Jerry Coyne raised an interesting question in his post Why Don't the Faithful Debate Each Other? Why don't people of different faiths debate each other? I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure they have and do. But perhaps we should just be happy if they aren't killing each other. However, his question inspired me to find out exactly what Islam teaches about Jesus. If Wikipedia is to be believed, there is a surprising amount of agreement:
"In Islam, Jesus (Isa; Arabic: عيسى ʿĪsā) is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus twenty-five times, more often, by name, than Muhammad. It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the popular opinion and Muslim traditions, Jesus was not crucified but instead, he was raised up by God unto the heavens. This "raising" is understood to mean through bodily ascension.
Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat Masih ad-Dajjal ("the false messiah", also known as the Antichrist).
Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the "straight path" as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him. The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God's message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).
Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ ("the messiah"). Jesus is also, at times, called "Seal of the Israelite Prophets", because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter's coming."
As I said, there is a surprising amount of agreement between the Christian and Muslim views of Jesus:
1. Both consider him to be a Messenger of God and the Messiah, who was sent to guide the Children of Israel.
2. Both agree on the virgin birth of Jesus to Mary.
3. Both agree that Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles.
4. Both agree that Jesus was raised bodily into Heaven.
5. Both believe that Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat the
That's quite a lot of agreement about some central tenets of Christianity. But of course, there are some disagreements:
6. Islam rejects the Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate.
7. Islam rejects the Christian Trinitarian view.
8. Islam rejects the view that Jesus was crucified.
9. Islam rejects the view that Jesus rose from the dead.
10. Islam rejects the view that Jesus atoned for the sins of humanity.
11. Islam rejects the view that Jesus ever claimed any of 6-10.
I think there could be reasoned debate between Christians and Muslims regarding 6-11 that wouldn't necessarily rely upon the question of whether the New Testament is God's revelation. I think such a debate could rely upon the question of how historically reliable the New Testament is. Of course, if Islam insists that its view of Jesus relies upon revelation, then Muslims must reject as historically reliable any part of the New Testament that contradicts 6-11. Then the debate would necessarily rely upon deciding whether the received texts of Islam are God's revelation. I think that debate could also be carried out in a reasonable manner.