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Refutation: Comparing the Bible and the Qur’an

This article is in response to another writing of the same title by Pastor Samuel Green, “Comparing the Bible and the Qur’an“.

Reason 1. The Context of the Bible and Qur’an

Scripture is supposed to be God’s message to mankind, it does not have to be a history book or a biography. It needs to mention what is needed to be known so that the message could be understood. The Qur’aan does not revolve around the life of Muhammad ﷺ, but it does relate many relevant verses about occurrences throughout the Prophet’s ﷺ life. The Qur’aan is not of human production and thus unlike the Bible it is not ordered through human concepts of organization: chronologically, topically, by (chapter) length, by name (title) or alphabetically. It would be crass to expect the Qur’aan to be ordered like the Bible or to provide the same information as the Bible. Whereas the Bible consists of biographies, letters, revelation, doxologies, epistles, pastorials, poems; the Qur’aan specifically consists only of revelation and nothing else. Pastor Samuel goes on to state:

“Thus, to understand the Bible you only need the Bible. In fact, many of the stories which are only briefly retold in the Qur’an are told in full in the Bible. The Bible is self-sufficient, as the word of God should be.”

This would be patently false and one of the ways we can demonstrate this is by the dependence of Christians to rely upon commentaries, exegeses and lectionaries. In fact, to not rely upon any of the three previous categories of writings and to rely upon one’s own understanding of the Bible is considered to be eisegesis. Oxford Biblical Studies defines this to mean, “A comparatively modern term to describe, disapprovingly, a piece of scholarship which appears to find in a given text a significance alien to its context. This might be to provide biblical support for a doctrinal position already held. The term was coined (from the Greek eis, in, and egeisthai, to guide) as the opposite of exegesis (Greek ek), which means an elucidation of.

In regard to the claim that the Qur’aan cannot be understood without the Seerah (Biography of the Prophet ﷺ) or without the narrations of the Prophet ﷺ, we believe that the Qur’aan can be understood without them to some extent, but for a more accurate understanding and a more comprehensive understanding we must often refer to these other forms of literature. It should be noted that it is the Qur’aan which commands the believers to obey the Prophet ﷺ:

“Say, “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.” – Qur’aan 3:32.

The only way to do this is to follow his Prophetic Sunnah, and so it can be understood that by utilizing the Prophetic Sunnah to understand the Qur’aan, we do this because it is a command in the Qur’aan to do so.This is more of a safeguard as to avoid the sin of eisegesis, as opposed to the Qur’aan being incomplete in any way, shape and or form. I would agree with the Pastor’s statement, “Therefore to compare the Bible to the Qur’an alone is misleading and inaccurate.” I agree with this because the Qur’aan is unlike the Bible in purpose and historical development. Whereas the some parts of the Bible began as authoritative writings and then became scripture (Councils of Carthage, 393 &397 CE), the Qur’aan from its very inception has been and was always scripture in its entirety.

Reason 2. Practices and Beliefs

The Qur’aan contains all of the beliefs that Muslims must know, the Pastor has not provided an instance where we believe something that is not manifested in the Qur’aan. Whereas the Qur’aan commands us to do certain actions such as to fast and pray, to understand how the Prophet ﷺ enacted these commands we refer to the Prophetic Sunnah. While in Islam we separate scripture or the Word of God (risalah) from the biography and actions of the Prophet ﷺ or the Messenger of the Word of God (rasool), the New Testament mixes both and thus the Word of God is lost among the words of men, history and biographies. The Pastor continues by stating:

“The Bible has everything a Christian needs. The Bible fully declares what God has done to save us and bring glory to himself and how we are to live. It is the basis for our wisdom and defines our liberty. “

This is largely untrue, for example the beliefs about the Trinity cannot be found in the New Testament. Nor can the beliefs about the hypostatic union, the second coming of Christ, the immaculate nature of Mary, their doctrine of salvation solely by grace (their soteriological perspective), the foregoing of the laws of God and the original sin.

Why is the Bible so complete?

The Bible is not complete for the reasons outlined above. The Pastor makes the claim that the Bible contains the teachings of the Prophets. However, as is well known, Christians forego the alleged teachings of the Prophets and follow the teachings of Paul. Therefore including the alleged writings of the Prophets in the Bible is largely useless to the Christian faith. Perhaps what is most troubling is that while Moses lived between 1600 and 1300 BCE, the oldest record of the Old Testament is from 250 BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls. With a space of over 1300 years between the Prophets and the Old Testament, it would be very difficult to ascertain whether or not these writings were actually written by the Prophets themselves or written homonymously (by authors writing in the name of the Prophets).

A More Accurate Comparison

Whereas none of the major doctrines of the Christian faith can be found in the New Testament or the Old Testament, the major beliefs of Islam can be found with complete certainty in the Qur’aan. Our doctrine of Tawheed? Surah al Ikhlas 112 covers the entirety of that doctrine in 4 verses. The same cannot be said of the Trinity, Salvation by Grace, the Immaculate  Conception, a Divine Messiah, a Second Coming of Christ or of the hypostatic union. As stated previously, whereas the Qur’aan solely contains the words of God, the Bible contains the words of men in the form of letters, epistles, pastorials, biographies, poems mixed with the words of God to the point that it is very difficult for any Christian to ascertain which is from God and which is from man. This therefore, cannot be seen as a deficiency of the Qur’aan, but should be seen as a corruption and blatant travesty against the sanctity of scripture in the form of the Bible. Whereas Islam keeps the distinction between the commands of God and the Prophetic enactment of those commands, the same cannot be said of the New Testament.

Some Application

1. The Bible and the Qur’aan are not the same in their typology (style of presenation) and in terms of their contents. Whereas the Bible is absent of the major beliefs of Christianity (as highlighted previously), the Qur’aan contains all major beliefs of the Muslims. While the Bible contains biographical works, letters, epistles, poems and other works of men, the Qur’aan solely contains the word of God. Thus, the Muslim is able to distinguish between the Word of God and the Prophetic enactment of the Word of God. While the Bible does claim to contain the works of the Prophets, the time span between that of the Prophets and that of the oldest Old Testament is too wide for anyone to claim with certainty that they were written by the Prophets themselves and until such evidence is presented, anyone who holds to that claim has fallen prey to the fallacy of wishful thinking.

2. If Muslims and Christians were to take the Qur’aan and the Bible in order to demonstrate their most sacred beliefs, the Christian would not be able to discuss the Trinity, the Hypostatic union and other major beliefs without relying on the debates of the Patristics (Church Fathers) who articulated most of their beliefs over a 400 year period. An example would be the doctrine of Tawheed versus that of the doctrine of the Trinity. Whereas the Muslim can refer the Christian to Qur’aan Surah 112 (al-Ikhlas), the Christian cannot refer us to any passage that entirely expresses their belief in the Trinity.

3. It is true that the Prophetic Sunnah compliments the Qur’aan and that beliefs can be derived from both. However, while the Prophetic Sunnah can undergo scrutiny, literary criticism and inspection, the Qur’aan does not undergo these things. Therefore beliefs extracted from the Prophetic Sunnah can be studied to verify their authenticity as the Prophet ﷺ may have been commanded to practise an act in one particular way earlier during his life and another way at a later period during his life. In the case of female circumcision, this is a common practise that should not be confused with female genital mutilation. A cliterodectomy is legal in most Western nations and is considered a cosmetic medical practise.

4. All religions with scripture do not condone the practise of extracting one’s own understanding of the scripture by self interpretation. This practise, known as eisegesis (defined above), is actively discouraged in both the Christian and Muslim faiths respectively. To tackle the Pastor’s claim, we invite him to defend the view that the Unitarians who read the Bible and reject the Trinity based on the Bible, that they are reading it correctly. It is quite obvious that when it comes to contentious verses with which the various Christian sects dispute about, the Pastor would turn to his commentaries to explain the proper understanding of those verses. While the Qur’aan can be understood by reading it, a Muslim knows he would be understanding its passages clearly by seeing the enactment of the Qur’aan and its explanation through the Prophetic Sunnah of Muhammad ﷺ. Thus, I find the Pastor’s claim to be wholly inaccurate and a poor representation of both the beliefs of Muslims and Christians in regard to their handling of scripture.

and Allaah knows best.

The Purpose of Life

by Elisabeth Strout

As I read through Surah Al-Mu’minoun (Chapter of the Believers) in the Qur’an the other Saturday evening, and read for the hundredth time the promise of heaven to the believers and hell for the disbelievers, the following thoughts came to me, tumbling over themselves all in a rush.

As human beings, the single purpose of our existence is to worship our Creator. That’s it. The Muslim worldview could be said to consist entirely in this single ordinance. Every last thing about Islam revolves around it. When you take this concept, and start applying it to each aspect of Islam, each teaching of the Qur’an, spoken by God, and each teaching of His final prophet, everything falls quickly into place, and moves slowly into view as a comprehensive system which takes every aspect of life on earth, and fits it into our singular purpose, the worship of our Creator.

Yet in my discussions with Christians, I’ve often heard expressed the concern that with the Qur’an’s apparent over-emphasis on the horrors of hell and the sensual pleasures of heaven as the goal of the afterlife rather than God Himself, and with the description of sin as “merely” the failure to worship God (as opposed to the Christian view of sin as some evil force which, without outside redemption, holds us all in its grasp and doom us all to hell, believer or unbeliever, righteous or unrighteous, in its infinite offense against God), Islam is missing the mark. As Thabiti Anyabwile, an Evangelical pastor who flirted with the Nation of Islam (a black supremacist movement founded in 1930) during his college years, puts it in his book, The Gospel for Muslims, “Sin rests lightly on the Muslim conscience because Muslims… fail to see how it dishonors God” [1].

The implicit claim of this statement, is that Christians do understand how deeply sin dishonors God, perhaps because they, unlike us, have the brutal crucifixion to look to. If someone had to suffer such excruciating pain in order to deal with sin, then sin must be an awful thing. But I’d beg to differ. Christianity can’t have a more accurate understanding of sin, nor does the Qur’an’s emphasis on heaven and hell detract from its emphasis on the worship of God. And the reason for both is one and the same.

The Christian frame of reference for the gravity of sin lies in atonement by blood. In brief, sin is so horrible, that it demands eternal death [2], and can only be forgiven if blood is shed [3], and the only satisfactory blood is God’s own blood [4]. The reasoning seems to be that sin is infinitely offensive, and therefore requires infinite punishment – either by the infinite suffering of our finite selves (in hell), or the finite suffering of an infinite individual (Christ’s ostensible crucifixion).

The problem with this, beyond the absurdity of God Himself being punished for our sin, effectively stripping the word ‘justice’ entirely of any meaning, is that while it appears to make sin a very grave thing indeed – infinitely grave – by the same logic, we are finite and therefore cannot comprehend the infinity of our offense against God. So we’re right back where we started – unable to grasp the weight of sin, of not fulfilling the purpose of our existence.

The difference in the Islamic perspective, is that it gives a frame of reference that we can relate to – not the vicarious suffering of another that took place 2,000 years ago, but the very personal and future experiences of our own selves. It speaks of heaven and hell, not as our ultimate goals, but as our ultimate destinations. The vivid Qur’anic descriptions accompanying these destinations are not there to scare us or motivate us to worship, but to enable us, as physical, sentient beings, to grasp the weight of our actions.

The detail with which the fires of hell are recounted and ascribed to those who disbelieve and work evil, and the wonder with which the gardens of paradise are described and promised to those who believe in God and His messenger, and fulfill their salah and zakaah, are not meant to take the focus off God. Rather the pleasure of heaven speaks to our senses of the beauty of worshiping God, and the pain of hell speaks of the foulness of dishonoring Him.

Again, the distinction is clear: the outcomes assigned to our actions are the natural results of them, and therefore frames of reference, while the goal to which we aspire is our Creator and the unfathomable privilege of gazing upon His face. [5] Surah Al-Qiyamah, the chapter of the Resurrection, is a short and eloquent testimony to this, telling us “some faces that day will be brilliant, gazing at their Lord”. [6]

But God did not simply inform us of the purpose of our existence, and leave it up to us to figure out how to fulfill it. Islam provides a clear set of guidelines for doing so, starting with five pillars, and reiterating those constantly in the Qur’an, as the foundation of our life of worship.

The first, the ‘shahada’, or bearing witness that there is no deity but Allah, and that Muhammad is His messenger, set us apart intellectually from those who fail to accomplish the purpose of their life, by attributing divine attributes to other than God, or by attributing human attributes to Him (known as ‘shirk’), or by denying His existence outright (known as ‘kufr’). Even Thabiti Anyabwile recognizes this. Contradicting his earlier statement that Muslims fail to see how sin dishonors God, he ascertains that, “the highest blasphemy in Islam is… making partners with God. To the Muslim mind nothing could be more foul and dishonoring to God.” [7]

The four remaining pillars are equally important. Time, sleep, money, food, sex, and social status – these are fundamental needs and desires we have as human beings, and each pillar helps purify and re-focus them, so rather than becoming idols, they can be turned into acts of worship. ‘Salah’, the five daily ‘prayers’ at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, evening, and night, and the second of the pillars, governs the time and the sleep we consider so precious, reminding us that they also belong to God. We are forgetful beings – the very word for mankind in Arabic comes from this root – and we need frequent reminding of our purpose. Salah is this constant reminder, refocus on the glory of God.

The three remaining pillars, ‘zakah’, ‘sawm’, and ‘hajj’, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage, govern our worldly desire for money and social status, and our earthly need for food and intimacy. Just like the call to prayer at dawn reminds that “salah is better than sleep”, zakah reminds us that God is more worthy of our desire than money, by enjoining on us generosity, giving from what God has provided us, to those who have less. Sawm reminds us He is more worthy of our desire than food or sex, by reining in those desires from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan. And hajj reminds us that we are all equal before God, rich and poor, brown and white, king and servant, by bringing us all together in the same location, in the same dress, in the same language, in the same state of ihram, performing the same acts of worship, bowing shoulder to shoulder before our Creator.

These pillars are a daily, monthly, and yearly reminder that we are not the sum total of our physical needs and wants, our ultimate goal here is not to fulfill them. But Islam doesn’t stop there. Through the Qur’an, the final revelation of God, and through the example and teaching of Muhammad, His final prophet, Islam reaches out to all aspects of life, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night, from giving birth to choosing a spouse to preparing a body for burial, from going to the bathroom to eating food, in health and sickness, and provides guidance, so that there is a right and a wrong way to do everything.

In this way, “Islam provides a means of turning each and every human act, no matter how insignificant or mundane it may seem, into an act of worship.” [8] In fact, any act, “consciously done for the pleasure of Allah alone and done according to the sunnah of the messenger of Allah, can turn into an act of worship and man’s whole life can enter completely into the service of Allah.” [9] Hence the vast and far-reaching body of regulations in Islam, are not an interminable list of arbitrary rules assigned by God merely to test us, but wise guidelines designed by Him that fulfill a purpose, and at the same time, make us more peaceful, successful, happier individuals.

 

[1] Anyabwile, Thabiti, The Gospel for Muslims, p. 45-46

[2] Romans 6:23

[3] Hebrews 9:22

[4] Romans 3:25

[5] Al-Munajjid, Sh. Muhammad, http://islamqa.info/en/ref/14525

[6] Qur’an 75:22-23

[7] Anyabwile, p. 27

[8] Philips, Dr. Bilal, The Fundamentals of Tawheed

[9] Ibid.

Does God call Jesus God? [Hebrews 1:8-12]

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

When asking a Christian where Christ said he was a God, it is impossible to find a first person statement on this issue. Therefore, it becomes problematic, as no such Biblical quote exists. What they turn to however, is third person accounts, from which there are many in the Bible. This presents a problem, for Jesus allegedly stated:

“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.” (John 18:20)

If Jesus had said that he was God, then there would be no need to seek out second and third party accounts, to that effect of being a self claimant to divinity. Thus it is clear from the verse above (John 18:20), that his claiming to be God would be explicit and quite extant as demonstrated by the persona of the Old Testament God. To understand the difference between the personas of the Old Testament God and the New Testament God, I suggest reading my article on the topic: Non Compos Mentis. Therefore, by seeking a 3rd person account to validate their claim of Christ’s divinity, that person has already failed to meet the mark. Looking beyond this, one must study a very important group of verses pertaining to Christ’s divinity as used by missionaries:

“8But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever,
and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”[a]

10He also says, “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.

11 They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.

12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same, 
and your years will never end.[b]”

(Hebrews 1:8-12)

Christians get very excited about these verses, God has called Jesus God, thus proving that in the Bible, Jesus is God. So that’s it, the Christians win, Jesus is God, because God said so……

Alas! Wait! Do you see  the two citations of [a] and [b], what do they say?

  • Hebrews 1:9 Psalm 45:6,7
  • Hebrews 1:12 Psalm 102:25-27
Let’s take a look at these verses from the Hebrew Old Testament, JPS Translation:
Your arrows are sharpened, nations shall fall under you, in the heart of the king’s enemies. Your throne, O judge, [will exist] forever and ever; the scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom.” (Psalms 45:6-7)
The throne, being the throne of the Messiah who is to rule from the throne of David for all time (according to Judaic doctrine). The Messiah is undoubtedly a judge, one who comes to judge people in righteous and guide them, as he himself stated:
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” (John 5:30)
Judge to please who? Himself? No. To please God. The one who sent him. Therefore, Jesus judging according to the laws of God is something we Muslims accept and agree with. Continuing with the other footnote which cited Psalms again:
I say: to the Lord, “You are my God, do not take me away in the middle of my days, You Whose years endure throughout all generations. In the beginning You founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish but You will endure, and all of them will rot away like a garment; like raiment You will turn them over and they will pass away.” (Psalms 102:25-27)
In the New Testament, again, it reads vastly differently, the Jewish texts places it into context, that the judge, who is the Messiah Jesus, is saying this about God. God is not saying this about Jesus. This is one of many examples where Christians have abused and manipulated to the Judaic Scriptural tradition in order to derive easily refutable arguments about Christ’s deity.
wa Allahu ‘Alam.
Note: Originally published on July 5th, 2010 @ 3:34.

The Greatest Evidence for the Veracity of Christianity: Its Absurdity, By Tertullian

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Note: The following quote is not from my own writing, nor my own translation, the source and link is clearly cited below for all to enjoy reading.

One of early Christendom’s most significant and prominent leaders, (what we term a Patristic) was Tertullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus) who was one of the very first Christian apologists, writing against many people, most notably, “Against Marcion” (Adversus Marcionem) who awkwardly enough was the first man to canonize the Christian Bible and “Against the Jews” (Adversus Judaeos ) who even more strangely enough followed the religion of their God (as they say Jesus was a Jew). What is apparent is that these statements are supposed to be in support of Christianity, being such a major apologetic in his day, it is quite shocking to read some of his statements about the veracity of the Christian faith. As such, please do research more on this issue and enjoy reading:

There are, to be sure, other things also quite as foolish (as the birth of Christ), which have reference to the humiliations and sufferings of God. Or else, let them call a crucified God “wisdom.” But Marcion will apply the knife’ to this doctrine also,, and even with greater reason. For which Is more unworthy of God, which is more likely to raise a blush of shame, that God should be born, or that He should die? that He should bear the flesh, or the cross? be circumcised, or be crucified? be cradled, or be coffined? be laid in a manger, or in a tomb? Talk of “wisdom!” You will show more of fiat if you refuse to believe this also. But, after all, you will not be “wise” unless you become a “fool” to the world, by believing” the foolish things of God.”Have you, then, cut away all sufferings from Christ, on the ground that, as a mere phantom, He was incapable of experiencing them? We have said above that He might possibly have undergone the unreal mockeries of an imaginary birth and infancy.But answer me at once, you that murder truth: Was not God really crucified? And, having been really crucified, did He not really die? And, having indeed really died, did He not really rise again? Falsely did Paul “determine to know nothing amongst us but Jesus and Him crucified;” falsely has he impressed upon us that He was buried; falsely inculcated that He rose again. False, therefore, is our faith also. And all that we hope for from Christ will be a phantom.O thou most infamous of men, who acquittest of all guilt the murderers of God! For nothing did Christ suffer from them, if He really suffered nothing at all. Spare the whole world’s one only hope, thou who art destroying the indispensable dishonour of our faith? Whatsoever is unworthy of God, is of gain to me. I am safe, if I am not ashamed–my Lord.“Whosoever,” says He, “shall be ashamed of me, of him will I also be ashamed.” Other matters for shame find I r none which can prove me to be shameless t in a good sense, and foolish in a happy one, by my own contempt of shame. The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed because men must needs be ashamed of it. And the Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain, because it is impossible.But how will all this be true in Him, if He was not Himself true–if He really had not in Himself that which might be crucified, might die, might be buried, and might rise again?I mean this flesh suffused with blood, built up with bones, interwoven with nerves, entwined with veins, a flesh which knew how to be born, and how to die, human without doubt, as born of a human being. It will therefore be mortal in Christ, because Christ is man and the Son of man. Else why is Christ man and the Son of man, if he has nothing of man, and nothing from man? Unless it be either that man is anything else than flesh, or man’s flesh comes from any other source than man, or Mary is anything else than a human being, or Marcion’s man is as Marcion’s god. Otherwise Christ could not be described as being man without flesh, nor the Son of man without any human parent; just as He is not God without the Spirit of God, nor the Son of God without having God for His father. Thus the nature of the two substances displayed Him as man and God,–in one respect born, in the other unborn; l in one respect fleshly in the other spiritual; in one sense weak in the other exceeding strong; in on sense dying, in the other living.

This excerpt has been taking from, “De carne Christi (On the flesh of Christ), Chapter 5, – Christ Truly Lived and Died in human flesh. Incidents of human life on earth, and refutation of Marcion’s docetic parody of the same.”

Link to online resource of said book: http://www.earlychristianwritings.co…tullian15.html

From this we can deduce that Paul was a liar and a man which altered the true doctrine of Christ, as Tertullian clearly indicates. Following from this, we can also conclude that the greatest proof of Christianity’s theological foundations, is that the religion is so morbidly absurd tha it just has to be true. Recall the famous saying, “that idea is so stupid it just might work“, same reasoning applies here. That’s truly some great logic!

Qur’aan Surah 4, Ayah 156-159:

“That they rejected Faith; That they uttered against Mary A grave false charge; That they said (in boast): ‘We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah.’ But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise. And there is none of the people of the book (Jews and Christians) But must believe in him (Jesus) Before his death; And on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus) will be a witness Against them.”

wa Allaahu Alam,
and God knows best.

Originally Published: December 2nd, 2011, 14:11 PM.
Edited and Republished: August 19th, 2012, 10:10 AM.

Simple Reasons to Disbelieve in the Bible

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Christians are fond of saying that although the Bible has unstable and sketchy textual contradictions, they can analyse the manuscripts and develop (yes, develop), a Bible as close to God’s words as possible. The problem however is that if you don’t know what God’s word was, how can you develop something, into it? That’s like saying you don’t know what an aeroplane looks like, but you’re going to design one.

The problem isn’t that errors can be corrected within the manuscripts, by all means this is not the point. To clarify, I will state what the points of such a dialogue on the Bible’s authenticity should be about:

  1. Authorship.
  2. Validation of Authorship.
  3. Validity of Chain of Transmission.
  4. Comparison with other scriptures.

Authorship:
The authorship of any document, especially those of high esteem must accompany the scribe’s identity.

E.g. I write a document, claim it’s from the President and it doesn’t have his signature. No one would accept it.

Likewise, if I were to claim that I have a scripture from God, written by “unknown”, how much trust would you actually place on me? In stating this, it should be noted the names of the Gospels were based on assumptions and traditions. Although it is common for scribes to leave a manuscript autograph signature, we have no such signature from any of the four (4) synoptic Gospels.

Validation of Authorship:
The validity of the author must be sought.

E.g. I write a document, sign my name and say I am the President. There is no evidence I am the President, who would then believe me?

Likewise if I authored a scripture and claimed to be a scribe of God, then some evidence must be shown, after all would you trust someone based on word of mouth or credentials? Similarly, the Bible has no such form of verification. There is no one from the Patristics (early Church Fathers), the Presbyters (early Church elders) or from the Disciples (Peter, Barnabus) to testify to the identity and works of Mark, Luke, John or Matthew.

Validation of Chain of Transmission:
Again, questionable character comes in here, if the chain of narration contains those persons who are known to lie, shall we trust their words? Surely this is not so. Similarly, what about a man who willingly declares himself to be a fool (2 Corinthians 11) and possessed by a demon (2 Corinthians 12)?

Comparison with Similar/ Linked Scriptures:
If we compare the OT with the NT, it is radically different. You have to apply your own exegesis (therefore eisegesis) to create some form of bond/ relationship between these two “revelations”. Yet, Jews, the majority of which, do not accept the New Testament as scripture, because it does not comply with their mainstream beliefs.

Generally, the problem with 150,000 manuscripts, is not that they have errors which can be corrected, but it is that there is not a single original of which to compare any of these manuscripts with. Of the 24,000 pre-Codex Sinaiticus manuscripts, most are not used.

The Bible is generally a book where errors have to be continuously eliminated as errors keep popping up, such as with Mark 16:9-20. How are we to know, that for almost 2000 years men believed those words to be true, many today, yet the earliest manuscripts never had them.

According to Bruce Metzger[1]:

Variant Readings among the Manuscripts

The first problem facing Bible translators is the differences in wording among manuscripts of the Scriptures. These differences have arisen because, even with the strongest determination to copy a text without error, a scribe copying a text of considerable length will almost inevitably introduce changes in the wording. It is understandable that mistakes can arise from inattentiveness brought on by weariness. For example instead of the correct reading, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a

bed, and not on a stand?” (Mark 4:21, RSV), several important manuscripts read “under the stand.” This is obviously a scribal error in repeating the preposition “under” in the third phrase.

Sometimes a scribe’s error of judgment works havoc with the text. One of the most atrocious blunders of this kind is in the minuscule Greek manuscript no. 109, dated to the 14th century. This manuscript of the four Gospels was transcribed from a copy that must have had Luke’s genealogy of Jesus (3:23–38 ) in two columns of 28 lines in each. Instead of transcribing the text by following the columns in succession, the scribe of MS 109 copied the genealogy by following the lines across the two columns.

In addition to such transcriptional blunders, which can usually be detected and corrected, occasionally a scribe deliberately introduced into the copy a change that seems to clarify the sense or eliminate a difficulty. For example the older manuscripts of Mark 1:2–3 attribute to the Prophet Isaiah the evangelist’s composite quotation from both Malachi and Isaiah, whereas later manuscripts (followed by the King James translators of 1611) read, “As it is written in the prophets,” an obvious amelioration of the earlier text.

wa Allaahu Alam,
and God knows best.

1 – Bruce Metzger, Persistent Problems Confronting Bible Translators, Bibliotheca Sacra 150: 599 (1993): 273-284.

[Originally published: April 20th, 2010, 21:24 pm]
[Altered and republished: August 12th, 2012, 4:00 pm]

Scientific Miracle in the Qur’aan: Sun Dying.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

One of the many signs of the last hour, as described in Qur’aan, is the destruction of the universe we live in with all its stars and planets. Describing the death of the Sun on the last day, the Qur’aan mentions:

إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَ‌تْ
“When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up” – Qur’aan : Surat at Takwir (81) : 1.

Prophet Muhammad {saw} has mentioned that both, the sun and the moon are destined to die on the last day after their light would have faded, as in the authentic Hadeeth from Sahih al Bukhari:

الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ يُكَوَّرَانِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة
The sun and the moon will be rolled up on the Day of Judgement.

How does Science confirm this fact? Well let’s take a look:

“The Sun, modest in life, is subdued in death. After the planetary nebula fades, there is no nuclear fusion at all, just a lump of hot carbon and some happy memories. The Sun will be well and truly dead.”

“Over the following billion years, the Sun will gradually die. As a star’s core crashes inwards, it eventually becomes hot enough to ignite another of its constituent atoms, helium.

Helium atoms fuse together to form carbon. When the helium supply runs out, the centre collapses again and the atmosphere inflates.

The Sun isn’t massive enough to fully re-ignite its core for a third time. So it goes on expanding, shedding its atmosphere in a series of bursts.

White dwarf

The dying core eventually forms a white dwarf – a spherical diamond the size of the Earth, made of carbon and oxygen. From this point on the Sun will gradually fade away, becoming dimmer and dimmer until its light is finally snuffed out.”

Source of scientific information.

As a bonus, please watch this video:

At around the 1:20 to 1:32 mark in the video (which you can go to directly by clicking here), the narrator states that the “sun’s core would collapse”, which fits ideally into the Qur’aanic narrative that the sun would be, “folded up”.

This article, written by CallingChristians.com team member, Br. Muhy from Lebanon.

wa Allaahu Alam.
[and God knows best.]