The following is based on the writings of the Sunni Muslim "historian" and Quran commentator Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Surah 3:55, found on google books volume 2, page 171 and on, and also on the Qtafsir website The Tafsir Ibn Kathir will be in black, my words in blue.
And I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection
This is what happened. When Allah raised `Isa to heaven, his followers divided into sects and groups. Some of them believed in what Allah sent `Isa as, a servant of Allah, His Messenger, and the son of His female-servant.
The vast majority believed in this, only gnostics might object to the identification of him as "the son of His female-servant." Islam itself divided into sects shortly after Muhammad died, and even more wanted to leave Islam. The early Christians were given death threats for STAYING Christians, the early Muslims were given death threats for LEAVING Islam.
However, some of them went to the extreme over `Isa, believing that he was the son of Allah.
No one objected to this at all. How is this an extreme? People debated what "son of God" meant, no early Christians denied Jesus was the son of God since this was synonymous with "Christ" to them. We see in the 4 Gospel accounts Jesus own apostles and disciples call himself the "son of God," the demons and Satan call him "son of God," and even Jesus Himself refers to Himself as "the son of God." As we see in these verses:
Jesus Christ speaking of Himself (called Isa by Muslims):
Amen, amen I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.—John 5:25
John the Baptist (Yahya):
And I saw, and I gave testimony, that this is the Son of God.—John 1:34
Archangel Gabriel (called Jibreel by Muslims):
And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.—Luke 1:35
Disciples/Apostles of Jesus:
“And they that were in the boat came and adored him, saying: Indeed thou art the Son of God.”—Matthew 14:33
“And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread."--Matthew 4:3
What have we to do with thee, Jesus Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"--Matthew 8:29
Jesus’ Crucifiers (Roman centurions):
Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: Indeed this was the Son of God.—Matthew 27:54
So based on the fact that we have the 4 accounts of the Gospels telling us Jesus is the “Son of God” with Jesus saying so Himself in John 5:25 with that verse have all variants of it reading “son of God” we have no reason to think Jesus is anything besides the son of God! Any Muslim claim of corruption is baseless. Demonstrating ibn Kathir had little to no knowledge of the Gospels and probably derived all his information from ignorant Islamic sources.
Some of them said that `Isa was Allah Himself,
If by “some” he means Jesus’ own apostles, then yes:
If by “some” he means Jesus’ own apostles, then yes:
Apostle Thomas speaking to Jesus Christ:
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!—John 20:28Apostle John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.—John 1:1St Thomas addressed Christ himself, yet Christ did not object to this identification at all, so either He allowed St Thomas to commit idolatry, or He really is God!
while others said that he was one of a Trinity.
Being the Son of God and God are necessary for the Trinity to be true, since we believe there is only One God and that Jesus is not the Father but born of the Father and the Holy Spirit also is God (and not an angel like Muslims foolishly assume) then for monotheism to be true and for them too all be God Trinitarianism must be true too. Other Christian before Constantine sometimes taught the 3 persons were really one person and that the Son is the Father and the Spirit is also, this too was rejected by our leaders like the Popes 100 before Emperor Constantine gathered the council of Nicea.
Allah mentioned these false creeds in the Qur'an and refuted them.
Reading how they state the creed seriously makes you wonder if “Allah” really knew what he was talking about at all.
The Christians remained like this until the third century CE, when a Greek king called, Constantine, became a Christian for the purpose of destroying Christianity.
4th century actually, and there is no evidence Constantine wanted to destroy Christianity. He did not formally become Christian however until his death bed when he was baptized.
Constantine was either a philosopher, or he was just plain ignorant.
Constantine was a military child, he was educated in Latin and Greek and philosophy, but does receiving some philosophical education make you a philosopher?
Constantine changed the religion of `Isa by adding to it and deleting from it. He established the rituals of Christianity and the so-called Great Trust, which is in fact the Great Treachery.
No clue what this “Great Trust” is. We have references to our rituals before Constantine. All of them can be found in the New Testament, and they are referred to before Constantine’s time in Christian writings.
He also allowed them to eat the meat of swine,
This was ALREADY done by Christians, since Christians do not follow dietary laws like the Jews did since we believe a new Law was established by Christ establishing a New Testament, in fact the New Testament explicitly states this in Colossians 2:16
Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbaths—Colossians 2:16
Despite this by being written by St Paul, Muslims must admit at least this was done long before Constantine since St Paul lived in the 1st century.
changed the direction of the prayer that `Isa established to the east,
There is no tradition, no information about Jesus instruction people what direction they are to pray in the Bible, we are to assume He prayed facing the Temple as did all Jews at His time due to Solomon establishing it. The custom of praying facing East was known and established 100 years before Constantine:
our being known to turn to the east in prayer.—Tertullian, Apology, Chapter 16, c. AD 200Praying facing East was a custom of Churches that were never inside the empire of the Romans like Persia, Ethiopia, and India. Interesting ibn Kathir does not volunteer where Christians prayed facing before that.
built churches for `Isa, and added ten days to the fast as compensation for a sin that he committed, as claimed.
What fast, which fast? No information about the days added, or the sin! Convenient!
So the religion of `Isa became the religion of Constantine, who built more then twelve thousand churches, temples and monasteries for the Christians as well as the city that bears his name, Constantinople (Istanbul).
Temples were just how Christians referred to their church buildings at times, but ibn Kathir makes them sound different. His 12,000 number seems to be an exaggeration, but I cannot prove it.
Throughout this time, the Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. Allah aided them against the Jews because they used to be closer to the truth than the Jews,
Does this make sense at all? Ibn Kathir says what a terrible person Constantine was for intentionally corrupting Christianity and that many Christians already confessed false creeds that he considers idolatry, yet Allah thinks this idolatry is closer to the truth than the non-idolatrous Jews? Christians did not have the upperhand over the Jews until AFTER Constantine.
even though both groups were and still are disbelievers, may Allah's curse descend on them.
Cursing people is an old Muslim pastime, whereas Christian pray for a person to repent and that God drive them to it, Muslims are prone to curse and damn in prayer.
When Allah sent Muhammad , those who believed in him also believed in Allah, His Angels, Books and Messengers in the correct manner. So they were the true followers of every Prophet who came to earth. They believed in the unlettered Prophet , the Final Messenger and the master of all mankind, who called them to believe in the truth in its entirety. This is why they had more right to every Prophet than his own nation, especially those who claim to follow their Prophet's way and religion, yet change and alter his religion. Furthermore, Allah abrogated all the laws that were sent down to the Prophets with the Law He sent Muhammad with, which consists of the true religion that shall never change or be altered until the commencement of the Last Hour
Muslims are proud of Muhammad’s lack of education, and this lack of education is reflected in the Quran. Interesting that ibn Kathir accuses modern Christianity of being started by Constantine was may have been “plain ignorant” yet when calling Muhammad “unlettered” he does not refer to him as “plain ignorant” when we have more reason for that. The funny thing about this statement is it talks about Muhammad abrogating what other prophets taught, and Muhammad’s own religion does not change—despite much of the Quran being abrogated by other verses in the Quran and by things Muhammad said.
Muhammad's religion shall always be dominant and victorious over all other religions. This is why Allah allowed Muslims to conquer the eastern and western parts of the world and the kingdoms of the earth. Furthermore, all countries submitted to them; they demolished Kisra (king of Persia) and destroyed the Czar, ridding them of their treasures and spending these treasures for Allah's sake. All this occurred just as their Prophet told them it would, when he conveyed Allah's statement
Muslims did an excellent job of conquering sparsely populated desert lands taking the Middle East and North Africa. Barely making any headway into Europe, they took Spain for hundreds of years only to lose it in the 15th century completely. They took some of the Balkans like Albania, which is now atheist. For a while Europe controlled much of the Middle East, almost all of Africa (except Ethiopia) and other lands, yet the Muslim religion “shall always be dominant and victorious.” Even in our present times the Muslims completely outnumbered the Israelis in war, yet the Israelis won and took some Muslim land! So much for always being dominant and victorious!