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  • Writer's pictureLynn Holzinger

Who is Jesus in Other Religions?

And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

1 Corinthians 15:14

Did you know that Jesus is written or talked about in every major religion? Jesus is considered to be an important religious figure and some effort is made to account for His place in history. Only Christianity makes the claim that Jesus is God and the Messiah; that He came to earth to show us the way to God. If you want to know about Jesus, it would make sense to look at Christianity first because He is the central figure. But it is interesting that other religious movements find value in Jesus' life; that they consider Him a real figure in history, and someone worth talking about.

Judaism says Jesus...

  • was Mary's son (The Talmud and Toledot Yeshu)

  • was a teacher--Rabbi (The Talmud and Toledot Yeshu)

  • had many disciples (The Talmud)

  • was respected (the earliest writings)

  • was a miracle worker--he had "magical" powers (The Talmud and Toledot Yeshu)

  • claimed to be the Messiah (Toledot Yeshu)

  • was crucified on a cross (The Talmud and Toledot Yeshu)

  • had followers that reported that He rose from the dead (Toledot Yeshu)

Judaism does not say Jesus is God or the Messiah, but they believe He was a real person who lived, taught, had followers, was respected, worked miracles, and died on a cross.

Islam says Jesus...

  • was born of a virgin (Quran 19:18-22)

  • was revered (Quran 4:171)

  • was a prophet (Quran 6:85; 3:49-51; 5:75; 9:30)

  • was a wise teacher (Quran 57:27; 61:14; 13:38; 5:114)

  • was a miracle worker (Quran 2:87; 3:49; 3:46)--Mohammad only had access to non-canonical books from Africa so the miracles he describes in the Quran are not ones in the Bible)

  • ascended to heaven (Quran 3:55; 4:159; 4:157)

  • will come again as a Muslim (Ummati) to judge (Hadith: Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657)

  • only appeared to have died on the cross (Quran--from Ravi Zacharias)

The Islam faith also does not believe that Jesus was God or the Messiah, but they still believe some remarkable things about Him--that He was born of a virgin, He was a prophet, a miracle worker, and that He ascended to heaven and will return again. Since they don't believe He died on the cross, they also don't believe He rose from the dead.

The B'hai Faith says Jesus...

  • came from God (they put Jesus in the same category as Mohammad and Buddha as a "manifestation" of God)

  • was born of a virgin ("The Promise Day is Come" by Shoghi Effendi, p. 109)

  • spoke for God, but not as God

  • was a wise teacher (gleanings from the writings of Bahu'u'llah, p.58)

  • had both a divine and human nature along with others (from the "Book of Certitude")

  • was a miracle worker (gleanings from the writings of Bahu'u'llah, p. 85)

  • was crucified and resurrected as an atonement for humanity (gleanings from the writings of Bahu'u'llah, p.85)

Wow! The B'hai faith believes Jesus came from God, was born of a virgin, had a divine and human nature, worked miracles, was crucified, and was resurrected as an atonement, yet He was not God or the only way to God.

Hinduism says Jesus... (Hindu believers may or may not believe the following about Jesus)

  • was a holy man (He qualifies as a "Hindu Saint" under the Hindu system)

  • was a wise teacher (Gandhi revered the teaching of Jesus)

  • was a "god" (one of many "ishtas" in the history of mankind

Hinduism predates Christianity and has no single founder which makes it difficult to come up with a unified set of beliefs. Since Hindus look at certain virtues to determine spirituality and holiness, many would agree that Jesus fits the criteria. But they would not say there is anything unique that sets Him apart from other holy men such as Rama, Krishna, and Buddha. He is only one of many.

Buddhism says Jesus...

  • was an enlightened man (14th century Zen Master, Gasan Joseki)

  • was a wise teacher (a "Bodhisattva" according to the 14th Dali Lama, Tenzin Gyatso)

  • was a holy man (according to the current Dali Lama)

Like Hinduism, Buddhism pre-dates Christianity and doesn't hold a unified view about Jesus. Although, the characteristics mentioned above are described by many Buddhists, and Jesus is seen as a real person who was "enlightened," wise and holy, but not divine.

The New Age Movement says Jesus...

  • was a wise moral teacher (possibly the only things New Agers would agree on)

  • as a "Christ," is something we all can attain to (He completed the spiritual evolution that led Him to become an enlightened master).

New Agers will pick and choose the moral teaching of Jesus that fits their views and beliefs about enlightenment. They often twist Scripture and distort the words of Jesus. New Age is more aligned with Eastern mysticism than with Christianity, and they ignore the things Jesus said about who He is. If you don't know what Jesus says about Himself in the Bible, then what New Age has to say may sound good to you.

I've often heard that if you're going to look at Jesus' life and all that He does and teaches, you could never come to the conclusion that He is only a wise, moral teacher (though this is a very common belief, not only in other religions, but among non-religious people). Why? Because Jesus claimed to be God. He upset the religious leaders in His day with His claims of

  • living a sinless life (Jn 8:46-47)

  • being the only way to God (Jn 14:6)

  • coming from heaven (Jn 17:5)

  • being able to forgive sins (Lk 7:48-49)

  • being a king whose kingdom is in heaven (Jn 18:36-37)

  • being able to give eternal life (Jn 10:28)

  • after dying, He would come back to life (Jn 10:17)

  • returning one day to judge the world (Mt 24:27-30

  • being one with the Father (Jn 10:30)

Anyone who claims the things Jesus claimed and isn't telling the truth, can't be considered moral. Or if He believed what He says but it isn't true, then He certainly isn't wise or someone we should listen to. But if what this person (Jesus) says is true, then He is Lord, and much more than a wise and moral teacher. C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity, writes:

"A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg--or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us."

J. Warner Wallace, a cold-case detective, and founder of Cold-Case Christianity has done extensive research on the claims of Christianity. For more information or documentation about Jesus in other religions, click on the link below. (I got most of my information from the shorter YouTube version, Everyone Makes Room for Jesus, of the article below) Cold-Case Christianity is dedicated to making a case for Christianity, defending the gospel and teaching others to do the same. Wallace says, "If one is inclined to begin a spiritual quest for truth, it would be wise to start with the faith system best describing the man-God all other faith systems find themselves compelled to explain. Christianity is founded on the reliable record of the man-God we know as Jesus and ought to be the first stop in any seeker's journey of faith."

Cold-Case Christianity: Who is Jesus, According to Other Religions?

#Jesus #worldreligions #Christianity #LunaticLiarorLord

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