Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Comparing Islam to Christianity, Part 3

According to Muslims, there is only one trustworthy Holy Scripture, the Qur’an. Many prophets before Muhammad were also given Allah’s Word, among them Musa (Moses), who was given the Taurat (Torah), Dawud (David), who was given the Zabur (Psalms), and Isa (Jesus), who was given the Injil (Gospel). However, Muslims are taught that all these writings were corrupted. Allah appointed Muhammad to receive the Qur’an in order to correct this corruption.

How did Muslims get the Qur’an? According to Islam, in AD 610, Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Muhammad in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Over the next 22 years, Gabriel revealed suras (chapters) to Muhammad with the command to recite it to others. Shortly after Muhammad’s death in AD 632, his followers gathered the suras into the Qur’an. The third caliph, Uthman, had scholars compile an official Qur’an, in written form, and had all other variant texts burned.

The Qur’an today is considered divine in its original Arabic form, and Muslims memorize and recite it only in this pure language.

As a comparison, how did Christians get the Bible? Followers of Jesus believe the Bible is the authoritative, inspired Word of God, composed of 66 different books, transmitted through at least 40 prophets, apostles, and holy men. The first 39 books, written before the coming of Christ, are called the Old Testament. The Old Testament was written over many centuries by various authors, in diverse cultures, using the Hebrew and Aramaic languages. The remaining 27 books after Christ are called the New Testament. They were written in Greek, the dominant language of the first century. The New Testament contains collections of eyewitness reports of the life and teachings of Jesus, followed by a history of His disciples over the next 50 years, including letters from His apostles and a vision of the end times called the “Revelation.”

The Christian view of inspiration is that God “breathed” His Word through many people. Therefore, the Bible reflects cultures as diverse as Abraham’s nomadic lifestyle, to the royal court of King David. The result is the Book of beautiful human diversity, interwoven with divine unity.

Muslims feel sorry that Christians follow a corrupted book, and most Muslims avoid the Bible. Even among Western-educated Muslims, the great diversity of Bible versions and translations adds to their belief that the Bible is corrupted.

Muhammad, however, did not question the accuracy of the Bible. The accusation that the Bible had been corrupted came centuries after Muhammad, at a time when Muslim scholars realized there were contradictions between the Qur’an and the Bible. Yet, the Qur’an points to the Bible as truth over 120 times. The text of the Bible is better preserved than the writings of Plato and Aristotle. Furthermore, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the reliability of the Bible.

To a Muslim, it is impossible to think that any man could corrupt the actual Word of God, and diminish God. By His reputation, God is committed to protect His Word. In the Bible, in the book of Psalms, chapter 138, verse 2, it says: “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” For Muslims, the best defense of the Bible’s integrity is the nature, power and reputation of God.

16 comments:

Trencherbone said...

The best defense of the Koran is the character of its author - Mohammed, see

http://crombouke.blogspot.com/2010/01/mufa-khathat-cleaning-mess-up.html

Jeff said...

Thanks, Trencherbone. I have heard some of that before, but some of it is also new information to me.

thekingpin68 said...

Thanks for the help, Jeff.

The audio post has gone well, but is extra work with multiple audio presentations. But, I need to be busy to counter other stuff going on.

thekingpin68 said...

There should be some new interesting material for you and Rick as well, on thk68.:)

satire and theology said...

'Muslims feel sorry that Christians follow a corrupted book, and most Muslims avoid the Bible. Even among Western-educated Muslims, the great diversity of Bible versions and translations adds to their belief that the Bible is corrupted.'

The various Biblical ancient copies from various ancient locations demonstrate minor differences with the same books. The theological accuracy and correctness of the inspired Bible via wide range copying has been kept.

God did not maintain Scripture by dictating the originals and all the copies. There is no supernatural force field or like.

The Bible is the very credible word of God.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Thanks for the help, Jeff.

The audio post has gone well, but is extra work with multiple audio presentations. But, I need to be busy to counter other stuff going on.


I just now sent you another one. If you feel you have enough for now, just let me know. I'm not planning to send any more at the moment, however.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

There should be some new interesting material for you and Rick as well, on thk68.:)

OK.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

The various Biblical ancient copies from various ancient locations demonstrate minor differences with the same books. The theological accuracy and correctness of the inspired Bible via wide range copying has been kept.

God did not maintain Scripture by dictating the originals and all the copies. There is no supernatural force field or like.

The Bible is the very credible word of God.


Thanks, Russ. Your knowledge from your MPhil and PhD in Theology studies is appreciated.

Middle Ditch said...

I fed your fish several times. Goodness they are hungry.

Jeff said...

Thank you, Middle Ditch. Yes, those fish are PIGS! LOL!

satire and theology said...

Shazam!!!

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Shazam!!!

Yes, my new Facebook profile pic.

Thanks, Russ.

satire and theology said...

Perhaps Captain Marvel (DC) and maybe Captain Marvel (Marvel) should help GL with security...

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Perhaps Captain Marvel (DC) and maybe Captain Marvel (Marvel) should help GL with security...

You mean the Green Lantern Anti Blog Troll Corps? My sidebar is already crowded enough, but that is an interesting idea.

Right now, I'm supposed to be working on a design for my brother's book. I need to quit procrastinating and get it done before it's too late. He's working on the last revision of the copy of the book now.

Greg said...

Hi, Jeff. It's been a while since I've visited, but I hope to make it a habit again. :) You seem to have toned down the anti-Muslim rhetoric; you're not getting soft are ya? ;)

You wrote (or quoted) that Mohammed did not question the Bible's accuracy, but that claim makes no sense. His very teachings contradict the Bible, and the only way to claim that he was right would have been to poke holes in the Bible.

Jeff said...

Greg,

Hi, Jeff. It's been a while since I've visited, but I hope to make it a habit again. :) You seem to have toned down the anti-Muslim rhetoric; you're not getting soft are ya? ;)

LOL, no, I'm just trying to focus on how to witness the gospel to Muslims, instead of trying to focus on teaching Westerners about Islam. In other words, I'm focusing more on how to talk to a Muslim, rather than trying to educate Westerners about what Islam is about. Also, previously, the Rifqa Bary case was a priority, and I was focused on defenses for her case (regarding killing for apostasy, honor killings, taquiyya, etc.). But, like I said, my focus currently is about how to witness to Muslims, and also to try to correct some of the misunderstandings that Muslims have about Christianity. I'm trying to apply an idea that a fellow blogger (Larry) gave (see my first sentence of the article, "Comparing Islam to Christianity, Part 1").

You wrote (or quoted) that Mohammed did not question the Bible's accuracy, but that claim makes no sense. His very teachings contradict the Bible, and the only way to claim that he was right would have been to poke holes in the Bible.

Remind me about that again (in the future), if I don't address it. I will probably go more into detail on that in a later post. If I don't, remind me of that point. Right now, I need to go and do something; otherwise, I would turn this into a long comment and try to address that. But I think it would be better if I saved the explanation for a blog post anyway.