This is the second part of my series on the “substitution-theory”, which comes directly from Todd Lawson’s book on the topic.  Feel free to read the first entry here:

Who is Mujahid B. Jabr Al-Makki ??

He was of the major commentators of Qur’an among the Tâbi’în and of the highest rank in reliability among hadith narrators (thiqa). It is related by Ibn Sa’d in the Tabaqat (6:9) and elsewhere that he went over the explanation of the Holy Qur’an together with Ibn ‘Abbas thirty times. Al-A’mash said: “Mujahid was like someone who carried a treasure: whenever he spoke, pearls came out of his mouth.”
After praising him in similar terms al-Dhahabi said: “Mujahid has certain strange sayings pertaining to knowledge and commentary of Qur’an which are rejeted and condemned. A report has reached us whereby he went to Babel and asked its governor to show him [the angels] Harut and Marut. Mujahid said: ‘The governor sent a Jew to go with me until we arrived at a grotto under the earth and he showed them to me. They were suspended upside down. I said: “I believe in the One Who created the two of you.” At that time they shuddered, and both I and the Jew fainted. We came to after a while, and the Jew said to me: You nearly caused our death!” Al-Dhahabi also quotes al-A’mash’s judgment of Mujahid’s Tafsir whereby Mujahid was among those who narrate from the books of Ahl al-Kitab. Al-Dhahabi then proceeds to mention Mujahid’s commentary on the verse of the Exalted Station as one of the most objectionable statements he made: “The saying of Allah: {It may be that your Lord will raise you to an Exalted Station} (17:79) means: He will seat the Prophet with Him on His Throne (yujlisuhu ma’ahu ‘alâ ‘arshihi).”

Among Mujahid’s famous sayings: “There is no creature of Allah Most High except you can take or leave what they said except the Prophet Allah bless and greet him.” Narrated from Mujahid and also from al-Hakam ibn ‘Utayba by Ibn Hazm in al-Ihkam fi Usul al-Ahkam (6:291, 6:293) and Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Jami’ fi Bayan al-‘Ilm (2:925-926 #1761-1765).

Of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Mujahid relates: “People would uncover the space above his grave and it would rain.”

Sources: Abu Nu’aym, Hilya al-Awliya’ (3:280); al-Dhahabi, Mizan (3:439 #7072) and Siyar (5:379-381 #542); Ibn al-Jawzi, Sifa al-Safwa (1:243).

Mujahid B. Jabr Al-Makki on 4:157–158
As translated and quoted by Lawson, see page 48-49.

157—-“”but so it was made to appear to them they crucified a man other then Jesus while they reckoned that he was Jesus because this other man ‘was made to look like {Jesus} to them’ (shubbiha lahum).””””

158—-“They crucified a man whom they saw as {shabbaha} Jesus, and God raised Jesus to himself, living”

Al-Tabari quoted Al-Makki heavily in his Tafsir
The authenticity of this Tafsir by Al-Makki is quickly ascertained by noticing the frequency of the quotations in Al-Tabari’s works.  Further, Al-Makki was Meccan and came from that school of thought, and they consider Ibn Abbas to be their master in Tafsir.