They have forsaken the Lord (Part 7) – Robert’s Reply

Robert:
OK, now that I have a little time, without going line to line, let me address a major theme of our recent debate:  Does the Quran validate the Bible hence invalidating itself in the process?

Well, I didn’t write the response, another brother did, so to save me sometime, since it’s already been addressed and this is one of the talking points many Christians oft address to Muslims, I figured it would at least clear the air on what Muslim believe about the Bible.

The Noble Quran came to confirm Truth that exists in the Manuscripts in the different canons and to filter out Truth from falsehood in them.  Allah Almighty never claimed that the bible is fully and 100% Divine.  Islam is a witness on the Bible.  It filters out the truth from falsehood and corruption in the Bible. The Noble Quran only recognizes the Bible as a HISTORY BOOK with errors and man’s alteration in it. Anything that agrees 100% with Islam is valid, and anything else that has even the slightest disagreement with Islam is discarded:

Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;– for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper. (The Noble Quran, 7:157)

“It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment be tween right and wrong). (The Noble Quran, 3:3)

“To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute; (The Noble Quran, 5:48)

“That which We have revealed to thee of the Book is the Truth,- confirming what was (revealed) before it: for God is assuredly- with respect to His Servants – well acquainted and Fully Observant. (The Noble Quran, 35:31)

That is why we Muslims believe in only the parts of the Bible that agree with the Noble Quran.  The parts that contradict the Noble Quran are not the Truth:

“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. (The Noble Quran, 4:156-159)

“Know they not Allah Knoweth what they conceal and what they reveal? And there are among them illiterates, who know not the Book, but (see therein their own) desires, and they do nothing but conjecture.  Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ To traffic with it for a miserable price! Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby. (The Noble Quran, 2:77-79)

“O Apostle! let not those grieve thee, who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say “We believe” with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews,- men who will listen to any lie,- will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say, ‘If ye are given this, take it, but if not, beware!’ If any one’s trial is intended by God, thou hast no authority in the least for him against God. For such – it is not God’s will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment. (The Noble Quran, 5:41)

“Say: ‘O People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians)!   Come to common terms as between us and you:  That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.’  If then they turn back, say ye: ‘Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will).’ (The Noble Quran, 3:64)


Narrated Ubaidullah:
“Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Why do you ask the people of the scripture about anything while your Book (Quran) which has been revealed to Allah’s Apostle is newer and the latest? You read it pure, undistorted and unchanged, and Allah has told you that the people of the scripture (Jews and Christians) changed their scripture and distorted it, and wrote the scripture with their own hands and said, ‘It is from Allah,’ to sell it for a little gain. Does not the knowledge which has come to you prevent you from asking them about anything? No, by Allah, we have never seen any man from them asking you regarding what has been revealed to you!” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Holding Fast to the Qur’an and Sunnah, Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461)

Granted, I don’t expect you to believe as we do about the Bible, that’s obvious, but I wanted to clarify your assertion that by the Quran mentioning the Torah and Injeel (Gospel) that somehow it validates the Bible is false by Islamic standard.  You will find no such statement in the Quran validating the Bible no matter which edition/version/etc. one may believe in.   The Bible differs from Christian to Christian at times and certainly during the time of Muhammad (saw).  The Quran just bears witness that Moses and Jesus (pbut) were given revelation, what happened to it after they got it, the Quran says their followers altered it.  Seems clear to me and other Muslims…

Now as far as your not changing the words of God commentary, once again, the Bible to us isn’t the word of God, but a book that contains the word(s) of God, all the rest is “filler” if you will added by man.  So the word of God wasn’t changed, the recording of such did.  That is why Muslims believe that there is truth in it (Bible) but the only way to extract it is through the Quran, which we view as the Only preserved word of God, or as the other name of the Quran, Fuqran suggests.  Fuqran means criterion in Arabic, the Quran is oft called Fuqran Kareem, or Noble Criterion, we believe the Quran is the measure between truth and falsehood and through it we can extract the truth that remains in other books such as the Bible.

As far as the Bible’s history….

I think we can agree that out of those thousands of manuscripts there are many (hundreds) of books that weren’t included in some Bibles.  The reasons are numerous from “inspired” or not, apocrypha, or gnostic, etc.  My point being is, well who decided and why?  Is it not a matter of faith, doctrine, dogma, denomination, etc.?  If so, then obviously there is no one discernable Bible that all the worlds Christians agree upon with an exact number of books, verses, etc.  Why the variance?  My point was that is not the case with the Quran.  No matter your sect, movement, Fiqh, etc.  we all use the same Quran in the same arabic script period.  It’s one thing to debate exegete, it’s another to omit books, verses, altogether.

Now proof?  Well we can start with history:

Mark the oldest of the Gospels was changed:
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2016:9-20;&version=31 ;
Now my concern to this corruption and ‘answer-the-problem-away’ statement is that what are those so-called “reliable early manuscript(s)” and who are the “ancient witnesses”?

“Serious doubts exists as to whether these verses belong to the Gospel of Mark.  They are absent from important early manuscripts and display certain peculiarities of vocabulary, style and theological content that are unlike the rest of Mark.  His Gospel probably ended at 16:8, or its original ending has been lost.  (From the NIV Bible Foot Notes, page 1528)”

The Book of Acts:

“Although the author does not name himself, evidence outside the Scriptures and inferences from the book itself lead to the conclusion that the author was Luke.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1643)”

So who really wrote it?  And are we to assume the writer of the NIV made a good guess at it?

Gospel According to Luke:

“The author’s name does not appear in the book, but much unmistakable evidence points to Luke.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1529)”

Again, we don’t know for sure whether it was Luke or not who wrote the “Gospel of Luke” since his name doesn’t appear in the Book. The Gospel itself seems to be a compromising one to the Word of GOD. Let us look at the following:

“Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, (Luke 1:3)”

Few problems with this Gospel from the quote above:

1- The author was not inspired, and knew for sure that he was not inspired by GOD Almighty to write the Book since he didn’t mention about any divine inspiration, and he said “…since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning…” Where do we see GOD’s inspiration in this?

2- The author wrote it for the purpose of “his most excellent Theophilus.” Since when we compromise GOD Almighty and document His Holy Words for the purpose of other higher (in rank) human beings?

The following is from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

http://newadvent.org/cathen/14625b.htm

http://newadvent.org/cathen/14625a.htm

If Theophilus existed in either the 2nd or the 4th centuries then how could the writer of this gospel be the same Luke who is supposed to be with Jesus in the 1st century.

Maybe he lived to about 200 years.. 🙂

Also for the Catholic Encyclopedia:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14530a.htm#IV
“IV. TRANSMISSION OF THE TEXT

No book of ancient times has come down to us exactly as it left the hands of its author–all have been in some way altered. The material conditions under which a book was spread before the invention of printing (1440), the little care of the copyists, correctors, and glossators for the text, so different from the desire of accuracy exhibited today, explain sufficiently the divergences we find between various manuscripts of the same work. To these causes may be added, in regard to the Scriptures, exegetical difficulties and dogmatical controversies. To exempt the scared writings from ordinary conditions a very special providence would have been necessary, and it has not been the will of God to exercise this providence. More than 150,000 different readings have been found in the older witnesses to the text of the New Testament–which in itself is a proof that Scriptures are not the only, nor the principal, means of revelation. In the concrete order of the present economy God had only to prevent any such alteration of the sacred texts as would put the Church in the moral necessity of announcing with certainty as the word of God what in reality was only a human utterance. Let us say, however, from the start, that the substantial tenor of the sacred text has not been altered, not withstanding the uncertainty which hangs over some more or less long and more or less important historical or dogmatical passages. Moreover–and this is very important–these alterations are not irremediable; we can at least very often, by studying the variants of the texts, eliminate the defective readings and thus re-establish the primitive text. This is the object of textual criticism.”

Lets just go through that again – “No book of ancient times has come down to us exactly as it left the hands of its author–all have been in some way altered.”  All have been in some way altered! In view of this blatant admission, how can anyone expect me, or any muslim, to believe that the Bible is not in it’s original form?

The Book of Hebrews:

“The writer of this letter does not identify himself, but he was obviously well known to the original recipients.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1856)”  So because the guy was supposedly “well known (which we don’t really know that for sure anyway)”, then would that give us the right to consider his words as the Words of GOD Almighty?!  I am sorry, but I don’t really see the logic behind this!  The Book of Hebrews is one of the highly used Books among Christians.  I hear references from it a lot when listening to Christians preaching.   Yet, no one really knows who wrote it!.

The Gospel of John:

“The author is the apostle John, ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’ (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20,24). He was prominent in the early church but is not mentioned by name in this Gospel–which would be natural if he wrote it, but hard to explain otherwise.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1588)”

They claimed that it was John who wrote the Gospel, but yet, his name was not signed on his Gospel! How is it possible for us to be absolutely sure that it was indeed John who wrote the so called “Gospel of John” when “his name is not mentioned in this Gospel” so we can then take it as a 100% True Error-free Word of GOD Almighty?

When one reads this gospel, he would immediately notice that it was not written by John himself.  Let us look at the following verses from the gospel:

“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?  (From the King James Version Bible, John 1:19)”

“John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;  (From the King James Version Bible, John 1:26)”

“For John was not yet cast into prison.  (From the King James Version Bible, John 3:24)”

etc…

Whoever wrote the gospel, was he appointed or inspired by GOD Almighty?  If yes, then who is that man?  It can’t be John for it is quite obvious from the above verses and many more throughout the gospel that John wasn’t the original author.  One has to be ridiculously biased and blind in faith to deny that.

So now, what about these most popular verses:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (From the King James Version Bible, John 1:1)”

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  (From the King James Version Bible, John 3:16)”

These verses were obviously written by mysterious men and not by any of Jesus’ original disciples.  It is quite possible and highly probable that some church wrote the so-called “Gospel of John” from excerpts that they found.

The Gospel of 1 John:

“….Unlike most NT letters, 1 John does not tell us who its author is.  The earliest identification of him comes from the church fathers…(From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1904)”

“The letter is difficult to date with precision….(From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1905)”

and we can go on and on about the NT minus the Pauline books of course and would have to ask “who wrote them and where did they come from”?

Consider the following few examples that consist of historical contradictions in the Bible:

2 Samuel 10:18 talks about David slew the men of 700 chariots of the Syrians and 40,000 horsemen and Shobach the commander.
I Chronicles 1:18 says that David slew the men of 7000 chariots and 40,000 footmen

2 Chronicles 9:25 says that Solomon had 4000 stalls for horses and chariots.
I Kings 4:26 says that he had 40,000 stalls for horses

Ezra 2:5 talks about an exile Arah having 775 sons.
Nehemiah 7:10 talks about the same exile Arah having 652 sons.

2 Samuel 24:13 So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue. thee?
I Chronicles 21:11 SO God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destryed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;

How did Judas die?
“And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:5)
“And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out.” (Acts 1:18)

2 Samuel 6:23 Therefore MICHAL the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
2 Samuel 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of MICHAL the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.

2 Kings 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

26th year of the reign of Asa I Kings 16:6-8
36th year of the reign of Asa I 2 Chronicles 16:1

How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?
22 in 2 Kings 8:26
42 in 2 Chronicle 22:2

Who was Josiah’s successor?
Jehoahaz – 2 Chronicle 36:1
Shallum – Jeremiah 22:11

Also, your original scriptures are all doubtful according to the Bible’s own theologians and historians.  It’s quite hilarious that even the Bible itself admits that it has been tampered with and corrupted by man’s garbage:

“`How can you say, “We [the Jews] are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?’ (From the NIV Bible, Jeremiah 8:8)”

The Revised Standard Version makes it even clearer: “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us’? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.  (From the RSV Bible, Jeremiah 8:8)”

And regarding who wrote the books and gospels of the Bible, as I quoted above, here is a sample of what the NIV Bible’s theologians and historians wrote:

“Serious doubts exists as to whether these verses belong to the Gospel of Mark.  They are absent from important early manuscripts and display certain peculiarities of vocabulary, style and theological content that are unlike the rest of Mark.  His Gospel probably ended at 16:8, or its original ending has been lost.  (From the NIV Bible Foot Notes, page 1528)”

“Although the author does not name himself, evidence outside the Scriptures and inferences from the book itself lead to the conclusion that the author was Luke.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1643)”

“The writer of this letter does not identify himself, but he was obviously well known to the original recipients.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1856)”

“The letter is difficult to date with precision….(From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 1905)”

“It seems safe to conclude that the book, at least in its early form, dates from the beginning of the monarchy. Some think that Samuel may have had a hand in shaping or compiling the materials of the book, but in fact we are unsure who the final author or editor was.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 286)”

“Although, according to tradition, Samuel wrote the book, authorship is actually uncertain.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 322)”

“The date of the composition is also unknown, but it was undoubtedly during the monarchy.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 322)”

“The author is unknown. Jewish tradition points to Samuel, but it is unlikely that he is the author because the mention of David (4:17,22) implies a later date.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 360)”

“Who the author was cannot be known with certainty since the book itself gives no indication of his identity.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 368)”

“There is little conclusive evidence as to the identity of the author of 1,2 Kings.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 459)”

“Whoever the author was, it is clear that he was familiar with the book of Deuteronomy.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 459)”

“According to ancient Jewish tradition, Ezra wrote Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah (see Introduction to Ezra: Literary Form and Authorship), but this cannot be established with certainty.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 569)”

“Although we do not know who wrote the book of Esther, from internal evidence it is possible to make some inferences about the author and the date of composition.  (From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 707)”

“The unknown author probably had access to oral and/or written sources….(From the NIV Bible commentary, page 722)”

“Regarding authorship, opinions are even more divided….(From the NIV Bible Commentary, page 773)”

etc…

Heres another good site for Historical NT stuff:

http://www.maplenet.net/~trowbridge/canons.htm

As far as the Tanakh is concerned, while some names of books are shared, the content differs at times compared to the “OT” as well as some books are not in the Tanakh alltogether.  Even the “OT” is different from Protestant, to Catholic, to Eastern Orthodox, to Syriac, etc. etc.  So which OT is right?  Guess it depends on what sect you belong to.

My point is not to discredit Christianity, but to elaborate on why I feel the Bible has been changed and is not the same from Christian to Christian.  For one to say it’s the complete word of God, then there should be textual consistency across the board no matter if your Protestant, Catholic, or otherwise.  However, what one finds as they dig, is not only are the texts inconsistant, but the number of scriptures included or not varies, and at times verses were added or deleted i.e. John 5:7-8 depending on where you stand…

You asked me to provide proof of change in the Bible and this is a very short exposition.  Personally, I don’t really care either way. Lakum deenukum waliya deen “unto you your religion and unto me mine”.

My question to you is can you come up with at least a paragraph of similar issues with the Quran?  Because all I’m seeing on my side is debate about interpretation of the Quran from a Christians perspective, who A: doesn’t read or write Arabic, B: doesn’t study Quran or Islamic history, C: uses exegesis that one would use on the Bible to interpret the Quran.  Which in my opinion is just going to continue the debate forever.  Primarily, because I’m the actual Muslim, and kinda have a clue what I believe about Islam (not saying you are saying I dont).

At any rate, a long answer to a short question, I don’t believe the Quran validates anything of what you call Bible, but merely says that Jesus and Moses peace be upon them, received revelation.  Furthermore, the Quran asserts that what you have as Bible is not the original revelation they received, but does have some of that “in” it, and Muslims like myself believe that to be a true statement based on some of the examples I presented in this email.

Robert: OK, now that I have a little time, without going line to line, let me address a major theme of our recent debate:  Does the Quran validate the Bible hence invalidating itself in the process?

James: Going line by line assures me that I did not forget to any relevant points that were made (as you did in many of my responses). I would also disagree that this is the major theme, looking back at our earlier posts; it appears that you like switching topics without answering the original question(s). This is a logically fallacious way of addressing my premise.

Robert: Well, I didn’t write the response, another brother did, so to save me sometime, since it’s already been addressed and this is one of the talking points many Christians oft address to Muslims, I figured it would at least clear the air on what Muslim believe about the Bible.

James: The really bad thing about this rant from your friend is that he is very confused about a lot of Biblical facts and yet you appeal to him as if he has knowledge regarding biblical history that you lack.

Robert et al: The Noble Quran came to confirm Truth that exists in the Manuscripts in the different canons and to filter out Truth from falsehood in them.  Allah Almighty never claimed that the bible is fully and 100% Divine.  Islam is a witness on the Bible.  It filters out the truth from falsehood and corruption in the Bible.  The Noble Quran only recognizes the Bible as a HISTORY BOOK with errors and man’s alteration in it.  Anything that agrees 100% with Islam is valid, and anything else that has even the slightest disagreement with Islam is discarded:

James: None of the proof text that your friend provides validates his assertions. For the millionth time, the problem with Islamic text is that one cannot expect to evaluate it the way you would evaluate any other writing. Islam wants to play by different rules than every other writing. The Quran wants to say one thing, and then when confronted regarding that specific thing the Quran likes to claim that it means something else. It is impossible to have a logical discussion with people if there is no agreement on meanings of words, or with those who are dishonest with their terminology.

Robert et al: Granted, I don’t expect you to believe as we do about the Bible, that’s obvious, but I wanted to clarify your assertion that by the Quran mentioning the Torah and Injeel (Gospel) that somehow it validates the Bible is false by Islamic standard.  You will find no such statement in the Quran validating the Bible no matter which edition/version/etc. one may believe in.

James: Oh really? I thought I just spent the last two responses providing proof of the Quran validating scripture. 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. How much proof do I have to provide in order for you to read and acknowledge it? Ok, Ok, here’s another one…

The Quran asserts that the revelation given to Moses is similar and equal to the Quran. Consider the following passage:

Now that the Truth has come to them from Us, they are saying: “Why is he (Muhammad) not given the like of what was given to Musa (Moses)?” Have they not rejected that which was given to Musa before? They claim: “These (Torah and Qur’an) are the two works of sorcery complementing each other!” And they say: “We believe in neither.” Ask them: “Bring a Book from Allah which is a better guide THAN THESE TWO, I will follow it, if what you say be true!” Surah. 28:48-49 Malik

Robert et al: The Bible differs from Christian to Christian at times and certainly during the time of Muhammad (saw).  The Quran just bears witness that Moses and Jesus (pbut) were given revelation, what happened to it after they got it, the Quran says their followers altered it.  Seems clear to me and other Muslims…

James: I did not include the rest of your friends email because it was refuted in the link I sent you two responses ago. I’ll include it again so that perhaps this time you will decide to read it.

The Bible As Seen By The Qur’an And The Muslim Traditions

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