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Islam and the Scriptures

The Muslim viewpoint is this. Allah, because of man’s propensity to be led astray from the path of virtue, has sent Prophets with divine revelations. Some of these Prophets, such as Moses, and Jesus, were given books, reflected in the Pentateuch, and the Gospels. Unfortunately, these books, these historical documents have been corrupted. The only true, and pure book to be trusted, was given by Allah to the last Prophet, Mohammed. All other books are no longer reliable, and therefore they are no longer authentic and authoritative. Within this frame work with its obvious limitations, the Muslim proceeds to discuss Christianity, and the Scriptures. The dilemma, for the Muslim is that while the theologians of the Koran teach one thing to Muslims, the Koran itself contains a different message. Within the Koran are various verses which exalt the Prophets, command people to listen to the message of the Prophets, including Jesus, and to honor the Scriptures, meaning, the Bible.

 The Gospels are to be Honored

Sura 5:47 And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

The Old Testament is to be honored

Sura 5:48 And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

The Bible is Honored above the Koran
Because the Bible Came First

Sura 10:94 So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters.

Muslims are not to Argue with Christians
But Are to Believe the Bible

Sura 29:46 And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

Initially, Mohammed wanted to say to Jews and Christians, “I am a monotheist, I believe in the Bible, and I am a prophet like Moses and Jesus.” Because Mohammed wanted his words to be taken seriously, he said what he did about the Bible. However, as time passed, as devout Muslims wanted the Koran to be authoritative, the realization came, there was a problem. The Koran teaches that it cannot be changed, the Koran says that Moses, and Jesus are to be honored, the Koran says that the Bible is to be trusted, and yet there are all the contradictions.

To reconcile their dilemma, later Muslims came up with Taḥrīf, or, the Doctrine of Corruption. Taḥrīf is an Arabic term used by Muslims for the alterations, which Islamic tradition claims Jews and Christians have made to the revealed books, specifically those that make up the Tawrat (or Torah), Zabur (possibly Psalms) and Injil (or Gospel).Arab scholars assert that Jews and Christians have changed the word of God.

The teaching of Tahrif, or the Doctrine of Corruption of the Bible was first taught in the tenth century, or four hundred years after Mohammed died. Ibn Hazm rejected all claims of Mosaic authorship and insisted that Ezra was the author of the Torah. He also organized arguments against the New Testament. To make the basic assertion sound modern, and scholarly, Amin Ahsan Islahi (1904 – 1997) wrote about four types of Taḥrīf.

One form of Taḥrīf, is to deliberately interpret something in a manner that is totally opposite to the intention of the author. To distort the pronunciation of a word, to such an extent that the word changes completely.

Another form of Taḥrīf is to add to, or delete a sentence or discourse in a manner that completely distorts the original meaning. For example, according to Islam, the Jews altered the incident of the migration of the Prophet Abraham in a manner that no one could prove that Abraham had any relationship with the Kaaba.

A third type of Taḥrīf is to translate a word that has two meanings, in the meaning that is totally against the context. For example, the Aramaic word used for Jesus that is equivalent to the Arabic: “ibn” was translated as “son”, whereas it also meant “servant” and “slave”.

Finally, to raise questions about something that is absolutely clear, in order to create uncertainty about it, or to change it completely, is Taḥrīf. (Tahrif, Wikipedia)

That Arab scholars can unite with apostate Christian scholars to question the text of the Bible, does not resolve the problem. If the validity of the claim is bogus, so is the conclusion.

If a person is serious about finding out if the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible are reliable, an honest inquiry can be made. One way to validate the authenticity of the Bible is to consider the prophecies that were made years, and even centuries, before they transpired. Daniel the prophet foresaw the fall of the Babylonian empire, and the rise of the Medes-Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. It was an amazing display of foretelling the future. Isaiah prophesied about the birth, life, and death of the Messiah, Jesus.

Jesus, as a true prophet, predicted the fall of Jerusalem forty years before it happened. Jesus predicted events that no one thought was remotely possible, but it happened. In contrast, Mohammed (c. AD 570 – June 8, 632, came along five hundred years alter and, allegedly, dismissed what had been prophesied. Normally, a prophet spoke of things being true, that will yet come to pass. Mohammed’s position is rather unique, and silly. He, as an alleged Prophet, invalidated things that had already taken place. He said that what had taken place, and could be historically verified, never happened. That is an audacious position to take, and very irrational. What Muslim scholars did, beginning in the tenth century, was to assert a biased approach to history, in order to discredit the Bible, much like Liberal Theologians in Germany tried to do in the 19th century, in the form of Higher Criticism. Nevertheless, the attacks on the Bible continue to fail. They always have, they always wil,l because the word of the Lord endureth for ever. (1 Peter 1:25)

“Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.

“‘How many anvils have you had,’ said I,
‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’
‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twinkling eye,
‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’

“And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,
The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.”

—Attributed to John Clifford

If a Muslim is not willing to consider the Bible in its historical setting because the Koran tells a person to, then all is lost and any rational discussion is over. The only recourse a Christian has is to commend such a person to God. It is possible such a person has been given over to destruction, according to prophecy. Jesus spoke of those, “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” (Mark 4:12)

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