Evidence for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Examined through Islamic Law
For almost 1,400 years, Christians have wrestled with appropriate ways to defend their claims to truth in the context of Islam. Dr. Suheil Madanat proposes that the answer lies neither in the antagonization of polemics nor apologetic arguments rooted in Western legal systems, but instead in utilizing the authority of Islamic law itself.
While evidence for the resurrection has been legally examined since the seventeenth century, legal apologetics has primarily utilized secular law systems such as Anglo-American common law. In this study, Dr. Madanat tests evidence for the crucifixion and resurrection against Islam’s fixed theocratic law of Sharia. Offering an overview of the evolution and constitution of Islamic law, Dr. Madanat examines how eyewitness testimonies and confessions in the New Testament hold up against Islam’s strict standards for evidence. Authenticating the Gospels using the same standards Islamic scholars use to defend the authenticity of the Qur’an and Sunna, Madanat examines the testimonies of the four evangelists, the confessions of James and Paul, and the circumstantial evidence offered by archeology, church history, and the Christian impact on civilization.
This book engages with Islam and its sacred texts seriously and with respect, providing a powerful resource for those interested in apologetics and comparative religion.
Evidence for the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus Christ Examined through Islamic Law displays a thorough understanding of the historical sources for the resurrection of Christ. What distinguishes Madanat’s work, however, is how he weaves an evidential interaction of this material with the criteria of Islamic law. The result is a fascinating new way of viewing what had heretofore seemed an insurmountable epistemic problem between Muslims and Christians. I cannot recommend this work more highly.
Theodore J. Cabal, PhD
Professor of Philosophy of Religion,
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas, USA
Suheil Madanat’s careful study analyzes available evidence for the historicity of the crucifixion and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ and establishes that it can meet the required criteria set forth by Islamic law. A highly welcome contribution, Madanat’s meticulous work sheds new light on ways for modern Christian-Muslim dialogue to go beyond traditional claims to reasonable understanding.
Ayman S. Ibrahim, PhD
Professor of Islamic Studies,
Director, Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam,
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kentucky, USA
This is a remarkable apologetic work by an Arab Christian seeking to commend the veracity and reliability of the New Testament’s witness to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, but specifically using the evidentiary rules of Islamic law. A very original and helpful new tool for Muslim-Christian dialogue.
David L. Johnston, PhD
Affiliate Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies,
Fuller Theological Seminary, California, USA
Adjunct Lecturer, Saint Joseph’s University, Pennsylvania, USA
In this impressive work, Dr. Suheil Madanat provides a needed apologetic for the death and resurrection of Christ. It stands out as a unique contribution that serves, not only the Islamic world, but also the non-Islamic world. This book will be a continual resource used by students of theology and serious thinkers who seek to promote the gospel of the death and resurrection of our Lord.
Imad N. Shehadeh, PhD
Founder, President, and Senior Professor of Theology,
Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary, Amman
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 Introduction
- The Evidentiary Challenge
- Christian Claims and Islamic Denials
- Limitations and Delimitations
- A Brief Overview of the History of Juridical Apologetics in the West
- Personal Interest and Background
- Chapter 2 An Overview of Islamic Law
- Nature, Formation, and Features
- The Tension between Stagnation and Development in Islamic Law
- Introductory Overview of Court Procedure and Evidence
- Chapter 3 Authenticity of the New Testament Documents
- De Jure Admissibility of Documentary Evidence
- De Facto Admissibility of Documentary Evidence
- Chapter 4 Eyewitness Testimony and Confession
- Eyewitness Testimony
- Chapter 5 Expert Witness Testimony and Circumstantial Evidence
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Circumstantial Evidence
- Chapter 6 Conclusion