The Koran reading today is a truly bizarre in that it clearly is showing that Jesus is a divine being either equivalent to Allah, as some Christians believe, or very close in nature to God, i.e. second best like the Jehovah's Witnesses believe. However, in any apologetics you read about these verses, you will find there is a great deal done to try make Jesus not look like the divine being he is been reported as. So I will try my utmost to do justice to this reading, but if it gets confusing it really is due to the hoops the apologists want you jump through so that they can dismiss the virgin birth and Jesus' divinity. Interestingly, we also get some details about the virgin birth that are not mentioned in the Bible.
Jesus's name in Arabic (Source)
The first two verses inform us how special Mary is, and that she herself should stay true to Allah.
"And when the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah has chosen you and purified you, and He has chosen you above the world’s women. O Mary, be obedient to your Lord, and prostrate and bow down with those who bow [in worship].’"
Remarkably Mary is so venerated in the Koran, yet Muhammad's mother is not venerated to the same degree. In fact Muhammad's mother is in hell according to Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajjid, so she is certainly not revered to the degree that the heavenly residing Mary is.
Verses 44 -47 relate the story of the virgin birth, but it starts of with an interesting tidbit about which angel was going to have sex with Mary to impregnate her in the super special spiritual virgin birth way.
"These accounts are from the Unseen, which We reveal to you, and you were not with them when they were casting lots [to see] which of them would take charge of Mary’s care, nor were you with them when they were contending."
So here we see Mary as a piece of meat that is getting gambled for, i.e. casting lots, by the horny angels. Now while it could now be argued that if an angel bedded Mary then she was no longer a virgin, this would be a contradiction to the verse which explicitly states that Allah was going to impregnate her miraculously. Perhaps here miraculous means magic penis?
"She said, ‘My Lord, how shall I have a child seeing that no human has ever touched me?’ He said, ‘So it is that Allah creates whatever He wishes. When He decides on a matter He just says to it “Be!” and it is."
So after this impregnation Jesus is born and we hear a little bit about how Jesus will teach the Jews, as well as seeing that Jesus was in deed a magic man who could breathe life into clay birds and heal the sick.
"And He will teach him the Book and wisdom, the Torah and the Evangel, and [he will be] an apostle to the Children of Israel, [and he will declare,] ‘I have certainly brought you a sign from your Lord: I will create for you out of clay the form of a bird, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by Allah’s leave. And I heal the blind and the leper and I revive the dead by Allah’s leave. And I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you, should you be faithful."
Needless to say Islamic apologists try to dismiss these miracles that are written down in the Koran as Jesus just doing good. For examples healing are meant to be interpreted as Jesus giving advice and creating spiritual wellness, even though the person remained sick. The part about making a clay bird into a real bird is meant to be interpreted as a parable, well because Jesus spoke in parables. Now, I am not saying Jesus was divine, but according to the Koran he could do miracles just like Muhammad and so I am not sure why apologists try dismiss an accepted prophets miracles. The only conclusion I can come to is that it is important to dismiss the divinity of Jesus as it would otherwise give Christians a claim to truth and then Islam fails.
Verse 50 shows that Jesus came to amend some of the laws of the Jews. Unremarkably, this narrative is exactly the same one that Christians use to dismiss old testament laws such as stoning of witches. Perhaps more remarkable is that Jesus got rid of some of the tragic Jewish laws, such as stoning, and then Muhammad reinstated them. So much for the religion of peace.
"And [I come] to confirm [the truth of] that which is before me of the Torah, and to make lawful for you some of the things that were forbidden you. I have brought you a sign from your Lord; so be wary of Allah and obey me."
Verses 52-3 makes sure that we understand that Jesus is divine. Here we get an account of doubt from Jesus disciples about his divinity and therein they corroborate that Jesus was in fact divine.
"And when Jesus sensed their faithlessness, he said, ‘Who will be my helpers toward Allah?’ The Disciples said, ‘We will be helpers of Allah. We have faith in Allah, and bear witness that we are muslims. Our Lord, we believe in what You have sent down, and we follow the apostle, so write us among the witnesses.’"
Lastly, we know that Jesus is on the path to getting killed by those evil Jews, and so in closing today we get a taste of what is to come when it mentions the Jews plotting about Jesus. Interestingly, Allah was also plotting which is remarkable when you think that Jesus did die. Is this saying that Allah is not as powerful as a bunch of Jews in the desert around 0 BC?
"Then they plotted [against Jesus], and Allah also devised, and Allah is the best of devisers."
Okay, so Jesus is divine according to the Koran, but not so divine according to Islamic scholars. Go figure that out and try make me understand. See you next week.
The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website
Additionally, for commentary I am utilizing the commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali which is available at muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm