Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Topic: The authenticity of the Bible
Received: 26 November 2004
Subject: Qur'an and Bible
I've skimmed through some of your writings regarding the Quran, but haven't found anything concrete to suggest that the Quran is not the word of Allah (The Highest Deity).
I'm sure you know there are plenty of things discussed in the Quran that were not known to mankind at the time that it was revealed. How is this possbile in your mind, and how is it that the Bible is considered by Christians to be God's word when there are so many versions out there (ie, King James, Douay, etc.) and many of them have entire chapters missing from them.
Finally, the New Testament, as far as I know, states in many of the chapters "The Gospel According to....", and it follows it with the Apostles, but never God. So, if the New Testament is a collection of the Gospel according to the Apostles, it can't be Gods word, can it?????
Thank you for your email.
You are asking some good questions. Obviously we could spend a lot of time on these topics—many books have been written to explain these points. But I will try and sum a couple things up for you as best as I can.
First, the Authenticity of the Bible.
The Bible is truly unique. There is no other book out there that even comes close in comparison. Consider—it is actually a collection of books, written over a 1,500 years span of time, by more than 40 authors, and deals with highly controversial topics—yet it does not contradict itself in its message. Perfect consistency. This could only be done if it were divinely inspired. God's emphasis on multiple-witnesses-to-establish-truth must not be overlooked. In the Torah, God told Moses,
"By the mouth of (at least) two or three witnesses the matter shall be established."In the Scriptures of the Bible, God has used not just one man to deliver His message, nor just two or three witnesses, but 40. Prophets like Moses, David, Solomon, Job... And in the Gospel record (Injil) for example, God used four apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, to record the story and words of the Messiah who came to earth, and then He used four more men to write the remaining books of the New Testament Scriptures in order to affirm what the first four wrote. God has given us a firm foundation for our faith.
Also, unlike any book ever written, the Bible contains God's personal signature via hundreds of specific prophecies which have been fulfilled-about nations, cities, events, people and the promised Messiah. Only God can consistently and repeatedly predict the future with 100% accuracy. The laws of probability demonstrate the impossibility of such prophecies being fulfilled by mere chance.
2 Timothy 3:16 states:
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness,"The Greek word for "inspired" is used elsewhere in reference to the transportation of a paralyzed man. Just as a paralyzed man can not walk under his own power, so the writers of the Scriptures could not bring God's word on their own inclination. So, with "The Gospel According to..." just means that an individual was writing the book, as 'breathed' by God himself. No different than any other writer of the Scriptures. God used many men to record His message.
Now, the different versions are different translations.
You probably are aware that the original Scriptures are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The King James was translated into the English of the day from these languages. Today other translations from the original will be different because the (our) language has changed. While the Douay does have additional books, they are not a part of the original canon compiled in the early 2nd century.
I do not agree with what the Roman Catholic Church did in adding the apocryphal books to the Old Testament. But having said that, did you know that if you compare, for example, the Book of Matthew in a Catholic English Bible to the Book of Matthew in a Protestant English Bible, you will find they are the same? If you compare these to the early Greek manuscripts, you will find they are the same. In its nearly 2000 years of existence, the Book of Matthew has remained the same. By this comparison, it is easy to see that no one has corrupted the Book of Matthew. This process can be done with Genesis, Exodus... Psalms... Isaiah... John... Revelation... or any other book of the Bible. There are language groups in the world that have had, for many years, only one book of the Bible in their language. Yet they have read this one book and have understood God's Good News message. In the end, the size of one's Bible is not what is most important. Of course, it is an awesome privilege to be able to study the entire volume of Scripture—which allows one to see the infinite depth and perfect consistency in “all that the prophets have spoken.” (Luke 24:25-27)
Now, the question about the Quran's authenticity as to being the word of Allah.
When you have time, I would encourage you to check out the following links which directly address your question:
As you surely know, the Quran commands people to believe the books of the Bible, namely the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel. But then the Quran proceeds to contradict the message of these books. (Yes, some try to get around this problem by claiming that the Scriptures of the Bible have been corrupted. But an overwhelming mountain of evidence reveals the Bible Scriptures to be the best preserved books of antiquity.) Simply stated, if the Quran was the word of God, then it would not contradict what God has already so clearly established through the 40 prophets and apostles who wrote the Scriptures of the Bible.
The main thought throughout the Scriptures of the Bible constantly refers to two problems that man has.
1) The Sin Problem. We have sinned, and sin demands death, which is not only physical death, but in the end is hellfire. God's Justice demanded it because all sin must be punished, even the 'least' of sins.
2) The Righteousness Problem. We need a righteousness, a level of goodness that is equal to God's goodness. Only perfect people can live in the presence of a perfect God. God's Holiness demands that.
The message of the Quran is quite different. Only by doing certain things are you 'allowed' into paradise. However, doing such things does nothing to resolve either of the two problems listed above. Our sin is still 'out there'—it's not taken care of, and we still don't have that goodness, the righteousness needed to enter paradise.
How can a man be righteous before God? This is the question to which the Scriptures of the Bible provide a clear answer.
Have you understood and believed God's MESSAGE? And, by the way, once you have understood HIS Story and Message you will be able to readily recognize those books, messages and messengers which are not of God.
An excellent resource is a book written to help explain what the Prophets have written. It is written objectively—the author presenting the Scriptures as objectively as possible. No arm twisting—he presents what the Bible says and lets you decide whether to believe it or not. You can download and read it for free at: www.goodseed.com/theprophetsenglish.aspx
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