Does the Qur’aan say that the Bible has been Corrupted?
To begin answering this question, we need to establish our foundational point. The Bible for our purposes is the Old Testament and the New Testament. There is a claim by missionaries that the Qur’aan does not state that the Bible has been corrupted, or if it does, and we’re speaking in terms of Qur’aan 2:79, that since verse 67 mentions Moses and the Israelites, then it is solely referring to the Old Testament. However, this interpretation foregoes the astuteness of the Qur’aan and it’s intricate understanding of historic Abrahamic theology. Let’s look at Qur’aan 2:79:
So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.
There is no doubt that verse 67 is speaking of the Jews and so in verses 77 – 79, the Qur’aan mentions how the Old Testament was developed and how it became scripture for them. In the case of the Old Testament, some might say, “but we have the Dead Sea Scrolls”. It’s true, we have them from 300 BCE, Moses is from 1600 – 1300 BCE. So the Old Testament a Christian is pointing to for evidence is some 1300 hundred years after Moses with no links or connection to him. To make it worst, the people of Qumran (the authors of the DSS) were excluded from the larger Jewish community and settled by the Dead Sea, choosing a life away from the rest of the Jewish peoples. We have no Greek Septuagint which the Christians were fond of saying the Jews used, during the time of Christ. What we do have are partial codices from the 4th century CE onwards using Codex Sinaiticus. It should also be noted that Jews do not use the Septuagint but use the Masoretic Text (MST) from 1008 CE, found in Codex Leningrad. Therefore when the Qur’aan says the Old Testament is corrupted, it means that the Jews wrote something and then claimed it to be from Allaah. It does not mean the Torah from Allaah was corrupted. Considering that the Torah was completely lost three times in history: Antiochus’ rule, Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion and during the reign of Josiah son of Amos for over 28 years (2 Kings 22 records this), then without a doubt we have enough knowledge to confirm the Jews have corrupted the Torah.
On the other hand, is the New Testament corrupted? Does verse 79 also refer to the Christians? I posit that it does. The Qur’aan places this verse as it is speaking about the acts of the Jewish peoples towards their scripture. Without any doubt, the very first Christians were first and foremost Jews. They never considered themselves to be part of another faith or religion. They were, for all intents and purposes – Jews who had accepted their promised Messiah. Today some Christians still preserve this belief by referring to themselves as Messianic Jews, instead of using the title of a Christian. Given that the first Christians were essentially Jews, just when a schism appeared to declare the Jewish followers of Jesus to be of an entirely different faith, that of Christianity – is up for debate and discussion. However, to me, it is clear from this verse and no Christian can say otherwise, that the first Christians were Messianic Jews and thus, if one wants to be historically accurate, the Injeel as the Qur’aan calls it, has not been corrupted. The literature which was written and then began to be referred to as scripture was the New Testament. Historical evidence dictates that the New Testament began as authoritative writings and later on, through the use of them by the early Church Fathers (Patristics), some 100 years or so after Christ and through two significant Ecumenical (Unity) Councils (393 CE and 397 CE, Carthage, Modern day Tunisia), these authoritative writings climbed the ladder of the Catholic Christian Church, to become scripture as inspired by God.
and Allaah ta ‘aala knows best.