it is true that Jesus was called Lord by his disciples, who used the Greek term kyrios , there is no evidence that he ever used the name Yahweh in Hebrew or allowed his disciples to refer to him by that name. The word Lord was used most often with the normal meaning of “master”, the antithesis of “slave.” Jesus was being acknowledged by his followers as their master.”[xxvii]
Jesus Accepted Worship that must mean he is God:
Prophet Jesus wasn’t the only person in the entire Bible who was worshipped; other people also worshiped other people and Prophets in the Bible. The evidence is seen from below:
She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out. (2 Kings 4:37 NIV)
His (Joseph’s) brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said. (Genesis 50:18 NIV)
When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: "My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. (2 Samuel 25:23-24 NIV)
They crossed at the ford to take the king's household over and to do whatever he wished.
When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king (2 Samuel 19:18 NIV)
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery." Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. (Daniel 2:46-48 NIV)
The I am Sayings in the Gospel of John
The gospel of John, is the least historical of all the gospels[xxviii], is the one that comes closest to making the claim for Jesus' divinity. The most often cited passages from John are the so-called "I Am" sayings. In this gospel Jesus is quoted to have used the absolute phrase "I am" (Greek: ego eimi) - without a predicate - four times:
“I told you that you would die for your sins, for you will die in your sins, unless you believe that I am.” (John 8:24 NIV)
“When you have lifted up the son of man, then you will realize that I am.” (John 8:28NIV)
“Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58 NIV)
“I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am.”( John 13:19NIV)
Before we look at whether these words were actually spoken by Jesus, we have to ask ourselves what the statement could have meant to the audience of the gospel (The Johnannie Community to which the Gospel of John was written for). In the Greco-Roman world the phrase was widely used to refer to any one of the multitude of divine beings or gods. Among the Jews such a designation could mean that the person was making the claim of being Yahweh (God) himself. This is what “Yahweh” supposedly said to Moses:
“I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14NIV)
The audience of the Gospel of John probably understood the “I am” sayings as Jesus being a divine being who was sent by God. The most obvious question with regards to these sayings is, of course, did Jesus actually utter them?. All the evidence points to no, he did not and we have strong reasons to believe that the passages are the free composition of John.
The whole issue comes in the style of Jesus' teachings, which differs substantially between the synoptic Gospels and John. In the Synoptics Jesus is depicted as teaching in short pithy sayings (e.g. Matthew 10:24 "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor is a slave above the master."; Mark2:27 "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath."; Luke 6:44 "Figs are no gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.") and in parables (e.g. Matthew 20:1-15 "The Vineyard Laborers"; Mark 4:30-32 "The Mustard Seed"; Luke 10:30-35 "The Good Samaritan") In John these are missing and the main style of Jesus' preaching is that of long, extended, metaphorical discourses. We can safely say that the "I am" sayings in John are not historical and were put into the mouth of Jesus by the writers of the Gospel of John.
The scholarly consensus about the non-historicity of the bulk of Johanine sayings attributed to Jesus can be seen by anyone who will simply take time to review the available literature. Part of this is an almost total rejection of the "I am" sayings as historical. Some of the more recent examples include:
The Jesus Seminar in discussing the "I am" sayings: “In virtually every case, the reader is being confronted with the language of the evangelist and not the language of Jesus.”[xxix]
Gerd Ludemann says “The "I am" saying...with the universal claim which it expresses is unthinkable in the mouth of the historical Jesus.”[xxx]
Geza Vermes (In his discussion of the Johanine tendency to equate Jesus with God-including the "I am" sayings): “The whole ideology reflects the dreamlike cogitation of a religious contemplative, possibly Jewish, addressing a Gentile confraternity nurtured on Hellenistic mysticism.” [xxxi]
The terms of son of God and Lord had all existed before New Testament times and don’t exactly mean the literal meaning of the word. The Bible, supports the Islamic claims that Jesus was a normal human being and a Prophet sent by Allah (God). These are all metaphors and shouldn’t be taken as a literal meaning for Prophet Jesus peace be upon him. Begotten “Sonships” usage of the word “Lord” and “Worshipping” Prophets all existed before Prophet Jesus and doesn’t exactly bring him out to be a divine character. Only Allah (God) is divine and all glory and worship belongs solely to him.
[ii] Muslims also believe in John the Baptist. In Arabic his name is “Yahya” and his story is found in the Quran 19:1-15. [iii] Matthew 9:25, Luke 7:15, John 11:1-44 [v] Matthew 5-7, Luke 15:11-32, Matthew13:1-9, Matthew 22:34-40 [vi] Matthew 11:15-19, 11:27-33, Matthew21:12-17, 21:23-27 and Luke19:45-48, 20:1-8 [viii] Luke 22:47-52, Matthew 26:47-56 [x] Matthew 28, Mark 15, Luke 24 and John 20-21 [xiv] Quran 5:117, 42:13, 43:63-64. [xx] Quran 19:37-38, 4:171, 9:30 [xxi] Quran 19:37, 43:65 . [xxii] Quran 3:48-49, Quran 5:46 [xxiv] Quran 4:171, 5:72, 5:75, 19:30, etc. [xxv] Quran 4:171, 43:57-59, etc. [xxvi] Some Christians have argued that the term son of man could well have meant something different to Jesus than the normal everyday circumlocational use (i.e. meaning "I"). They normally site the passage from Daniel 7:13 which speaks of "one like a son of man" coming down from heaven. That an apocalyptic interpretation attached to a single individual certainly took hold on both Jewish and Christian writers after 70 CE, the same cannot be said for the time before the fall of Jerusalem. Indeed the most likely interpretation for that phrase in Daniel (the one that the author himself took) was that the term "son of man" in Daniel 7:13 has a collective meaning which represents "the saints of the most high" (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27). This interpretation is confirmed by the recently discovered Aramaic document (Apocryphon of Daniel) from Qumran. Source: Vermes (2002) pg. 39 [xxviii] For more on this see Chapter 3 of my soon to be published book: From Christianity to Islam: The Truth you need to know. [xxix] Funk, Robert and Hoover ,Roy (1993), p 419 [xxx]Ludemann (2000) pg. 405