chapter  11
“Killing the prophets and stoning the messengers”
Two themes in the Qur’an and their background
WithGerald Hawting
Pages 15

In several places, the Qur’an accuses the Jews of having killed the messengers or prophets whom God had sent to them. The substance of the charge is not obvious, in that the text provides no details about what may lie behind it. The anonymous prophets it accuses the Jews of having killed are generally not important enough to figure as individuals in the text. Apparently substantiating the charge of hypocrisy, he condemns them for building sepulchers for the prophets and adorning the tombs of the upright while insisting that, had they lived at their time, they would not have participated in their ancestors’ shedding of the prophets’ blood. Jesus interprets that as an admission from their own mouths that they are the children of those who killed the prophets, and he challenges them to complete the work their ancestors had begun.