chapter  8
The crucifixion
Pages 6

Phase 1 (11/632-114/733) The Apocalypse of Shenoute (a.k.a. Life of Shenoute; w.c.75/695) is a work of prophecy alleged to have been composed by a fifth-century Egyptian author.1 Jos van Lent has indicated that this is perhaps the earliest document to interpret Islamic Christology as denying the event of the crucifixion of Christ, and appears more than sixty years after the death of Muhammad.2 Mark Swanson indicates that the text refers to the “children of Ishmael” who deny the suffering of Jesus on the cross.3 It is perhaps anachronous that so stark a disparity between Christians and Muslims on the historicity of the key event of Christianity would suddenly appear in an isolated reference this late in our collection of extant texts, and that this topic of debate would not be seen again for another four decades, until the writings of John of Damascus in 115/734.4

that the Jews unlawfully determined to crucify [Jesus], and when they seized Him, they crucified Him in appearance only; but the Christ Himself was not crucified, nor did He die, for God took Him into heaven unto Himself because He loved Him.5