Why do Muslims use sources they don’t believe in?
When Muslims quote the Bible, or quote scholars like Bart Ehrman who disagree with what Muslims believe, isn’t that cherry picking, a double standard?
This answer can apply to any topic, regardless of the source or reference that a Muslim uses. When Muslims use sources like the Bible, it is not cherry picking nor a double standard to use it in their argumentation. This is because we have a standard of consistent truth. Regardless of what a source says, we agree and affirm when that source is correct. Consider the example of a flat earther (a person who does not believe the earth is a globe). If a flat earther told me that humans lived on the earth or that gravity was real, I would affirm those truths. I would not reject everything the flat earther says, simply because he is wrong in some of what he says.
Consider the example of a Jew who affirms that God is absolutely one. As a Muslim, I would affirm that such a monotheistic belief is a truth. Regardless of his other beliefs about the Prophets or about God, I am not going to reject monotheism merely because the Jew holds some beliefs I disagree with. Our standard of truthful affirmation remains consistent, we affirm the truth wherever it is, and reject the falsehood wherever it is. The ability to both accept and reject from a source is called rational discernment, or the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood. There is no rule or law which states that one must absolutely agree with everything a source says, this is a false impression to hold to. Being able to distinguish, discern is to remain consistent in one’s approach to works that someone may find things disagreeable with.
The same holds true to the Bible. A Muslim will gladly affirm that Jesus is the Christ as the New Testament mentions. It would be inconsistent to reject that Jesus is the Christ because the New Testament says so. Being able to discern between what we believe and don’t believe is to remain consistent in one’s theology. A long time Christian polemicist also received a similar question when he used and quoted Catholic works, when he himself is not a Catholic:
The irony here, is that when this same individual sees a Muslim quoting the Bible he becomes angry and belligerent, often using insults. Yet in this comment of his, he affirms that it is perfectly fine to quote sources when and where they agree with one’s theology in common. He has no issue with it. As one of his colleagues would say, inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument.
and Allah knows best.