The Gospel According to Islam

Copyright 1979 by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat

Chapter 1 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 10 Chapter 13 Chapter 16 Chapter 19 Chapter 22 Chapter 25
Chapter 2 Chapter 5 Chapter 8 Chapter 11 Chapter 14 Chapter 17 Chapter 20 Chapter 23 Chapter 26
Chapter 3 Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Chapter 12 Chapter 15 Chapter 18 Chapter 21 Chapter 24 Chapter 27


  1. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one man running, and he asked him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

  2. And Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.

  3. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not steel, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not; Honour your father and mother.

  4. And he answered and said to him, Teacher, all these things I observed from my youth.

  5. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you best, and give to the poor and you shalt have treasure in heaven. (Note 1)

  6. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

  7. And Jesus looked round about, and saith to his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven.

  8. And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answers again, and saith to them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into heaven.

  9. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into heaven.

  10. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

  11. And Jesus looking upon them said, With men it is impossible to enter heaven, except with the grace of God.

  12. Then Peter began to say to him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed you.

  13. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for helping me in the way of God. (Note 2)

  14. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sister, and mothers, and children, and lands, and in the world to come eternal life. (Note 3)

  15. And one day James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him, saying, Teacher, we would that you should do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

  16. And he said to them, What would you that I should do for you?

  17. They said to him, Grant to us that we may sit, one on your right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in your glory.

  18. But Jesus said to them, What if I am delivered to the chief priests and the scribes and they condemn me to death? (Note 4)

  19. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

  20. But Jesus called them to him, and saith to them, You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them,

  21. But so shall it not be among you: but whatsoever will be great among you, shall be your servant.

  22. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be slave of all. (Note 5)

Go to Chapter 20


Notes (Chapter 19)

1Mark 10:17-30. [return]

2Cf. Qur'an 3:52. [return]

3This saying of Jesus, which Mark 10:30 "corrects" by the awkward addition of "with persecutions" (obviously in order to take account of the fact that Christians faced persecutions rather than hundredfold increase in possessions), promises a twofold reward to those who followed Jesus: one "now in this time" and one in "the world to come." It is clear that the first refers to the messianic kingdom (which Jesus cautiously hoped to bring about) and the other to the heavenly existence after the end of history. The distinction made by Jesus between the two was also made by others (e.g., in the Book of Enoch-200-95 B.C.), but some tended to ignore it, as did the Christian tradition. [return]

4Mark 10:35-41. Jesus no doubt was fully aware of the possibility that he might completely fail as the Messiah. This is why he did not openly declare himself as the Messiah. The request by James and John shows, however, that his disciples were not as sober in their hopes as their master and regarded the establishment of the messianic kingdom under Jesus as something more or less guaranteed. Sometimes Jesus might have allowed the disciples this certainty about his success as the Messiah, but sometimes it seems to have alerted him and prompted him to remind them of the obvious possibility that Roman and Jewish authorities might take him for a rebel and put him to death. Prophecies by Jesus about his own crucifixion (Mark 10:33) seem to have originated train such reminders. [return]

5Mark 10:41-44. [return]




  1. And Jesus and those with him came nigh to Jerusalem unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives.

  2. And being in Bethany in the house of a man called Simon, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head and anointed his feet with oil.

  3. Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Why was not this costly anointment sold for three hundred denarius and given to the poor? And some other disciples also murmured against her.

  4. But Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble you her? For she has wrought a good work upon me. (Note 1)

  5. Then Jesus sent two of his disciples, and said to them, Go your way into the village over against you:

  6. And as soon as you have entered into it, you shall find a colt tied by the door without, where the two ways met; loose him and bring him.

  7. And if any man say to you, Why do you do this? say you that the Teacher has need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

  8. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door as Jesus told them; and they loose him.

  9. And certain of them that stood there said to them, What do you, loosing the colt?

  10. And they said to them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.

  11. And they brought the colt to Jesus, and they cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.

  12. And many spread their garments in the way: and cut down branches off the trees, and stawed them in the way.

  13. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, Hosanna;

  14. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that comes in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. (Note 2)

  15. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and thus was fulfilled one part of the prophecy of Esias, in which it is written, He saw two riders, one of them was a rider upon an ass, and the other a rider upon a camel. (Note 3)

  16. And about the first rider, it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, your king comes, sitting upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Note 4)

  17. And when he was come into Jerusalem, people asked each other, saying, Who is this?

  18. And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Note 5)

  19. And Jesus went into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. (Note 6)

  20. And he said to them, I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

  21. And I have a baptism to be baptized with and how am I pressed until it is accomplished.

  22. Think not that I am come to send peace, but a sword.

  23. For from henceforth there shall be five in a household divided, three against two, and two against three.

  24. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, and the brothers and sisters against the brothers and sisters. (Note 7)

  25. And on the morrow, they returned to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

  26. And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

  27. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer, (Note 8) but you have made it a den of thieves.

  28. And the scribes and chief priests heard about it, but could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him. (Note 9)

Go to Chapter 21


Notes (Chapter 20)

1Mark 14:3-9; Matt. 26:6-13; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:3-8. It was probably Jesus himself who arranged for his anointment by the woman, just as he himself arranged for the colt that he rode when he entered Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-5). The anointing was a symbolic action formally installing Jesus as the Messiah ( = the anointed one) before he entered Jerusalem riding a colt (cf. Note 4 below). The Gospel of John, in fact, puts the anointment just before entry into Jerusalem, and Luke, too, relates a similar incident much before the passion. However, when under the influence of Paul the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus began to be viewed as his main messianic and saving acts, the anointing was interpreted as anointing for his burial; in other words, Jesus was the Messiah who was anointed to die, be buried, and raised to life. [return]

2Mark 11G1-11; Matt. 21:1-11; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-16. [return]

3A possible translation of Isaiah 21:7. [return]

4Zech. 9:9. Jesus might have been acting as suggested by the Scriptural passage in arranging for a colt and entering Jerusalem on it. But, as John 12:16 suggests, he did not declare openly why he was doing it. Actually, the whole incident is capable of another, rather ordinary, interpretation: it was not uncommon for a rabbi to ride on a beast at the head of his pupils, and, therefore, in entering Jerusalem on a colt at the head of his disciples, Jesus could possibly appear as just another rabbi. Indeed, this is how he must have appeared to most of the crowd (who probably did not have Zech. 9:9 in mind).

The chants like "Hosanna, save us, we beseech thee," and "Blessed be the kingdom of our father David" were also capable of double interpretation: such cries were customary at Jewish gatherings and could be taken as such. On the other hand, anyone could use or understand the words in specific reference to Jesus, expressing rejoicing at the coming of the messianic kingdom under that Messiah. Jesus' disciples and sympathizers probably did take the words in the second, more specific sense, and later Christian tradition even modified the chants to make the sense clearer, using sentences like "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Mark 11:9) or "Hosanna to the Son of David" (Matt. 21:9). [return]

5Matt. 21:10-11. It is because Jesus did not openly enter into Jerusalem as the Messiah-King that people could still refer to him as "the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee." [return]

6Mark 11:11. Matthew and Luke omit this part, but it seems historically true. The first day Jesus maintained a low profile, entering Jerusalem in a way that most outsiders took him for a rabbi. He took stock of the situation, and upon his return to Bethany in the evening, he thought about his subsequent course of action. He decided that he must use the festival to introduce himself to a maximum number of people (of course, by a drastic action). [return]

7Matt. 10:34-37; Luke 12:49-53; 14:25-26, Thomas 10:17. The Gospels put these sayings in various other contexts, but they are more appropriate on the eve of the fiery and divisive action Jesus had decided to take the next morning. [return]

8Mark 11:15-17; Matt- 21:12-13; Luke 19:45-47. The "cleansing of the temple" was an action that won Jesus instant prominence. The whole crowd must have talked about it, and except for the few whose interests were threatened, people must have admired it. Perhaps, it was after this action, and not before, that people asked each other who Jesus was and were told that he was the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. [return]

9Luke 19:48. Jesus' daring action in the temple naturally disturbed the authorities there, but they found themselves helpless, at least for the time being. Jesus was protected by the admiration and attention he had gained among the people. Moreover, the case for a legal action against him was not very clear. The chief priests, therefore, gave themselves time to think of a way of dealing with Jesus. [return]



  1. The next day Jesus comes again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, there came to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

  2. And say to him, By what authority do you do these things? and who gave you this authority to do these things?

  3. And Jesus answered and said to them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

  4. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? Answer me.

  5. And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did you not believe him?

  6. But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

  7. And they answered and said to Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith to them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. (Note 1)

  8. After that they send to him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. (Note 2)

  9. And when they came, they said to him, Teacher, we know that you are true, and cares for no man: for you regard not the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

  10. Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, Why tempt you me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it.

  11. And they brought it. And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said to him, Caesar's.

  12. And Jesus answering said to them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

  13. And they could not take hold of his words before the people, but they held their peace.

  14. Then come unto him certain of the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection and they asked him, saying,

  15. Teacher, Moses wrote to us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

  16. Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.

  17. And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

  18. And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

  19. In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? For the seven had her to wife.

  20. And Jesus answering said to them, Do you not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

  21. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage.

  22. And as touching the dead, that they rise from the dead: have you not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

  23. For He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: you therefore do greatly err. (Note 3)

  24. And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

  25. And Jesus answered and said, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

  26. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.

  27. And the second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself There is none other commandment greater than these.

  28. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Teacher, You have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but He:

  29. And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.

  30. And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that dared ask him any question. (Note 4)

Go to Chapter 22


Notes (Chapter 21)

1Mark 11:27-33; Matt. 21:23-27; Luke 20:1-8. [return]

2Mark 12:13-17; Matt. 22:15-22; Luke 20:20-26. In their first public confrontation with Jesus, the temple authorities had lost and learned that they were dealing with a man of extraordinary intelligence. They now made another attempt at checking Jesus by nonphysical means and sent some of their clever men to discredit him before the public, But they, too, found Jesus too hard to be caught by words only. [return]

3Mark 12:18-27; Matt. 22:23-33; Luke 20:27-38, Jesus had become the object of keen public interest. Men interested in religious controversies of the time came to him and sought, out of curiosity or some other motive, Jesus' position on various issues. [return]

4Mark 12:28-34. Matt. 22:34-40. The third synoptic Gospel omits the dialogue (but compare Luke 20:39-40 with Mark 12:32a, 34b). In Mark, the questioner and Jesus are sympathetic toward each other, but Matthew makes the dialogue a continuation of the disputation between various Jewish sects and Jesus. Clearly, Matthew (and Luke, by omitting the dialogue) want to avoid the conclusion that some of the Pharisees and scribes were fully aware of the religious truth taught by Jesus without being his disciples and were not far from the kingdom of God. [return]


Chapter 1 Chapter 4 Chapter 7 Chapter 10 Chapter 13 Chapter 16 Chapter 19 Chapter 22 Chapter 25
Chapter 2 Chapter 5 Chapter 8 Chapter 11 Chapter 14 Chapter 17 Chapter 20 Chapter 23 Chapter 26
Chapter 3 Chapter 6 Chapter 9 Chapter 12 Chapter 15 Chapter 18 Chapter 21 Chapter 24 Chapter 27