MISSION MIDDLE EAST
I would like to begin exploring the relationship between the Quran and the bible. The Quran contains the Jewish Torat or Torah and the Christian Engel or Gospel with additional stories and concepts. Some would say that the Quran is a child of the Torat and the Engel; most of the time holding up to its parental identity but at times rejecting its linage to claim it own autonomy.
From my perspective; someone who studies the Quran,Torat and Engel, there is a lack of continuity between these three texts. The metaphor I would use is of an electrical circuit where the wiring is loose; as if it were a cable connection to a light bulb. To support my statement here is a verse from the the Quran addressing this issue; as it says in Surah 10. Aye 94 stating -
‘If you have any uncertainty about the Quran ask the people of the Book ‘ (which are the Jews and the Christians)
The reason for this is that the Quran is limited in detail when it relates to its parental text; as it picks selected key points - which in someway is its weakness. .
Here is a list of verses that support the Torat and the Engel ;
Quran confirming the bible ,
Surat Al-Baqarah 2.41 - And believe in what I have sent down confirming that which is [already]* with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. [already]* - referring to the Torat and the Engel.
Al Imran 3.61. After the (true) knowledge has come to you, whoever still disputes with you about him (Jesus), say (in challenging them): "Come, then! Let us summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, our selves and your selves, and then let us pray and invoke God's curse upon those who lie.
Surah 4.134 - Says ‘if you deny the Torat and the Engel you have strayed far and under judgment’.
Also look up Surah 5.68, and 4.136
Quran summarising the bible.
20.99. Thus do we relate to you (O Messenger) some of the exemplary events which happened in the past. Indeed, We have granted you a reminder (a Book of knowledge and instructions)* from our Presence.
(a Book of knowledge and instructions)* again referring to the Torat and the Engel.
6.154. And once again: We gave Moses the book, completing our favour upon those devoted to doing good in the awareness that God sees them, and detailing everything (concerning truth and falsehood, and right and wrong), and as a guidance and mercy, that they may have ever-deepening faith in the (final) meeting with their Lord.
One example of this discontinuity is found in Al Imran Surah 3.55; some versions of the Quran say Jesus did not die on the cross but but other accounts state he does die. I researched 14 versions by varying authors of the Quran; where 7 omit his death and 7 included his death, but as i have mentioned above where there is uncertainty the Quran says we are to refer to people of the 'Book' where the Engel or gospel clearly states his death and resurrection.
As I have said I have lived in Erbil in Northern Iraq, so I can hear you say how can we trust the validity of the bible as it has been corrupted and that it can’t be used as a reliable source to pin our salvation. I would dispute this in a number of ways.. lawyer once said that if you were to bring the 4 gospels of Mathhew, Mark, luke and John into a court, before an independent jury, all 4 statements would match up; leaving no area of doubt of Jesus death and resurrection.
The historical evidence of Jesus's life on earth is not in contention by even the most ardent of informed atheists. There was never any debate in the ancient world about his existence. The Roman historians and politicians, Pliny and Tacitus, who held some of the highest positions of state at the beginning of the 2nd century AD, wrote about how Jesus was executed while Pontus Pilate was the Roman emperor of Judea and Tiberius. The Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who wrote a history of Judaism around AD93, mentions him several times, including his miracles. And of course all the contemporary witnesses to Jesus's life, death and resurrection, who wrote it down for future generations, including the four Gospel accounts.
We cannot achieve perfection in this mortal body through works or rituals. Divine intervention is required!! And all that requires of us is belief. Trust and belief in who Jesus Himself claimed to be, the Son of God. And as John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness, proclaimed..Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world'.
Dead Sea scrolls
In 1947, Bedouin men herding goats in the hills to the west of the Dead Sea entered a cave near Wadi Qumran in the West Bank and stumbled on clay jars filled with leather scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are generally dated from around 200 B.C. to A.D. 68. This is more than 1,000 years older than any manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament that we had before their discovery.Hebrew scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the bible as it is today’”The Dead Sea Scrolls have been recognized for generations as one of the most convincing methods of proof of Jesus' existence, including his life and death, both historically and theologically. Because they date back so closely to the time of Christ, they are all the more solidified as independent records of the Hebrew Bible.
To the Christian community the fact that Jesus died and rose again is central to the whole of the Gospel message. As the death and resurrection overcomes the finality of death and breaks the power of sin in our lives. The death and resurrection is the final human/ animal sacrifice that makes way for the new covenant with man. The omission seems very interesting if not rather strategic as it cancels the power of the death and resurrection narrative - fundamental in God's salvation plan for all people.
One God not three.
In the Muslim community there is an assumption that Christians believe in three gods and not one God aligning follower of Jesus with the pagan polytheistic religions. To help me explain the three in one God is to say is that God is in three parts; God himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Just as much as we are one person with a soul and a spirit. Another way to look at it is that we live in one world; one world perceived in one experience but it is made up of three dimensions -which is the vertical plane the horizontal plane and the space around viewed in one unbroken flow and wholeness.
As in the bible the Quran speaks about a sacrifice that occurs in Paradise which is the first account of an animal dying and the fur skin used to cover nakedness or sin and shame. This introduces a theme in the Quran and bible of human pride versus God’s provision.
As Adam’s first attempt to cover the result of his first sin was to cover himself with a leaf, subsequently this foliage falls off- this shows mans first attempt to conceal a sin when he broke of God's law.
How often do we use self justification to avoid personal accountability. We tell ourselves we had to lie in a given situation because our friend, for instance, would have been in trouble.
God’s law states that sin must be punished by death of someone (ie Hell) or an animal and this case the first sacrifice was possibly a sheep. I can also say that this was the first form of clothing humans wore. As it says in the Torat; Genesis 3.21 God gave him a ‘garment of righteousness’ to make him acceptable before God. This is the first of three important stories illustrating the sacrifices that point to God's ultimate plan to redeem humanity.
The second major sacrifice is depicted in the story of Abraham and Issac in As-Saffaat Surah 37.
This is the story where Abraham is asked by God to sacrifice his only son but just before he does God shows him a sheep caught in the thicket as a sacrificial offering instead of Issac. This is the second sacrifice in the Quran that we have to take note of as it shows an animal can be used as substitute for a human and this leads into Gods plan for the final sacrifice.
which I will get to later.
The Quran itself states in Al-Imran Surah 3.55
(Recall the time) when Allâh said, `O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death, and will exalt you to Myself and I will clear you of the unchaste accusations of those who disbelieve. I am going to make your followers prevail over the disbelievers till the Day of Resurrection, then to Me (O people!) shall be your return, and I will judge all your differences.
Jesus as the final sacrifice.
When we invest complete faith in this last sacrifice it becomes the equivalent of Adam’s sheepskin covering; Jesus becomes that covering over our hearts. Salvation which is our entry into eternal life is given as a free gift; earned by no outward demonstration, as now with Gods Spirit, he works from the inside out. Instead of God observing your performing outward rituals, which can be seen in some ways as self justification; you are justified by your simple faith in the work he has already done even before you were even born.
The Quran is based on the Judaic Torah; in the sense it what is called a works based salvation meaning you have to do some outward gesture to become acceptable to God, which amongst others includes animal sacrifice at the end of Ramadan but also rituals for the atonement of sins called the five pillars of the Quran. Here are their names and meanings.
The five pillars
Zakat: As one of the pillars of Islam, zakat is a form of obligatory charity. With the literal meaning of the word being 'to cleanse,' Muslims believe that paying zakat purifies and makes them acceptable before God.
Salat: Islam's obligatory pray and worship to be performed 5 times a day also involves water purification and the most well-known of the five pillars.
Shadada - reciting the decree ie Mohamid as true prophet, Islam as the only faith and Allah the only true God. A single recitation of the Shahada is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim according to most traditional schools. Also one of the questions to be asked by the angels on entrance and acceptance into Paradise.
Saawm: Fasting of food and drink in Islam during the daytime but permissible feasting limited to after dark until the dawn, known as a religious daytime fast, but especially the fast of the month of Ramadan. The purpose of the daytime fast is to practice self-restraint, piety, and generosity.
Hajj - The obligatory the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which every adult Muslim must make at least once in his or her lifetime . The hajj is the fifth of the fundamental Muslim practices and institutions without which you are unable to enter heaven.
These are outward rituals to reset the balance between our good and bad deeds. There are many reasons why God progressed to a new way of doing things but one of these is to do with the man’s pride. This human attribute of human pride is easily mixed in with our daily rituals. Where unconsciously we put on a crown of self righteousness- where our acts of devotion become demonstrations to those around us of our spiritual standing. This is where mans heart slips into idolatry of self exhalation and eventually pride. This impairs our relationship with God as our posture should be of subservient and humble heart adoring our God first.
This is where the new covenant of Jesus Christ brings is so important; as the acceptance of his sacrifice is a private and personal acknowledgment between you and God that he died for your sins not between you and man. God not only loved us before we were born but he has prepared this free gift of salvation that waits for you. We are so busy showing how good we are- wanting him to accept our offerings that we ignore his free gift.
This new covering on our hearts could also be seen as a new platform or tablet as a foundation for the five pillars as Jeremiah the prophet said in the Torat ‘he is writing a new thing on our hearts’. As followers of Jesus we still do good works but this is no longer to prove our goodness but that we do them from the overflow of Gods love for us extended to people and the world around us.
Assurance of heaven
In my time in Northern Iraq I have asked the question on the streets ‘do you believe you will be going to heaven when you die’ - peoples' reply, without exception, have all said 'did not Know'. This seems surprising, from my point of view as westerner observing their piety and devotion to islam and Allah. The reasons for this I think is that when your beliefs demand an outer counter action to your sins there is always the element of doubt hanging as to whether we have done enough- this uncertainty still hangs over our heads even at the point of death.
As you read this, fully understanding the relevance of Jesus Christ in our lives you have one of two decisions either continuing with what you believed which maybe the Moslim faith and following the five pillars or begin or a new life in Jesus Christ.
God has created us with free will to make our own decisions when we are presented the facts to grow in our own timing and develop in our own individual way. Even people that do not believe in God believe everything happens for a reason- that there is something behind the scenes adjusting and altering moments and events to change the course of our lives- just as you are reading this; it was meant to have been and all that you have read above is pointing you in a certain direction- guiding your mind to a personal revelation.
So certain am I of this fact, I would say that in the final assessment of our lives before the great judgment throne we will have to give an account of all that was presented before us. At the most important moment of our lives to say 'nobody told me' is not an option- after all you will only be judged on what you knew. I urge you to take the plunge today to confess Jesus is your lord and saviour and repent of your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and lastly to call upon the Spirit of Jesus Christ to come and dwell within you.
Abraham and the promise.
Abraham is the father of our faith but not only that he is the origin of all the tribes of the Jews and the Arabic nations through Ishmel and Issac.
God counted Abraham as righteous before he was circumcised and before the law of Moses - this was because he simply believed.
Ibrahim had faith - he had faith to believe God who told him to leave his family his own country and travel into a far distant land that was fraught with danger.
He was also faithful to God’s command when He said to him you must kill your only son Issac.
God saw what was in Abraham’s heart - a heart full of love, obedience and faith in his creator.
When God said to him look up at the stars - God was showing him the amount of descendants that he would have one day. Even though he and his wife Sara were very old.
Abraham believed God - because of this he was in right-standing with God- he was made righteous.
Not because of the 10 Commandments and not because of the five pillars of good works or of circumcision.
These came later - so what is important to God is faith, trust and belief.
If you do some work and are paid for it - that is not a free gift but what Ibrahim had was a promise of a free gift just as God gives us the sky, the fresh air, the sea and the land - these are all the free gifts we accept.
The important thing to realise is- if we work for something then we are earning it - we can then say it was because of us not God’s work or his power.
Part of our redemption is to have the ability to accept a free gift he gives.
We can’t be good and in right standing and get to heaven through our own ability or works because this is an arrogance - an act of pride to say that we achieved this on our own. No it is through the simple fact that we believe and have faith like Abraham that we continue this heritage of our father Ibrahim - the father of our faith. The spiritual life force that God has sent us into this world to then eventually go back to the Father.
This life is a testing ground and one of these tests is to override the compulsion to earn our sanctification and purity.
As I have said before we tend to mix pride into the final outcome.
This is the trial and test we have to go through - which is the temptation of our own strength - so can we boast of our self reliance.
We are not God - we cannot get ourselves to heaven- we have to accept the free gift of his son’s sacrifice.
If we are a child of God we have to deny our own strength own ability - our own self sufficiency.
Paul the apostle said -
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect... yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10
We have to surrender completely to God by accepting the gift of faith.
And how does he do this in modern times - he did it with Jesus.
Jesus states whoever believes in him will have eternal life. Believing in him is the final completion of the law. This means believing in his death and resurrection breaks the power of sin and death.
Jesus has taken on our sin and punishment on his own back - he was the final sacrifice.
Moses introduced this ritual of sacrifice that people would kill a sheep or a goat for the atonement of their sins.
This is no longer necessary - it is now completed in the work of Jesus. The work of the cross is the final ritual of sacrifice and all that needed is now to believe in the work on the cross like Abraham believed God’s promises. This is how we get back to God and righteousness - to be in good standing and to be at one with God - So we can see and realise our destiny is with him who is in heaven.
Do we follow the Ten Commandments - yes. Do we carry on doing good works - yes of course because we obey God but this will not get us to heaven but our faith will.
Cain and Abel
This story, that is in the Quran and the Bible, about the children of Adam and Eve goes further to illustrate this in the human heart tendency toward pride rather than humility.
Not a great deal is said about Cain and Able other than their chosen work and gifts they offered to God which leads to the subsequent first murder - in their fallen state on earth.
Abel and God's providence
We read that Able was a hunter which relies on reading and understanding the natural behaviour of the animal world in order to second guess their movements in their environment to successfully hunt down their prey - but always with a measure of uncertainty.
Within that area of guess work - Able knew if he was going to succeed he would have to grasp the idea of Gods providence in his life. This is the way god teaches us patients and perseverance at the eleventh hour God shows up when we persist and hold onto faith under difficult circumstances. This is what stops us from being proud because when God finally provides, it wasn’t down to our ability or cleverness but God's mercy. Just when his store of food was empty God would provide - not too little not too much. This for Able was a humbling experience to wait upon the lord and so develop a heart of respect and reverence for his provider.
His brother Cain was a farmer and although blessed in the same way interpreted his blessings in a rather different way. Again he read the natural order of creation of sun, rain and the seasons but took this for granted. He learnt to understand the soil and tend plants at the right time - was all that was needed to produce a successful harvest. Although God provided favourable weather conditions; it was his hard toil, determination and good practice of land management that brought the abundance from his fields. In this way Cain’s heart became hardened with pride. When Cain And Able were before the lord with their good and perfect gift - Cain’s was rejected as God saw a heart that was arrogant and a Spirit of self satisfaction. Whereas Able’s heart was soft and gentle - one of a servant heart knowing that all his portion of food acquired was given by the hand of God.
Is your gift acceptable?
Although this story was written about 4,000 years ago it shows us a prophetic image of how future religions could fall short of God’s moral standard. We will all one day stand before the 'great white throne of God's judgment seat' (Revelation 20.11-15) where we will have to give an account of all that we said, our actions but also what was presented to us but finally rejected. Also what we believed and what we did in the name of God. What we have to ask our selves is our daily spiritual practice giving room for God to be honoured with awe and reverence or are we deceiving ourselves and cultivating a heart that pays tribute to our own achievements. The acceptance of the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is to put down all that we believe in a works based redemption. There is a pride to believe that we can save ourselves through our own efforts - we want God to accept our works but will reject a gift that will set us free today. God asks us to show humility and to receive before we give.
God's gift of free will.
I am asking the reader of this text in this moment to grab a hold of this revelation and to run with it. This is something in the west people do very easily- what I mean is breaking away from set patterns of behaviour; both cultural and spiritual habits - adopting new styles, systems and practices. Something we take for granted in a liberal free thinking society. We here in the west throw off the hang ups of the past of our forefathers; going our way but sometimes losing site of the bigger picture and most serious of all - God himself. This is the chance that God gives us when he gave us free will; to decide whether to chose or reject him.
Personal faith or state control
In the Middle East there is unquestioning acceptance of the system of Islam in peoples lives; and I say system for a reason. I have lived for almost one year in Northern Iraq and observed this system at first hand; for instance there seems to be a governmental or state control on the exact dates of Ramadan being published on the internet. Also the system of tithing to be calculated on a states run website based on your monthly earnings and other similar such religious observances based on the authority of the state. In the west, spirituality is a personal choice between you and your God rather than you and the ruling government. From a Christian point of view our authority is not of this kingdom - our relationship is between us and our God and to worship and obey him and his commandments and not to be governed by an earthly kingdom.
I once again come back to Al-Imran Surah 3.55
(Recall the time) when Allâh said, `O Jesus! I will cause you to die a natural death, and will exalt you to Myself and I will clear you of the unchaste accusations of those who disbelieve. I am going to make your followers prevail over the disbelievers till the Day of Resurrection, then to Me (O people!) shall be your return, and I will judge all your differences.
This is where it states several fundamental declarations about Jesus's divinity, rather than a mortal prophet. Whether he died or not one fact is sure he ascends to be at Allah’s right hand no other prophet was given this role. Adding that who ever believes in him and follows his teachings will have access to eternity and join him in paradise again no other prophet in the Quran is given this undertaking. Also stating that at the end of time he will send Jesus back to earth to speak and fight for his cause - again an exclusive commission by God himself. The last statement is the most powerful making fully clear that Jesus will judge humanity from the beginning of time to the end.
You can assume from this verse that the position he holds is not just a messenger but of God himself. There is only one conclusion from this realisation- so I ask you this question? why are you holding back from making Jesus your lord and savour today, when there is still time, rather than Jesus being your judge tomorrow - as none of our days are guaranteed on this earth.
Jesus like no other prophet
There are fifteen distinctive attributes that were given to Jesus Christ in the Quran that were never given to any other prophet.
Jesus was the only person ever to be born of a virgin, distinguished from all humans and prophets with no exception. The Qur'an says about Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the angel announced to her the coming baby,
"She said, How shall I have a son, (me) whom no mortal has touched. He said, even so thy Lord has said, easy is that for me; and that we may appoint Him and assign him to men and mercy for us all."(Mary 16-34).
According to the Qur'an, only Jesus Christ, spoke while in the Cradle (Mary 22-32).
In other words, the Qur'an tells us that Christ needed no one to teach Him anything, not even how to speak, and the Bible says: "Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his councelor hath taught him? who taught him in
the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?" (Isaiah 40:13-14)
Naturally, no one can teach the One who emanated from God and was called
the Word of God.
We know that in the beginning God created man out the clay of the earth and blew his spirit, ruah into in man and gave him life. Jesus was also given the power to give life.
The Qur'an attributed this saying to Jesus: "I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breath into it, and it will be a bird.
(House of Imran 49).
Nobody else has ever created any living thing, out of clay except God and Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus was the only one that could raise the dead with the word of His blessed mouth: "And I will bring to life the dead' (House of Imran 49;
The Tabled 10).
The Lord Jesus Christ was matchless in making the miracles and the wonders which no other could make:
"And I will also heal the blind and the leper.." (House of Imran 49).
Perfect without sin
Only Jesus Christ was set apart from all prophets and saints showing 'no fault' , and was the only one to be singled out, even in the Qur'an, for His perfection. He was an exception because "High honoured shall He be in this world and the next" ( Surah of the House of Almran 45).
Mohammed, testified to the perfection of the Lord Jesus Christ. He taught that the Lord Jesus Christ was solely the one among all humans, past present and future, who was not touched by the evil one. Mohammad was quoted by El-Bukhari: "Satan pokes with his finger in the side of every human, at birth, except Jesus, son of Mary; when he came to poke Him, he poked the curtain". This refers to Jerusalem's holy temple that had an inner chamber, where God was said to reside, separated by a curtain. Mohammed himself here is pointing to the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all humans by being the Word of God, who is the very expression of the self of God and His eternal being:
(The Women 189; House of Imran 40).
Prophets conveyed and preached the Word of God, but Christ was the Word of God
"The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, God's messenger, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him" (The Women 171).
Appointed judge over all man
The Torah described the identity of the expected Christ, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth... and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jeremiah 23).)
Among all those who have walked on the face of this earth, the Lord Jesus Christ could solely exchange responsibilities of authority with God. The Qur'an says:
"And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when thou didst take me to thyself,
Thou was Thyself the watcher over them." (The Table 117).
Christ, alone, was described as a 'sign and mercy from God, unto the world'. (Mary 20). The world was condemned to hell, under the heavy burden of sin, and needed a Saviour. For this reason, Christ, the only Saviour, came to die for our sins, that God's mercy could become available to everyone that believes on Him.
For this reason, Christ was the only one that could guarantee His followers high honours and assurances in heaven. The Qur'an "And I will set thy followers above those who disbelieved till the Day of Resurrection." (House of Imran 55).
15_The Lord Jesus Christ will exclusively be the righteous Judge of the living and the dead.
Mohammed, confirmed that fact when he was quoted by El Bukhary, saying: "The Last Hour will not come until the Son of Mary come down as the righteous Judge". Notice, Muslims say that God the Judge of the world at the Judgment day. However, their prophet confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ will be the Judge.
Test your faith
What I am asking you to do is to test your faith just as with a new vehicle testing it over rough ground - laying before God what we believe; allowing our rational mind to assess the facts presented.
I believe a healthy spiritual reexamination of what we believe and have taken for granted is sometimes a necessary journey we all need to take; if only to go back to what we believed before but with the choice of exercising free will. This is a necessary ‘rites of passage’ for spiritual maturity. Reexamining what has been handed down by the culture that surrounds us adopted beliefs from an early age.
If you believe your Moslim faith to be solid and unfaltering then it will stand up to the rigour that I am talking about- allowing it to be pulled apart and maybe put back together more richer to have an even deeper and closer relationship with your God. Personally speaking this is what I went through in my formative years as I was born into the Roman Catholic faith and although called 'Christian' its a religion that has wandered away from the original source of the bible and is more of a man made religion. These days I would call myself a follower of Jesus Christ; sticking closely with what the bible actually says and obeying Jesus’s teachings on a daily basis.
Is the Bible corrupted
As I have said I have lived in Erbil in Northern Iraq, so I can hear you say how can we trust the validity of the bible as it has been corrupted and that it can’t be used as a reliable source to claim our salvation. I would dispute this in a number of ways.
To date there are no Muslim academics of the Quran publicly demonstrating an alternative version of the bible.
Islamic academics have not come up with any substantial material to counter the present version of the Bible as Christians know it.
This is an international debate that has been rolling on for decades but nothing has emerged clearly showing how to it has been manipulated, falsified or corrupted. This is something that’s been traditionally preached in mosques throughout the Muslim world through Clerics and Imams but is never substantiated with any rigour at an academic level.
Torat and Ingel given by God
The Muslims repeatedly claim that the Bible has been corrupted and that the Quran is the only trustworthy scripture in existence. This is why Muslims often attack the Bible. But this cannot be according to the Quran. The Quran says that the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the gospel were all given by God.
Torah--"We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers," (Sura 2:87).1
Psalms--"We have sent thee inspiration, as we sent it to Noah and the messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David we gave the Psalms," (4:163).
Gospel--"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 between right and wrong)," (3:3).
Also, "And in their footsteps we sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah," (5:46).
God watches over his word
We see that the Quran states that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel were all given by God. With this we Christians heartily agree. But, the Muslims claim that the Bible is corrupted and full of contradictions. If that is so, then it would seem they do not believe the Quran since the Quran says that the Word of God cannot be altered:
"Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers," (6:34).
"The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all," (6:115).
"For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme delight ," (10:64).
When Muhammed (570-632 AD) was alive, he claimed to receive the revelation of the Quran from Allah. This means that at that time the Bible, which was in existence, could not have been corrupted because the Quran states that God's word cannot be corrupted. The question I have for the Muslims is: "When and where was the Bible corrupted since the Quran says that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel are from Allah and Allah's words cannot be changed?"
The New Covenant
There is a very specific accusation by Muslims that the Bible is corrupt pinned on the character and role of Paul the apostle in the new Testament.
He is accused of changing the course of the Bible single-handedly by randomly eliminating the Leviticul laws; which are specifically of purification, circumcision and the dietary laws.
This change, which Jesus began, is pivotal in the history of Christianity as it set clear distinction between the old Testament “Torah“ and the new Testament “Ingel“.
The bible clearly states that Paul did not start this new law but Jesus was the primary architect of this radical plan.
Paul is only clarifying what Jesus was saying in the gospels of Matthew, Mark,Luke and John which is faith above works.
We know from Luke 22:19-20 that when Jesus offered up his body on the cross and poured out his blood so that we might be forgiven of our sins, he was inaugurating and establishing the New Covenant. Here is how Luke records it: “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood’ ” (Luke 22:19-20).
Jesus last and final act of dying on the cross ultimately states that it’s not through what we can do to claim sanctification but to believe his death and resurrection a sacrifice that cancels out our sins. Out goes self justification through charity, fasting, pilgrimages or good deeds but emphasising that we have come into a time of grace and now what is called for is a heart attitude of faith and not outward demonstrations like circumcision, dietary laws or purification.
Peter the apostle was used by God when he was given a vision where he was called to eat all types of food sent down from heaven; which went again went against Levitical dietary laws. By eating food deemed as unclean with a non-Jewish family eventually led into peter healing a man and which open the door for non-jews but more specifically all nations to become believers in Jesus Christ.
Paul flip flops
Muslim scholars attempt to point out Paul’s uncertainty when he goes back the Leviticus laws in Acts 16.3. Here he is seen compromising with the local Jews as they knew his follower Timothy’s father was Greek.
At this moment Paul succumbs to the old law - paying respect to the old covenant of circumcision with Timothy.
Paul strategy was to initially compromise but eventually as more people came to the faith the finer points of the new covenant were introduced.
We sometimes have to accept changes come about gradually- the fact that people flip-flopped showing inconsistency is not about hypocrisy but about the weakness in man; but God is ultimately in control and we see in the long term his plan was achieved by opening a door for Christianity to the rest of the world.
The Fallacy of False Assumptions
In logic as well as in law, "historical precedent" means that the burden of proof rests on those who set forth new theories and not on those whose ideas have already been verified. The old tests the new. The already established authority judges any new claims to authority.
Since Islam came along many centuries after Christianity, Islam has the burden of proof and not Christianity. The Bible tests and judges the Qur'an. When the Bible and The Qur'an contradict each other, the Bible must logically be given first place as the older authority. The Qur'an is in error until it proves itself.
Some Muslims violate the principle of historical precedent by asserting that Islam does not have the burden of proof and that the Qur'an judges the Bible.
2. Arguing in a circle: If you have already assumed in your premise what you are going to state in your conclusion, then you have ended where you began and proven nothing.
If you end where you began, you got nowhere
To be continued....
Also explain three god accusations