Again we read in Surah iii. 48:— 0 Jesus! I will cause thee to die, — the meaning being that after his return to this earth Jesus will die. This is entirely opposed to the Scriptures, for in Revelation i. 17, 18 Jesus says, "I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." The story has arisen from a passage in a traditional book1 regarding Enoch and Elias, who ascended without dying to the heavens and of whom we are told: "It will happen to them that they will return to the world in the last time, in the day of grief and fear and distress, and then will die." And in the Coptic tale of the Falling asleep of Mary, it is said of Enoch and Elias, — "Of necessity both of these will at the last taste of death." So when the Companions of the Prophet had such foolish notions in their heads, they no doubt concluded that Jesus too, like Enoch and Elias, would eventually be made to taste of death; and moreover, knowing that he had ascended up to heaven, they thought that his death would follow his return at the Second coming. Hence the way in which they tried to illustrate the above text. It may be noticed also that in other Surahs we find it written that "Every soul shall taste of death."2 

IV. Some other stories from Christian or heretical writers. — When God would create Adam he sent angels and archangels, one after another, to bring a handful of earth. At last Azrael, having descended, brought a

1 History of Joseph the Carpenter. 2 Surah xxix. 57, and iii. 182

handful gathered from every quarter, and said, "0 Lord, thou knowest whence I have brought it."1 Abul Feda, quoting from Ibn Athīr, gives us this account:—

The Prophet said that God created Adam from a handful of earth gathered from all round the world ...and that he was called Adam as formed out of the earth below (i.e. adīm).

The following is also taken from the heretic Marcion, who is quoted by an old Armenian writer as follows: —

The God of the Law seeing the earth fair to look upon, desired to make man out of it, and having descended to Matter, Hylê (υλη) on the earth, he said, Give me some of thy soil, and I will from myself impart to it a soul.....So when Matter had given to him some of the earth, he created man and breathed into him a soul; and for this reason he was called Adam, because he was made out of the earth.

According to the heretic Marcion, he whom they name "the God of the Law," who got earth for the creation of man, was only an angel; for they say that the Law came down from one of the angels hostile to the great God. And that Angel they call Lord of the universe, Creator of all things, and Prince of this world. This last is taken from the Gospel of John, where the devil is so called.2  Marcion tells us that this angel was an inhabitant of the Second heaven, and at first knew nothing of the great God; but when he came to know of his existence, then he turned out to be an enemy of "the Unknown God," and sought that mankind should neither know nor worship him.

This imaginative story of the creation is in entire

1 Qissas al Anbia.
2 John xiv. 30. The Muslims apply the name "Prince of the World" to their Prophet, not understanding its true meaning.