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Islam- Faith in the Bible?

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3rd in a series on ISLAM first published by LET US REASON BROADCAST PO Box 683 Wahiawa, HAWAII 96786 621-1133, USA, written by Mike Openheimer
Muslims claim to believe in the Torah ( torat ) and in the writings of David, the Psalms ( zabur ) and the Gospel ( Injil ). However when it comes to the Bible in our hands today they consider it corrupted, not being accurate as it was written. Because of this God gave the restored truth to Mohammed which is written down in the Koran. They claim the Koran is the full & final revelation of God, Mohammed is the seal of all the prophets. Their claim is that Mohammed's writings are verbally inspired having in their possession an absolutely perfect copy, so it supersedes the Bible. Because of this view the Bible is always interpreted by what the Koran says first.
When becoming engaged in a conversation with a Muslim one quickly finds himself confronted with circular reasoning. What the Koran does is abolish the authority of the Bible. Their injil says Jesus never died or resurrected. When asked, how do you know the Koran is true? Because Mohammed said so. How do you know he is the prophet, the Koran says so. So they overrule an absolute (our Bible) by replacing it with a new one (their Koran).
When you ask Muslims to consider Christianity they can't because of the misrepresentation of it from the Koran. They don't really know what we believe. They think we believe in three gods - the father, the mother and the son. They say that if Jesus is the son of god that literally means that he was conceived by sex. Son of god means sex with god.
I personally have a problem with people who disbelieve what they don't understand. The Koran is comprised of 114 revelations of Mohammed that were mostly spoken in pain while he was twisting on the ground.
The Muslim claims the Koran was written in Arabic, which is the language of heaven, on a stone tablet in heaven, having no human author. However we find the Koran is not written in 100% Arabic at all, but has some Hebrew, Persian and even Greek words. If one were to ask where is the original manuscript there are no solid answers. The average Muslim will insist they know it is in their possession, scholars know better. To not have the original is to not know where it is!
Mohammed is considered a universal prophet yet he has communicated to us in Arabic. The only miracle he has done is the Koran which can only be understood by those who speak Arabic. But if you don't speak it you must believe the miracle and he is the prophet to the whole world anyway. They want to convert the whole world to speak Arabic because that is the Holy language. The miracle is related to language. Every time you take a verse in English and challenge them they will say that is not a correct translation, you don't understand the language. How can God who is to speak to all people through his prophet restrict himself to one particular language. According to Islam, God spoke to Mohammed in the language of his people that no one else can understand! In contrast Jesus' commission demands that God's message be communicated to every person's culture and in their own languages. We bring God's message to them not them to God's message.
If we are to accept the Koran as an inspired message then it must pass the test that the previous books did. First it must be in agreement with the former revelation of holy writings because they supposedly came from the same source who is the one God. Just as in the OT they tested a prophet by the standard of the Scripture ie they must have spoken in harmony with the Word of God.
Since the Koran comes 500 yrs. after the Old Testament, it too must comply with the tested words of Scripture. If we are to accept the Muslims' argument of the Bible being corrupted this means God could not preserve His Word. If He failed to do this for the Bible what makes one think He would not fail to do this for the Koran? There are no guarantees. If a Muslim rejects the Bible he must also reject the Koran because Mohammed appeals to the Bible as an authority. If he accepts the Bible he must then reject the Koran because of the contradictory stories that undermine essential eternal truths.
While the Muslim is more than willing to debate whether the Bible and Christianity are true a non Muslim does not have the same freedom to criticise their Koranic literature. This is considered an affront to the Muslim to question their holy book. As Christians we are not afraid of someone questioning the validity of Scripture since we feel they will stand the scrutiny of any sceptic, of which many have become believers in the process. Others outside Islam are not afforded this opportunity.
Mohammed lived in 600 A-D. Today we have whole Biblical manuscripts going back to 300 AD ie 300 years before he was born. We also have separate letters that predate all of these by hundreds of years all of which give an accurate representation of the original writings (autographers.)
Mohammed used to say to tell the Christians of his day to go and look at their Bibles for they would tell them that what he was saying was true. In his writings he appeals to the Bible at least twenty five times. The lesser will always appeal to the greater. Today we have the same Bible that Mohammed was pointing to in his day. It has not changed, so why is there such a conflict not only in these areas but in so many other crucial teachings?
In response Muslims will say, "Mohammed was not referring to the NT but to the Torah." They believe the Koran was dictated by the angel Gabriel and that it is based on eternal tablets that are in heaven. So naturally if their is a conflict it must be in the Bible and not their own book.
Interestingly when you look at history you find that a majority of religions have been started from "angels". Islam is no exception to this. Angels have frequently been involved in bringing revelation to mankind. They have also allegedly been involved in bringing false information. Can the same angel say two different things on the same subject and both statements be true? Obviously not; yet this is exactly what has transpired in the Koran. There is something else operating here that proves it is not the angel Gabriel as they claim.
In their own suras ( chapter's ) it states that God's Word cannot change so if an angel several hundreds of years later comes with a different story, which one are we supposed to believe? Take for example the angel Gabriel's announcement of the birth of Christ to Mary. He told her He would be called the Son of God (which means having the same nature as God) Lk. 1:35 also in Mt. 1:23. He would be called Emmanuel, God with us. This is the same angel that is supposed to have told Mohammed that God has no son, and that God is unable to become incarnate.
Obviously these are 2 contradictory accounts of a major doctrine, the Incarnation. How can God be the author of both & how can the angel Gabriel give differing revelations several hundred years apart? Mt 1:23 is a direct quote from Isaiah 7:14 in the Old Testament.
What we need to understand is that Mohammed had no Bible available in his native tongue. There was no Arabic translation until 200 years after he lived, so how did he know about the Bible? There seems to be a lot of evidence that Mohammed picked up these stories from people, whom he met along the trade routes. He learned from Arab nomads who sat around campfires telling their corrupted stories of the Bible. Many of these stories predate Islamic literature and were already circulating in Mohammed's time (such as the Arabian fables of Genies and Jinn). This is why the Koran contradicts the Bible in stories such as the one about Abraham going to sacrifice Ishmael, not Isaac. The Koran goes as far as to say, that Abraham was not a Jew, nor a Christian, but a Muslim. *1 The Bible calls him a Jew; the Jews consider him a Jew as did Jesus. Everyone does except the Muslims. In the Koran it states that Abraham Isaac and Jacob say they are Muslim who live and die for Islam. These are all foreign words for their time, seeing Islam was not in existence until the 7th Century AD.
Is the Koran in concert with the Bible? Islam does claim that their teachings are in harmony with our Scriptures The Koran states, "We have sent down to thee the book (Koran) with the truth, confirming the book (Bible) that was before it and assuring it." So lets compare the Koran with the Bible.
The Genesis account of creation contradicts Sura 41:9-10,12 - "In 2 days God created the earth, it took him 4 days to sculpt and form the mountains and the rivers, and then in 2 days he turned and finished the heavens." So it states God took 8 days to create the world, this is a calculation of 4 days + 2 days + 2 days = 8 days. Gen 1:31 says it took 6 days and God rested from his work on the 7th day. The Muslims answer is there is corruption on the part of the Bible. However there is no evidence of this in the Hebrew text. This creation event is referred to in numerous other Bible passages. In Ex 20:11 God repeats that the world was created in 7 days and He gives the nation of Israel the Sabbath as a covenant to commemorate this event. It states on the 7th day they too are to rest.
What makes the Koran an enigma is that it is called a perfect revelation. Yet sura 7:51 and 10:3 agree with the biblical account of 6 days. So there is not only a contradiction between the Koran and the Bible but also between two passages in their own book. Muslims instead of facing the inconsistency will usually do mathematical gymnastics. Adding 4+2+2 and come up with 6 instead of 8. Their reason is 4 is divisible by 2 and so 4 is really 2. But the Arabic says 4, not 2.
According to the Koran Haman lived in Egypt, worked under Pharoah, opposed Moses and built the tower of babel during which time Noah's flood took place.
In sura 11 "Noah's son was drowned". Not only does this contradict the Bible account, but in this particular the Koran contradicts itself. In sura 21 it states "We saved him (Noah) and all his kinfolk from the great calamity." The Koran also tells us that that the flood took place in Moses day. (Sura 7:136 contradicts Sura 7:59.) The Koran also states it was Pharoah's wife who adopted Moses (Sura 28:8-9) not Pharoah's daughter as the Bible states. (Ex 2:5) In sura 19:10 Zacharias is speechless for only three days when the Bible states it lasted the whole time of Elizabeth's pregnancy, until John was born, ie for nine months. In Sura 19:21-26 we are told Mary gave birth under a palm tree The Bible says it was in a stable (Lk 2:1-20). Mohammed also confuses the Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, with the Mary (Miriam) who was the sister of Moses and Aaron attributing Jesus birth to her. (Sura 19:28). These and other passages show Mohammad's sparse understanding of basic Bible history.
They claim Abraham was the first to believe, sura 6:14 but in sura 7:143 they say it was Moses. The Koran states that Abraham and Nimrod were enemies, that Nimrod cast Abraham into a fire but he came safely out. These two people are separated by a thousand years according to the Bible.
Much like the book of Mormon, on almost every story such as the fall of man, Moses, Noah, Joseph and numerous others, the Biblical accounts are contradicted. Names, dates, events phrases are used that are not from the periods the Koran gives them. There are accounts of the apocryphal stories within the Koranic literature which implies that they were using whatever stories were available at the time. Scholars who have examined the dialect of the type of Arabic spoken in the Koran have sourced it to someone in the quarish tribe written in the 7th Century AD.
Vol 6 Hadith 509 states that the Koran, after Mohammed's death, was scattered on palm leaves, rocks, bones, tree bark and animal skin. Yet Hadith 63 vol 1 and vol 4 709 state "the Caliph Uthman got the Koran compiled and sent a few of its copies to far off places. Uthman wrote the manuscripts of the holy Koran in the form of a book."
There were missing verses and conflicting stories and so Uthmann made his own copy and forced it on every one else telling them to burn all the other versions that conflicted with his copy. The Shiites claim he removed 25% of the text.

The Comforter:

Muslims claim that the Bible has been corrupted. One of their chief arguments refers to the Greek rendering for Comforter "paracletos" which means "advocate" or "helper". Their scholars translate this "paraclytos" and use this to point to Mohammed. The Muslims see Jesus' reference to the coming of the Comforter or helper (the paraclete) as fulfilled by Mohammed. They base this on quaran 61:6 where Mohammed is reckoned to be ahmad ("paraclytos"), "Jesus, the son of Mary, said 0 children of Israel! I am the apostle of God ... giving glad tidings of an apostle to come after me whose name shall be ahmad."
In all 5,366 manuscripts of the New Testament there is no reference to paraclytos (praised one,) so there is no textual evidence for this claim.
In sura 16:102 and sura 26:192-194 Mohammed's call was issued by the Holy Spirit who according to their teaching is the angel Gabriel. In contrast according to the Bible the Comforter is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) who is God. This conflict certainly shows the Biblical illiteracy of the Koran's author.
What's more according to the Bible the very purpose of the coming of this helper is to bear witness to the truth who is Jesus (c/f John 14:6). And furthermore this helper whom Jesus and the Father would send would be in Christians and would abide with them forever (John 14:17). How can Mohammed be said to be living in Christians today after being dead 13 centuries?
In John 16:13 Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will not speak on His own authority but that. He will glorify Christ (v. 14) and will take what is Jesus' and declare it unto you.
In Sura 33:40 Mohammed says of himself that he is the apostle of God, the seal of the prophets. This means that he supersedes Jesus who is an inferior prophet. He is speaking on his own authority, which is something that Jesus said his helper would not do. (Jesus also said that John the Baptist is the greatest prophet ever among men - Matt 11:11.).
One of the arguments for Mohammed being the helper is that Jesus promised to send another of the same kind (like Himself). Since Muslims look upon Jesus as being only a man, a prophet, to them this had to mean that He was going to send another man. They reject Jesus' deity and the fact that He pre existed as God, who is spirit and that this was His eternal nature. He took upon Himself a human nature as an addition but He always existed as God. The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is also God and that when Jesus said that He would send another like Himself it was to be of the same kind (eternal) in like nature. The Spirit would be with us forever which is something only God can promise and perform.
The timing of when the helper would be sent certainly contradicts the Koran. Jesus said that it "would not be many days from now" - see Acts 1:4-5. This was to be at the close of the 40 days, that he appeared after His resurrection. We know that this was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after His crucifixion. Mohammed did not come until 600 years later so this would mean that the disciples did not have the Comforter (paraclete) nor do we today since Mohammed is no longer here.
Another Biblical event that makes this claim by Muslims even more illogical is that the paraclete, who is identified as the Holy Spirit, was brooding over the waters in Genesis 1 and taking part in creation. It is obvious that this could not be Mohammed. Further it was by the same Holy Spirit that the egg inside Mary was impregnated so that she conceived. This certainly is not Mohammed! In addition we are told that the Comforter would be in us. Christians will all have in them the same Holy Spirit. How could this be Mohammed? He was a flesh and blood person who is no longer alive. How could he inhabit Christians , of all people, who do not believe in His teachings? Despite all this evidence, Muslims insist that the paraclete is a person of flesh and blood and not the Holy Spirit who is God Himself.

In conclusion:

The fact that Mohammed said that Jesus was a prophet is a very strong argument that can be used by Christians in their dialogue with Muslims. Just ask the question, "Is Jesus a prophet?" The answer will be "Mohammed said he was." "Can a true prophet lie? Muslims will answer in the negative.
"Well if Jesus is a true prophet then whatever he said should be heeded. Jesus claimed to be the only way to God. If Jesus is right then Mohammed is wrong. If Jesus is wrong, Mohammed is still wrong, because he said that Jesus was right."
[ First ] ... [ Previous ]... Since this was printed there has come to hand a book called "Glad News! God Loves you my muslim friend" by Sammy Tanagho Published by Calvary Chapel


*1 Abraham is considered the first muslim because he submitted to Allah - Sura 3:67 & 21:40


Appeared in Volume 4.1 January/February 1998

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