Jews, Muslims & Atheists Have One Thing In Common
What if two of the world’s major religions and at least some atheists, all strong adversaries of Christianity, agreed on a common fact about Jesus of Nazareth? When opposing forces agree on a fact, it becomes the strongest form of evidence.
Agreement by avowed antagonists towards Christianity and Jesus of Nazareth can provide a completely different validation perspective. One fact is common to Christianity, Judaism, Islam and at least some atheists – the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. If any adversary could prove that Jesus never existed, rest assured they would certainly do it.
Writing of the Quran was completed in 632 AD and became the scriptural foundation for Muslims over the 1500 years since. It may come as a surprise to many that the Quran recognizes Jesus as a historical figure. The Quran makes reference to him in 28 separate verses including 22 that reference “Jesus, Son of Mary,” such as this verse: 
“Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.”
To be clear, the Quran does not say that Jesus is the Son of God, only that he is the “son of Mary.” However, the Quran does teach that Jesus was a prophet mentioned in the same company with Noah, Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. To be born of Mary and to be named with the greatest prophets, Jesus had to have lived just as did these other great religious figures.
Connections between Judaism and Jesus or Yeshua are like a U-shaped magnet – inseparable yet with polar opposites that forever repel each other. The existence of Jesus of Nazareth, who was himself a Jew, cannot be denied by Judaism where he is treated as a very real person in its Scriptural and historical reference materials.
The Jewish Encyclopedia published in 1912, republished online as JewishisEncyclopedia.com, makes many references to the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its article, “Jesus of Nazareth,” not only acknowledges the existence of Jesus, The Jewish Encyclopedia goes further – it sets the date of his birth at “around 2 BC” and his death in the year “3789 (March or April, 29 AD).” Specifically commenting about the accuracy of the Gospel of Luke about Jesus’ existence:
“The whole picture of John the Baptist and of Jesus as bearers of good tidings to the poor has the stamp of greater truthfulness.”
In its biography of “Jesus of Nazareth,”The Jewish Virtual Library estimates the date for the death of Jesus by crucifixion between 27 and 36 AD. Encyclopedia Judaica states matter-of-factly that the four New Testament Gospels themselves are reliable, historical records of an actual historical Jesus:
“The Gospels are records about the life of Jesus. John’s Gospel is more a treatise reflecting the theology of its author than a biography of Jesus, but Matthew, Mark, and Luke present a reasonably faithful picture of Jesus as a Jew of his time… The Jesus portrayed in these three Gospels is, therefore, the historical Jesus.” – Encyclopedia Judaica
Throw into the mix another group that is antagonistic towards all religions – atheists. Self-described atheist blogger, Tim O’Neill, specializes in historical reviews and atheism. With a Master of Arts degree in Medieval Literature from the University of Tasmania, he is a member of both the Australian Atheist Foundation and the Australian Skeptics.
In his 2-part webpage article “An Atheist Examines the Evidence for Jesus,” O’Neill decimates the theories of a mythic origin of Jesus. For example, O’Neill says that a false idea of a mythical crucified Messiah creates so many problems needed to support the myth, the idea becomes so unrealistic it could only mean the Bible account is true:
“It’s hard to see why anyone would invent the idea of a crucified Messiah and create these problems. And given that there was no precedent for a crucified Messiah, it’s almost impossible to see this idea evolving out of earlier Jewish traditions. The most logical explanation is that it’s in the story, despite its vast awkwardness, because it happened.”
Islam, Judaism and at least some atheists have one thing in common with Christianity – they affirm that Jesus of Nazareth was a true historical figure. At the center of the open debate, the question percolates instead on who exactly was Jesus of Nazareth…just a trouble-making Jewish preacher; or a prophet of God; or actually the Son of God? The starting point is accepting that Jesus did, in fact, walk this Earth – did he?
Updated November 14, 2022.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
 Quran. Trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali. n.d. <http://search-the-quran.com> “The Descriptive Titles of Jesus in the Quran (part 1 of 2): “The Messiah” and “a Miracle.”’ IslamReligion.com. 2014. <http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/230> Basic Facts. Best of Amsterdam. image. 2015. <https://www.bestofamsterdam.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Basic-Facts.jpg>
 Quran. Ale-‘Imran 3:45-51. Trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
 Al-Ahzab: 33:7. Al-Baqara 2:136. An-Nisa 4:163, 171. Aal-e-Imran 3:84. Al-Maeda 5:75.
 “The New Testament.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. <http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com>
 “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jewish Encyclopedia. 2011. “Flavius Josephus.” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2014.
 “Crucifixion.” Jewish Virtual Library. 2014. American-Israel Cooperative Enterprise. <https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org>
 “Jesus.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. p 246.
 O’Neill, Tim. “An Atheist Historian Examines the Evidence for Jesus (Part 2 of 2). StrangeNotions.com. <http://www.strangenotions.com/an-atheist-historian-examines-the-evidence-for-jesus-part-2-of-2>
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