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"Bible corruption, what Bible corruption? what does the Qur'an say/"

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Submitted by Lactantius Jr (United Kingdom), Sep 5, 2008 at 19:20

To sTs

You do a great demolition job on Allah, the Qur'an, Muhammad and Islam's greatest scholars. Great stuff, please keep it coming, and in what follows, I quote the Qur'an extensively, and I do so, not because it is authoritative for me, it isn't, not believing it be inspired by the true and living God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but quote it in the way I do, believing it to have supreme authority for you and other Muslims.

The source of the Qur'an is said to be Allah, for example,

"And most surely, this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The faithful servant Gabriel has descended with it to thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish in the perspicuous Arabic tongue."

Surah 26:192-195

Allah is said to be the author of the Bible, for example

"-----------sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Torah and the Gospels."

Surah 3:3

The Quran declares the Bible to be a true revelation of Allah and demands faith in the Bible. Surah's 2:40-42;136;285;3:3;93;4:47;136;5:47-50;68;6:91;10:94;29:46;

  1. All these above texts presuppose the availability of the true revelation of God to the people of Muhammad's day. Surah's 3:71,93;10:94;
  2. A true Muslim is obliged to believe in all the revelations of God. Surah's 2:136; 4:136; 29:46
  3. The Quran makes no distinction between God's revelations Surah 2:136

The Qur'an claims that NO ONE can change the Word of Allah. Surah's 6:34; 10:34

To really "ink-it in," I repeat that the Qur'an is emphatic about a number of things concerning itself, and its testimony to the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures, that is, the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

Allah's word cannot contain error and cannot change. Allah is said to preserve the Qur'an Surah's 15:9; 85:21-22; and the words of Allah are said to be unalterable:-

"there is none that can alter the words and decrees of Allah

Surah 6:34

and:-

"----------none can change his words-----------"

Surah 18:27

see also:- Surah's 6:115, 10:64 and 50:29

In saying that,

"Old Testament corruption started with the Jews (even during Moses time)……………."

If this were true, you demonstrate that both you and Allah can't be right, who are we to believe sTs? Allah or you? Or would you have us believe that Allah instructed Muhammad to refer to a corrupted Scripture for guidance? and why does he say of the Torah and Gospel, ‘wherein is guidance and light' rather than ‘wherein there used to be guidance and light before they were corrupted'?

and in saying that "The New testament corruption started ever since God took up Jesus Christ," why do you not accept the Bible sTs, since current translations are all based on manuscripts that predate Muhammad? and to give but one example, I refer to the prophet Isaiah, who writing long before the time of the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote of "The Suffering Servant," and the Isaiah scroll, found intact amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1956, and containing all 66 chapters of the Book of Isaiah that we read today, is ~1,000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah, and is dated at between 200BC and ~68AD providing phenomenal evidence for the credibility of Biblical scripture. Specifically, the Great Isaiah Scroll is almost identical to the most recent manuscript version of the Masoretic text from the 900's AD. (Scholars have discovered a handful of spelling and tense-oriented scribal errors, but nothing of significance.)

http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/dead-sea-scrolls-2.htm

I now quote Isaiah 63 "The Suffering Servant" verbatim.

"Has anyone believed us, or seen the mighty power of the LORD in action?

Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the LORD. He wasn't some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us.

He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, ‘He is a nobody!'

He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.

He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.

All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved.

He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheephaving its wool cut off.

He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him?

His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done.

He wasn't dishonest or violent, but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people.

The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others. Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned.

By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD. Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty.

The LORD will reward him with honour and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us."

In light of Isaiah's rich Messianic prophecy, I ask you sTs, who do you think Isaiah's "Suffering Servant" could be? And remember, the aforementioned passage quoted verbatim, corresponds to Isaiah 53 in today's Old Testament, also remembering, this text was dated 100 to 335 years before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ !

The Qur'an repeatedly says that it confirms the previous Scriptures, and typical of every mention of the Torah and Gospels, there is no word about textual corruption. Surah's 2:97, 2:285; 3:3,7,23,48,65,84,93,184,199; 4:44,47,51,136,162-164 5:15,46,68-69; 6:91&92,154; 10:37; 11:17; 16:43; 17:2; 20:133; 21:7; 23:49; 26:196; 32:23; 35:31; 41:45; 46:10-12; 54:43; 57:25&27; and 87:18-19 all confirm, rather than repudiate or "complete" the Torah and Gospels, with the texts often being referred to as "inspired."

There are many, many Qur'anic references to the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures, and the Qur'an gives them such noble titles as:-

"the book of Allah" " the word of Allah"

"a light and guidance to man" "a decision for all matters"

"a guidance and a mercy" "the lucid book"

"the illumination (al-furqan)"

"the gospel with its guidance and light confirming the preceding law"

"a guidance and warning to those who fear Allah"

and the Qur'an says this of the Bible,

"musadiqalima mahum" (confirming what is with them)

"musadiqalima baina yadih" (confirming what is between their hands)

"musadiqalima makum" (confirming that which is with them)

Surah's 2:41,89; 3:3; 4:47; 5:48; 35:31 and so on.

Surah 5:43-49 for example, starts by saying:-

"But why do they come to thee for decision, when they have the Torah before them? Therein is the plain command of Allah, yet even after that they would turn away

Christians are told to look into their own Scriptures to find Allah's revelation for them:-

"Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by the light of what Allah hath revealed, they are no better than those who rebel."

Surah 5:47

and even Muhammad himself at one point, is exhorted to test the truthfullness of his own message, against the contents of the previous Divine revelations to Jews and Christians:-

"If thou wert in doubt as to what we have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee, the truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord, so be in no wise of those in doubt."

Surah 10:94

look at Surah 5:47,66 & 68, which say:-

"Let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel."

"If only they had stood fast by the Law, by the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course, but many of them follow a course that is evil."

"Say: ‘O people of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon, unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to thee from thy Lord. It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not, over these people without faith.' "

Summary

The Qur'an says that no one can change the word of Allah, it says that the Bible (the "Old" and "New" Testaments, the Judaeo-Christian Scriptures), are the word of Allah.

If Jews and Christians have changed the word of Allah, this means sTs, that the Qur'anic statement is unreliable, which is surely blasphemous to you and other Muslims. The conclusion from the Qur'an itself, which is very adequately supported by sound historical evidence, is that copies of the earlier Scriptures were available in Mecca and Medina, and that they are the same Scriptures as those available today. Since there is unassailable documentary evidence pre-dating Muhammad, Christians can confidently and truthfully say, that the New Testament record documenting Jesus' words, teaching, life, death and resurrection from the dead are trustworthy, and

"…which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus"

2 Timothy 3:15

Looking at the facts, the correct conclusion is that we have available to us, the very Scriptures which the Qur'an declares to be:-

"huddan lin-nas" (a guidance for the people)

So where did the fable of Biblical corruption come from?

More than 400 years after Muhammad's death, Ibn-Khazem who died at Cordoba in 1064 AD was the first to allege that the Bible had been corrupted. (P. A. PALMIERI Die Polemik des Islams, German tr. Holzer, Salzburg 1902; E. FRITSCH, Islam und Christentum im Mittelalter, Müller & Seiffert, Breslau 1930; see also. H. HIRSCHFELD, `Muhammadan Criticism of the Bible'. Jewish Quarterly Review 13 (1901) 222-240.) Ibn-Khazem's writings being very influential in later times. (F. M. PAREJA, Islamologia, Orbis Catholicus, Roma 1951, pp. 460-461. )

In his defence of Islam against Christians, Ibn-Khazem saw the contradictions between the Qur'an and the Gospels. One obvious example being the Qur'anic text `They slew him not and they crucified him not' Surah 4:156. `Since the Qur'an must be true,' Ibn- Khazem argued, `it must be the conflicting Gospel texts that are false. But Muhammad tells us to respect the Gospel. Therefore, the present text must have been falsified by the Christians.' His argument was not based on historical facts, but purely on his own reasoning and on his wish to safeguard the truth of the Qur'an. I. DI MATTEO, (`Il "takhrif" od alterazione della Bibbia secondo i musulmani', Bessarione 38 (1922) 64-111; 223-260; `Le preteze contradizzioni della S. Scrittura secondo Ibn-Hazm', Bessarione 39 (1923) 77-127, E. FRITSCH, op. cit., p. 66.)

Nothing could stop him from pursuing this accusation, it seemed the easiest way to attack the opponents. `If we prove the falsehood of their books, they lose the arguments they take from them.' (IBN KHAZEM, Kitab al-fasl fi'l-milah wa'l ahwa'l nikhal, II,6; E. FRITSCH, op cit., p.55) and this led to him eventually making the cynical statement `The Christians lost the revealed Gospel except for a few traces which Allah has left intact as argument against them.' ( IBN KHAZEM, ibid.; E. FRITSCH, op. cit, p. 64)

Later writers took up the same reasoning, enlarged it and embellished it. The falsification of the Bible was thus asserted by Salikh Ibn-al-Khusain (died 1200AD), Ahmad at-Qarafi (died 1285AD), Sa'id Ibn-Khasan (died 1320AD), Muhammad Ibn-Abi-Talib (died 1327AD), Ibn-Taimija (died 1328AD) and many others. From then on it has become a fixed ingredient of Muslim apologetics.

Fables about Constantine and Paul seem to have arisen from a mixture of anti-Christian Jewish sources, Persian legends and Marcionite writings. (Parallel stories are found in Tustari's Persian version of Qisas al-anbija (history of the prophets) in a manuscript dated 1330 AD, and in Ghalal-addin Rumi's Metnewi (the story of a Jewish king and his vizier, 1273 AD); E. FRITSCH, op. cit., pp. 50-65)

It is not difficult to show they make no historical sense. Paul lived from circa 5 - 67 AD, and preached the same doctrine as the other Apostles,

"In fact, James, Peter, and John, who were known as pillars of the church, recognized the gift God had given me, and they accepted Barnabas and me as their co-workers. They encouraged us to keep preaching to the Gentiles, while they continued their work with the Jews."

Galatians 2:9

and inspired by God's Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul wrote many of the New Testament Letters.

Constantine was the Roman Emperor from 312 - 337 AD. He gave Christians the freedom to practice their religion, but he did not invent the crucifixion or tamper with the Gospels. The Council of Nicaea which gathered from May 20th. to August 25th. in 324 AD did not decree anything regarding apocryphal writings. The 300 bishops who participated argued about the understanding of the Scriptures, not about what was Scripture or was not. They were in full agreement regarding the text. All these are historical facts.

Knowing the cause of a sickness is the first step to its cure. Muslims often read only their own literature, and these keep repeating the same old false accusations which started with Ibn Khazem who died in 1064 AD, genuine progress in dialogue is only possible when we, whether Christian or Muslim, are prepared to face objective facts.

Many of the great Muslim thinkers have, indeed, accepted the authenticity of the New Testament text. Their testimony proves that Christian-Muslim dialogue need not for ever be stymied by the allegation introduced by Ibn-Khazem . Two great historians, Al-Mas'udi (died 956AD) and Ibn-Khaldun (died 1406AD), held the authenticity of the Gospel text. Four well-known theologians agreed with this: Ali at-Tabari (died 855AD), Qasim al-Khasani (died 860AD), 'Amr al-Ghakhiz (died 869AD) and, last but not least, Islam's greatest Theologian/Philosopher, Al-Ghazzali (died 1111AD). (I. DI MATTEO, loc. cit (note 5), AT-TABARI and AL-GHAKHIZ claimed the translations were unfaithful at times; they did not doubt the authenticity of the Greek original. With regard at AL-GHAZZALI, see F. M. PAREJA, op. cit, p. 463)

Their view is shared by Abu Ali Husain Ibn Sina, who is known in the West as Avicenna (died 1037AD). Al-Bukhari (died 870AD), the compiler of one of the collections of Sahi Hadith, quoted the Qur'an itself (Surah 3:72,78) to prove that the text of the Bible was not falsified. (G. PARRINDER, Jesus in the Qur'an, Faber and Faber, London 1965; Dutch translation, Ten Have, Baarn 1978, p. 124)

Fakhruddin Razi, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, a nephew of Muhammed, said "The Jews and early Christians were suspected of altering the text of the Taurat and Injil; but in the opinion of eminent doctors and theologians it was not practicable thus to corrupt the text, because those Scriptures were generally known and widely circulated, having been handed down from generation to generation."

(cited at http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-bible-not-corrupted-early-muslims.htm)

If the Bible is good enough for Allah, and was good enough for Muhammad and for the aforementioned Islamic "greats," why isn't it good enough for you sTs?

For an examination of the MSS evidence and the nature of the NT textual variants, demonstrating that the NT books are the best-attested documents of antiquity and that their preservation are not in doubt by honest textual critics, please go here:

http://answering-islam.org/Bible/index.html
http://answering-islam.org/Bible/Text/index.html
http://www.tektonics.org/tekton_02_02_01.html
http://www.tektonics.org/tekton_02_02_02.html
http://christian-thinktank.com/stilltoc.html

And for more on the textual corruption and missing passages of the Qur'an, and how the evidence supporting its preservation fails to compare with the evidence for the Holy Bible, please consult the following links:

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Text/index.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3a.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3b.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3c.html
http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3ef.html
http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/bib-qur/contents.htm
http://debate.org.uk/topics/history/qur_hist.htm

For more on what the Qur'an and early Islamic traditions teach about the purity of Bible, please go to:

www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/index.html

The oldest known complete Biblical manuscript, The Codex Sinaiticus, dating from the fourth century AD, is in the British Library in London, where it is currently being digitized, and will become accessible online.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4739369.stm

It contains the complete New Testament, together with the Greek Old Testament known as the Septuagint.

Another ancient Bible manuscript, also thought to be from the fourth century, and likely to be slightly older that Codex Sinaiticus, is known as the codex Vaticanus, being the most famous manuscript in the Vatican library. It is not complete.

These manuscripts provide the definitive documents against which translations can be checked, and give the lie to your claim that "at the moment you have hunders (sic) of versions, you don't know which one is the right one," and whilst no translation is perfect, or can be perfect, they ensure that present day followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are well-served with reliable translations which accurately convey the Biblical message of the one way to the One true God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, and life in His Name.

With kind regards and best wishes

Lactanius Jr.

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