Answering Muslim Questions : Has The Bible Been Corrupted?
When/Where? Before Muhammad?
Look at the Qur’anic Evidence:
“God’s word does not change” (Suras 3:2,78; 4:135; 6:34; 10:64; 18:26; 35:42; 50:28-29).
“No difference between Bible & Qur’an” (Suras 2:136; 3:2-3).
“Muslims must ask Christians” (Suras 10:94; 21:7)
“Dispute not with the Christians” (Sura 29:46)
“Muslims are to believe in the Bible” (Sura 4:136)
“Christians are to believe in the Bible” (Suras 5:46-47, 68)
No warning against its corruption. Argument created by Ibn Hazam (1064), thus a 11th c. Muslim polemic
Look at the Biblical Evidence:
(1) 24,000 Manuscripts: in Greek, Latin and other languages, 230 MSS before 6th century.
(2) 19,800 translations: Latin, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, Georgian, Ethiopic, Nubian,
(3) 2,135 lectionaries from the 6th century,
(4) 86,489 Early Church Father’s quotations, 36,000 before 325 AD (recreating all the New Testament but 11 verses)
Who did it, Jews or Christians? How do they have identical scriptures?
Why no record of corruption, and why authentic ones not hidden?
Embarrassing stories: (i.e. Peter denies Christ = Matthew 26:69-75; Paul’s disputes with Barnabas = Acts 15:39)
What About The Discrepancies In The Genealogy Of Jesus?
Matthew = Joseph’s list, Luke = Mary’s list (daughter of Heli-not sister of Aaron)
Bigger problem: (S.19:28; 66:12; 20:25-30) How was Mary, Jesus’ mother, Aaron’s sister & Imran’ daughter, as she lived 1,570 years later?
HOW DO WE ANSWER THE ‘SIGN OF JONAH’ PROBLEM?
Matthew 12:38-40. Reason: ‘3 days & 3 nights’ = 1st century Hebrew colloquialism (see Esther 4:16; Matthew 27:63-64; Acts 10:40)
Is Paul Not Responsible For The Gospel?
Creating: ORIGINAL SIN, ATONEMENT, WORSHIP OF JESUS, TRINITY?
Jesus introduces and Paul expounds, practical application (I.e. Qur’an & Hadith, but co-existent) Was revealed (Galatians 1:11-12; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 15:3-4)
Original Sin: (Genesis 3; Matthew 7:11; 15:19; Mark 7:20-23; 10:18; John 3)
Atonement: 79 times in O.T. (Genesis 22; Deuteronomy 10:16; Leviticus 4:21-35; 17:11) & N.T. (Matthew 20:28; 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:19-20; John 6:51; 10:11)
Worship of Jesus: not at set times, but always (Matthew 28:9; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:6)
Trinity: (see # 7 below) (Matthew 3:16-17; 6:9-13; 28:19; John 1:1,14; 17:5,21,24; Acts 2:33-36)
HOW CAN JESUS BE THE SON OF GOD?
Qur’anic Problems: S.4:171 [no son]; 5:72 [no partner]; 5:75 [not eat]; 5:116 [not sharing] 6:101 [no wife]
S.5:17=biological vs inheritance-Lk.2:49=‘begotten’=monogenes = one & only (unique), not ‘genao’ = birth
S.2:177 ‘Ibn ul-sabeeli’ means ‘son of the road’ = traveller, & Qur’an allows possibility of God’s son (S.39:4)
Revelation! Divine titles for the Son: Genesis 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4; John 1:1,18; 5:18, 8:58-59, 10:30-33, Isaiah 44:6 & Revelation 1:8,17-18
How Can God Become A Man?
Not a man becoming God ↑, but God becoming man ↓ (Philippians 2:6-8)
God can do anything, omnipotent? It is simple to be a man! So not how, but why! To Eradicate SIN
Remind them of theophanies: Abraham & angel, Jacob wrestling, Moses and Burning Bush [S.20:10-14]
Mark 14:61-62 = Son of the Blessed One, and ‘Son of Man’ = Daniel 7:13-14 = authority, glory, sovereign power, worship, dominion
Issa – Jesus = God’s Word (S. 4:171; John 1:1) God’s Word = uncreated: Sura 85:22 (uncreated eternal tablets = mother of books S.43:4)
Jesus = ‘Spirit proceeding from God’ (S. 4:171), ‘supported by the Holy Spirit’ (S. 12:87; 58:22), Spirit = Essence of God (S.2:253)
Jesus= unique: Sinless (S. 19:19), born of virgin (S. 21:91), gave life to birds & the dead, healed, miraculous knowledge (S.3:49)
How Can God Be One Of A Trinity?
Don’t initiate the discussion on the trinity. Don’t trust your opinion, nor your experience, but use the Bible, both the Old and New Testament (see Blackham’s paper)
The word ‘Trinity’ is not in the Bible, nor ‘Tawhid’ in the Qur’an?
Tri-unity (coined by Tertullian 125 AD) Not math (1+1+1, or 1x1x1, or 4x4x4) but organic: son-father-husband brother, pen, water, sun, author, egg, body-mind-spirit). Not Sabellian: 3 serial ‘gods’ nor Arian: man as God
Qur’an is against ‘Christian’ polytheism (S.4:17;5:73), but has mistaken trinity, as it includes Mary (S. 5:116)
Qur’an = Jesus = God’s word, both eternal (S.85:22) ≠ ‘Tawhid’ ≠ created (Mutazilites)-God is w/o his word
Many mysteries we cannot explain, but accept (i.e. God’s omnipresence, eternity, virgin birth, electricity etc…)
Allah’s names = Love (WADUD), Compassion (AL RAHMAN), & Mercy (AL RAHEEM); yet all 3 require objects, don’t exist before Man, nor exampled in a 1-dimensional monad Allah, but found & exemplified trinity!
So Allah requires Man’s existence, while Yahweh chooses Man’s existence
Personal man can’t come from impersonal God – except as Imago Dei (Gen.1:26-27)
Tawhid of Allah breeds totalitarian Ummah (many swallowed into the 1) i.e.: Muslim family, community
Trinity of Yahweh breeds individuals relating in community, exampled in Christian families, communities…
Islamic trinity = Allah (S.13:16; 14:10), Ruh (S.50:16; 56:83), & Eternal tablets (S.85:22)
Baptism of Christ (Luke 3:22) = voice of God the father, dove as spirit of God, and Son as Jesus.
(Matthew 6:11-13 = Lord’s Prayer)
Isn’t Jesus’ Inferiority Proof He Was Not God?
Matthew 24:36; 28:18; John 14:28 = ‘Father is greater than I’, ‘Who knows the end of time, only God knows, prays to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, etc… Greatness in function = neutral (i.e. Queen greater than me, yet both equal), Jesus gives up omnipotence (Philippians 2:6-11); also Death doesn’t dilute immortality (1 Timothy 6:15-16), because he arose, could lay it down & take it up (John 10:18)
How Could Christ’s Death Be Acceptable When This Is A Curse In The Old Testament?
(Galatians 3:13) “Christ became a curse for us…cursed is anything hung on a tree” = (Deuteronomy 21:23). Shows God’s love to be accursed for us.
How Can God Be In Heaven And On Earth At The Same Time?
Spirit in Arabic = Ruh [S.50:16], also omnipresent, thus a duality, which is no problem for Islam? If God is omnipresent, then why pray towards Mecca?
Moses speaks to God in bush-theophanies; God/Father creates & sustains, while God/Son comes to earth
Did Jesus Really Die On The Cross?
Qur’anic Confusion: Sura 19:33,15 “Blessed be on me, the day I was born, the day I Die, and the day I rise again” (Jesus & Yaxya), contradicting Sura 4:157
Theological Confusion: (S.6:164; 53:38)? Can one pay for another’s sin/guilt, as this goes against the Qur’anic objection on atonement? Yet, another man bore Jesus’ guilt on the cross.
Historical Confusion: Extra-Biblical evidence (Thallus = 50AD, Josephus 80-90AD, Tacitus 80AD, Pliny the Younger 112AD)
Eye-Witness Confusion: Eye-Witnesses are the best corroboration. 3 eye-witnesses vs. one supposition 700-900 years later (4 gospels vs. 1 Quran), who do you believe?
Moral Confusion: (Sura 4:157-158) Are Jesus and God deceitful, since Allah uses another man to die in Jesus’ place, then Jesus takes the credit, & Allah forgets to say anything for 600 years?
Who Is The Real Jesus?
Jesus fits 1st c. (Dead Sea Scrolls -Josephus) – confronts Law, Temple, & Kingdom of God.
-‘Isa’ fits 5-8th c. (Sectarian writings, Syriac mss.) [progression of Mary, Digression of Joseph]
–Nestorians (5th C.): Jesus = God-chosen human (sura 3:42-48, 51, 59; 4:171; 5:116-117;19:30, 34-35)
–Monarchists: God has no children (sura 4:171; 19:34)
–Docetists (1st C.): Jesus didn’t die (sura 4:156-158)
–Monophysites – Cholloridian (4th C.) Maryolatry: Mary in the Trinity (sura 5:116)
Isn’t Sin The Same In Islam & Christianity?
Muslim Sin = horizontal (Satan guilty) forgivable; all guilty of Adam & Eve’s sin (S.2:30-39; 7:19-25; 20:116-123)
Adam’s guilt was forgiven, yet all were banished to earth-Why? No relationship existed/God, so none lost.
Islam = Good works balance out sin, so bad works balance out good; 300 good days allows 1one bad day?
Christian Sin = vertical, our fault (Romans 3:23), deserves death, to have justice (Romans 6:23).
Adam was sinless (perfect) = in relationship with God. He sinned->(imperfect) knew right & wrong, broke trust, hid, evicted from Eden, lost relationship with God (Men & nature)
God = pure & holy (Psalm 77:13; 99:9) & can have no sin in His presence (Habakkuk 1:13)
Thus, sin separates us from GOD (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Polemics: Asking Muslims Questions
Has The Qur’an Been Corrupted?
- Manuscript evidence (Ma’il, Kufic mss., dates, etc…)
- Collation Problems
- Contradictions and Errors in the Qur’an
- What then is the true ‘Word of God?’?
- ‘Isa’ – Where is it from? Arabic name for Jesus is ‘Yesua’
- Thus, ‘Isa’ is uniquely a Qur’anic name for Jesus, and not the Biblical ‘Yeshuah’
- What does the Qur’an tell us about Jesus? Mostly his Childhood, and denies his divinity.
- How do we find the Historical Jesus?
Who Is The True Jesus (Yeshua Or Isa)?
Jesus fits 1st c. (O.T.- Dead Sea Scr.- Gospels- Josephus) – Pharisees (Hillel & Shamai), not Saducees or Essenes, confronts Law, Temple, & King. of God
‘Isa’ fits 5-8th c. (Sectarian writings, Syriac mss.) [progression of Mary, Digression of Joseph]
Nestorians (5th C.): Jesus = God-chosen human (sura 3:42-48, 51, 59; 4:171; 5:116-117;19:30, 34-35)
Monarchists: God has no children (sura 4:171; 19:34)
Docetists (1st C.): Jesus didn’t die (sura 4:156-158)
Monophysites – Cholloridian (4th C.) Maryolatry: Mary in the Trinity (sura 5:116)
Who Is A True Prophet – Is Muhammad A True Prophet?
Four Criteria for Prophet-hood in the Bible:
Is he in Isaac’s Prophetic race? (See Genesis 17:18-21; 22:2,12,16 & Galatians 4:22-31)
Does his message conform to previous revelation?
Did he do anything to prove he was a prophet: miracle or prophecy?
Does he use God’s personal name?:
Adonai (descriptive) = 340 times
Elohim (generic) = 2,000 times
Yahweh (personal) = 6,823 times
Does Muhammad fulfil any of these criteria…Thus, is he a true prophet?
The veneration for Muhammad today (i.e. PBUH only for him)…do we have the true alternative in Jesus?
Where Is There True Peace – In Christianity Or Islam?
- With the world in turmoil, where can we find true peace?
- Looking at the Peace verses in the Qur’an (S.2:256; 2:190; 5:32)
- Looking at the Violent verses in the Qur’an (S.9:5,29; 8:39; 47:4-6)
- Looking at Violence and Peace in the New Testament
- Are not the Gospel & Jesus, the only true sources for Peace today?
Which Kingdom Do We Need: The Khilafa Vs. The Kingdom Of God?
Where is the best example of the Khilafa (Rashidun Period)?
Where is the recent historical model (Ottoman Period)?
Where is the Khilafa evident today (Taliban Model)?
Matthew 22:21 – “Give unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar, and to God that which belongs to God” = Separation of Church & State
Matthew 18:20 “two or three come together in [Christ’s] name” = Khilafah of God
What can the Kingdom of God offer instead?
Which Is More Relevant For Today, Christianity Or Islam?
Violence and Peace in both Christianity and Islam
Women’s Issues in both Christianity and Islam (S.4:3,11,34; 2:223,282,230)
The Christian West versus the Muslim East, etc. (i.e. UNDHR – Human Rights)