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Archive for the ‘Quran’ Category

Our 2013 update to our series of posts concerning evangelism and apologetics towards Muslims

The Domain for Truth

sand dunes

What originally began on July 15th, 2012 as a special one week focus on Islam here at Veritas Domain ended up being a twelve day marathon!  Among the things posted are resources available on the internet outside our blog concerning many facets of Islam: awareness of the problem that Islam poses including debates, documentary, videos and written media such as books and thesis.  We have also attempted to provide our own apologetic and evangelism resources here as well.  Concerning our written sources, I wish to provide here an index to those materials that we have written ourselves.

  1. Ramadan 2012: Tips on Christian opportunities to Witness to Muslim Friends— Practical witnessing tips for Christians this Muslim Ramadan season.
  2. WITNESSING TO MUSLIMS: THE QURANIC VIEW OF THE BIBLE— I believe what is presented here is the best for Christians to witness and engage in apologetics with Muslims, in a fashion that’s compatible…

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James White Quran

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

One of the best Christian introductory work to Islam that I read and much more academically rigorous than most. For those familiar with the author James White, he is a Christian apologist who has debated and written on many issues over the past decades. Since the mid-2000s, James White started focusing a lot on Islam, beginning with his debut debate with the foremost Islamic apologist Shabir Ally in 2006 at BIOLA university. White was led to specialize in Islam largely because of his love for the persecuted Church today, many of whom live in Islamic land. The thing that stood out to me in this work is White’s familiarity with Arabic and careful interaction with the primary sources. It’s not just the Qur’an but he is able to engage in “Hadith Science.” He does all this while also balancing his work with an awareness of the need of his readers to have explained to them definitions and concepts in Islamic theology. In my estimation, the best part of the book were chapters 4, 8, 9 and 11. I have been hesitant in the past when I hear Christian apologist say that the Qur’an and the early Islamic community has a misunderstanding of the Trinity (to include Mary in place of the Holy Spirit) but James White has done a masterful job of showing from early Islamic sources that this was what they believed in chapter four of the book. In chapter eight James White shows how the Qur’an and the early Muslim community did not believe that the Bible was corrupted textually but instead they presupposes otherwise. If you only have one work on Islam in your bookshelf, I would say this would be it. I have this on my shelf with all the highlights and notes for future references.

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sand dunes

What originally began on July 15th, 2012 as a special one week focus on Islam here at Veritas Domain ended up being a twelve day marathon!  Among the things posted are resources available on the internet outside our blog concerning many facets of Islam: awareness of the problem that Islam poses including debates, documentary, videos and written media such as books and thesis.  We have also attempted to provide our own apologetic and evangelism resources here as well.  Concerning our written sources, I wish to provide here an index to those materials that we have written ourselves.

  1. Ramadan 2012: Tips on Christian opportunities to Witness to Muslim Friends— Practical witnessing tips for Christians this Muslim Ramadan season.
  2. WITNESSING TO MUSLIMS: THE QURANIC VIEW OF THE BIBLE— I believe what is presented here is the best for Christians to witness and engage in apologetics with Muslims, in a fashion that’s compatible with Presuppositional apologetics’ stress on the importance of the Bible as self-attesting and the use of internal critique.
  3. Are there verses in the Quran that shows the Bible’s corruption? Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5— A Series that looks more closely at the verses from the Quran that Muslim apologists’ used to argue that the Quran teaches the Bible has been textually corrupted.  The series attempts to show that this does not follow from the verses they cite.
  4. Deep Sea Darkness as Muslim evidence for the Quran in light of the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer as a defeater— Considering one of the evidences that Muslims say proves the Divine authorship of the Quran, with the article addressing more of the problem of the reasoning presented.
  5. Muslim Writers’ Attack Against Traditional Authorship of the Gospel Part 1, 2, 3 and 4— This series takes on a more defensive nature concerning Muslims’ attempt to attack the authorship of the Gospels.
  6. Deuteronomy 18: Biblical Prophecy of Muhammad or Jesus? in which we deal with a popular Muslim argument that the Jewish Scripture predicts Muhammad.  NEW!
  7. Deuteronomy 18, Messianic Prophecy: How Jesus was like Moses–A follow up to the article “Deuteronomy 18: Biblical Prophecy of Muhammad or Jesus?”   NEW!
  8. Book review: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an by James R. White— A book review of a Christian apologist who has extensively debated Muslims the last seven years.   NEW!
  9. Review: Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions about the World’s Fastest-Growing Faith by Robert Spencer— A book review of Rober Spencer’s book against Islam.   NEW!

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GO TO PART 4

This is the last installment in this series (unless another pressing passage needs to be addressed).  Surah 4:157 is probably the strangest passage Muslims try to use to prove that the Quran teaches that the Bible has been textually corrupted.  Instead of establishing that the Bible has been corrupted, Surah 4:157 is an excellent example of how the Quran has the problem of conflicting and contradicting the teaching of the Bible while suffering from the problem that the Quran as a whole upholds the Bible as authoritative and having been faithfully transmitted.  Thus, any contradiction that the Quran has with the Bible poses a problem that is internal to the Islamic religion/worldview.

Below are three English translations of this passage, though afterwards all citation of the Quran will be from Yusuf Ali’s translation:

Sahih International

And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

Yusuf Ali

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:-

Shakir

And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.

From this verse, a Muslim apologist proceeds with the following reason:

Here is another explicit verse speaking of Bible corruption, the Quran states that if anyone believes that Jesus died and was crucified they then follow nuthing but CONJECTURE which is corruption. Which book today tells us that Jesus died and was crucified? The Bible, so hence the Quran here does call the Bible corrupt. So it cant get anymore clear than that.

But does this verse really teaches that the Bible has been corrupted?  Let’s take a closer look at the Quran itself and this Muslim apologist’s argument.

Establishing the Context:  Surah 4 is titled “The Women.”  It is a long chapter in the Quran that addresses many social issues such as sex, marriage, inheritance, etc.  Verse 157 is situated in a section beginning at verse 153 through 176 which focuses on the subject of the unbelief of the people of the Book (Jews and Christians).

Exegesis

(1) It is rather strange that anyone can say of Surah 4:157 that this “is another explicit verse speaking of Bible corruption” when nowhere within this verse or the surrounding context does it have anything to do with Scripture nor the Bible.  Furthermore, there are not any verbs for  “writing,”  hence this verse cannot be the basis for proving that the written transmission of Scripture has been textually corrupted since it does not even address the topic of writing, let alone the Scriptures of the Jews or Christians!

(2) Again, this verse cannot be “another explicit verse speaking of Bible corruption.”  Our Muslim apologist wrongfully thinks that following conjecture is the same thing as textually corrupting the text of Scripture when he states: “Quran states that if anyone believes that Jesus died and was crucified they then follow nuthing but CONJECTURE which is corruption.”  Again, looking at Surah 4:157, following conjecture is not the same thing as corrupting the transmission of God’s revelation in the Old or the New Testament!

(3) Closer examination of Surah 4:157 further refutes our Muslim assumption that following conjecture is equal with textual corruption of the Bible from what it originally says.  The Muslim apologist asked rhetorically, “Which book today tells us that Jesus died and was crucified? The Bible, so hence the Quran here does call the Bible corrupt.”  Of course, it’s the Christian portion of the Bible (the New Testament) that teaches “Jesus died and was crucified.”  However, Surah 4:157 was not talking about Christians and the followers of Christ when it describes those who had “only conjecture to follow.”  The beginning of the verse shows clearly that the subjects are those that “said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.’” Surah 4:157 is talking about the Jewish religious leaders who were against Jesus and had Him put to death, not Christians and their Scriptures!  If conjecture is the same thing as changing the transmission of Scripture as this Muslim assumes, and in light of his other assumption that the corrupt change done to the Scripture (Old Testament) was to teach “Jesus died and was crucified” (I’m not talking about Messianic prophecies but that “Jesus” was the name and referent of the one who died and was crucified) then how come there are no textual evidence of Old Testament manuscripts mentioning “Jesus died and was crucified?”  It is a puzzling quagmire the Muslim apologist has gotten himself into when he tries to force Surah 4:157 to talk about the Scriptures, when it’s not talking about it at all.

(4) Furthermore, in the greater context of Surah 4, Surah 4:157 could not possibly teach that the Bible has been textually corrupted unless Muslims want to say that this verse contradicts with what the rest of the Surah’s view of the Bible: namely, that the Bible is still authoritative and without textual corruption.  Readers should consult part 2 of this series to see how Surah 4:46 at first glance might seem to deny the Bible’s faith textual transmission ends up affirming instead, along with the discussion of Surah 4:47 as further support.

(5) Everything stated earlier is not to say that Surah 4:157 does not conflict with the New Testament’s teaching that Jesus Christ the Son of Mary was killed and crucified.  Of course it does, but Surah 4:157 does not say that the Bible has been corrupted from it’s original content.

(6) Can the Muslim apologist reason that since Surah 4:157 contradicts what the Bible teaches, and that the Quran and the Bible ought not to contradict then therefore it’s the Bible that has been textually corrupted?  The Muslim cannot resolve this difficulty with this conclusion since the door to this conclusion is closed by the context of Surah 4 and the whole of the Quran when it affirms  the Bible’s authority and accurate transmission.  Instead, this allows the Christian apologist to make the case that in light of Surah 4:157 contradicting with the Bible’s Matthew 27-28, 1 Corinthians 15, etc., in light of the Quran’s own bibliology, it’s the Quran’s that’s in trouble when it conflicts with the Bible’s teaching.  And that’s the dilemma for the Muslim: Why does Surah 4:157 not submit to the authority of God’s revelation in the Bible but conflict against it?  If the Muslim affirm what the Quran teaches, that the Bible is authoritative and has not been lost nor forgotten, then they ought to reject what the Quran teaches in Surah 4:157.  However, if the Muslim instead affirm Surah 4:157 as true while rejecting the New Testament teachings, inherently they still reject what the Quran teaches, concerning the Bible’s authority and faithful transmission.  Either way, the rational dilemma is there: Muslims will have to deny the Quran themselves sooner or later.

Instead, hear the Words of the New Testament and it’s organic unity with the Old Testament:

For I delivered to you [b]as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

(1 Corinthians 15:3-5)

As verse 3 makes it clear, Christ did die–and he died “for our sins.”  That’s what the Bible teaches.  I pray that those Words go deep and God will use it to bring about faith in anyone reading this who have not yet trusted in the Person and Works of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection to make righteous those who realize their sins and need to be reckoned right with God.

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GO TO PART 3

Among the proof text Muslims use to claim that the Quran teaches that the Bible has been textually corrupted, Surah 2:79 seems to be their strongest case.  Yet this is not without problem.  Below are three English translations of this passage, though afterwards all citation of the Quran will be from Yusuf Ali’s translation:

Sahih International

So woe to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah ,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

Yusuf Ali

Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby.

Shakir

Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: This is from Allah, so that they may take for it a small price; therefore woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

(Accessed: http://quran.com/2/73-85)

Note what one Muslim apologist extrapolate from the text,

So basically this means they made copies and added their own ideas and desires and said this is from God, and when you do this over a long period of time the original book gets lost and is gone and that is what happened. So they wrote books with their own hands and claimed it is from God i.e. the Torah.

But does this verse really teaches that the Jewish Scripture has been lost due to textual corruption?  Let’s take a closer look.

Establishing the Context:  Surah 2 is titled “The Cow.”  It is the longest chapter in the Quran, coming in at 286 verses, and addresses a variety of issues.  Some have seen this Surah as the summary of the Quran.  Verse 79 is situated in the section beginning in verse 40 through 86 that focuses on the Children of Israel.  Thus, verse 79 is specifically referring to the Jewish Scripture (the Old Testament).

Exegesis

(1) One things to keep in mind for the rest of the observation that follows is that while this verse states that they “write the Book with their own hand,” it does not state that the “Book,” that is the Scriptures, have been “lost and is gone” as our Muslim apologists claim the verse teaches.  Such verbs are not present in the text and readers should be cautious with going too far beyond what Surah 2:79 actually states.

(2) There are further complications to the view that this verse teaches the original Jewish Scripture has been “lost and is gone,” when one realizes that Surah 2:79 is not referring to all the Jews in their treatment of Scripture, but only some particular subset of the Jews.  This point is important because if some of the Jews were wicked to tamper and attempted to corrupt the text of Scriptures, there are the other subset of Jews that were not doing so.  Thus, there cannot be a global textual corruption of the Bible where the original would be thoroughly “lost and gone.”  Verse 78 establishes whom “those who write the ‘scripture’ with their own hands” in verse 79 were.  Note that verse 78 refers to the antecedent subjects as a subgroup of the Jews rather than all the Jews when it stated, “there are among them illiterates” rather than “all among them illiterates.”  In light of the fact that they were called illiterates makes this very likely to be a minority group since Jews are historically typically literate.  Again, this verse is only discussing about some among the Jews which makes it improbable that there would be a global textual corruption of the Scriptures to the extent that the original has been forever lost and forgotten.

(3) Further support that verse 79 refers to only a subset of the Jews can be found in the beginning of verse 80 which states, “And they say, “Never will the Fire touch us, except for a few days.”  These subset of Jews don’t believe in the eternal torment of the wicked, and given that the Hebrew manuscripts we possess today does not deny eternal punishment (but rather affirm it), it seems that whatever minority of Jews that wrote down “Scripture” contrary to it has not been able to manage to corrupt the Bible lost and forgotten forever.

(4) The context of the rest of Surah 2 does not support the view that the Quran teaches the Bible’s corruption.  For instance, Surah 2:62 affirm that the content of the Bible is still God’s salvific Word: “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.“  Rather than affirm the Bible’s corruption, the rest of the context of Surah 2 affirms the contrary, that the Bible is still God’s Word.

GO TO PART 5

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GO TO PART 2

Continuing with our series, Surah 5:13 is another proof text Muslims use to try to establish that the Quran teaches the Bible has been textually corrupted.  Here I provide three English translation of this passage, though afterwards all citation of the Quran will be from Yusuf Ali’s translation:

Sahih International

So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.

Yusuf Ali
But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few – ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind.
Shakir
But on account of their breaking their covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard; they altered the words from their places and they neglected a portion of what they were reminded of; and you shall always discover treachery in them excepting a few of them; so pardon them and turn away; surely Allah loves those who do good (to others).

But does this verse really teaches that the Jewish Scripture has been corrupted textually?  Let’s take a closer look.

Establishing the Context:  Surah 5 is titled “The Table.”  It is a chapter that’s 120 verses in length, and primarily addresses the question of Jews and Christians who are not Muslims.  Verse 13 is situated in a section beginning at verse 12 which discusses about Allah withdrawing from unbelieving people of the Book, with verse 12 indicating that verses 12-13 refers to the Jews since verse 12 explicitly refers to “Children of Israel.”  It is clear that the Jewish Scriptures are in view here.

Exegesis

At a superficial glance, two phrase in Surah 5:13 might seem to suggests that the written text of Scripture has been corrupted: “they change the words from their (right) places ” and they “forget a good part of the message that was sent them.

(1) It is difficult to establish that this verse teaches the corruption of the written manuscripts of the Bible when the verse itself does not even mention writing whatsoever.  Don’t forget that it does not necessarily follow that just because the verse says words were changed and forgotten that it must mean it refers ONLY to the activity of written transmission of the Scripture, since one may forget the content when reciting it audibly, practically in daily living, etc.  Thus right off the bat, this verse cannot be serve as proof that the written transmission of Scripture has been textually corrupted since it does not even address the topic of writing.

(2) Concerning “they change the words from their (right) places ,” one must remember that Surah 4:46 said the same thing with the similar phrase that the Jews “displace words from their (right) places.”  As Part 2 of this series already established, the phrase referring to changing or displacing “words from their (right) places” cannot be referring to the corruption of the written Scriptures, since in that same verse it also affirm the faithful transmission of the Jewish Scripture!  In fact, “displace words from their (right) places” seems to be more idiomatic than literal, and whatever this idiomatic phrase means, it cannot be referring to the corruption of the written record of Scripture.  In fact, Sahih Translation takes this phrase to mean “they distort words from their [proper] usages,” a reference to misinterpretation rather than textual corruption of the Scriptures.

(3) Concerning, the phrase “and forget a good part of the message that was sent them,” note that in order for one to forget something they must at least had that thing at one time to begin with.

(4) Concerning the previous point, one might say that the Scriptures were actually forgotten long ago before the Quran was written.  However, considerations of the larger context of the rest of Surah 5 makes this improbable since within Surah 5 itself it would go on to appeal to the Jews and Christians to affirm their own Scriptures!  One must reckon with Surah 5:65-69 which talks about the People of the Book (Jews and Christians, explicitly both mentioned in the passage as well) and their Scriptures.  Note verse 66 affirmation of the Law (Jewish) and the Gospel (Christian): “If only they had stood fast by the Law, 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.”  Apparently from verse 65, both the Jewish and Christian Scriptures were “sent to them from their Lord.”  Verse 68 then goes on to affirm the present ongoing reality of the Bible (both Jewish and Christian Scripture) as God’s revelation: “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 you from your 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.”  Note the affirmation in verse 68 was stated in two ways:  (a) First as foundational: “ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord,” and (b) secondly, note the present tense “is” in “t is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord.”  Apparently, Surah 5:68 presupposes the Jewish and Christian Scripture to still be God’s Word (rather than the corruption of God’s Word).  Finally, Surah 5:69 affirm that the content of the Bible is still God’s salvific Word: “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”  Rather than affirm the Bible’s corruption, the rest of the context of Surah 5 affirms the contrary, that the Bible is still God’s Word.

(5) Adding more weight against the current Muslim interpretation is the fact that historically, Muslims did not interpreted Surah 5:13 to mean that the Bible has been corrupted.  From the Tafsir, we noted that Muslim commentators commenting on this verse accused the Jews of altering the punishment of adultery (which brings death):

(What do find of the ruling about stoning in the Tawrah) They said, `We only find that they should be exposed and flogged.’ `Abdullah bin Salam said, `You lie. The Tawrah mentions stoning, so bring the Tawrah.’ They brought the Tawrah and opened it but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand and recited what is before and after that verse. `Abdullah bin Salam said to him, `Remove your hand,’ and he removed it, thus uncovering the verse about stoning. So they said, He (`Abdullah bin Salam) has said the truth, O Muhammad! It is the verse about stoning.’ The Messenger of Allah decided that the adulterers be stoned to death and his command was carried out. I saw that man shading the woman from the stones with his body.” Al-Bukhari and Muslim also collected this Hadith and this is the wording collected by Al-Bukhari.

(Accessed: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=776&Itemid=60)

Note the following observation from this citation:

(a) Muslims still went to the Torah to prove their point, with the assumption that it was not corrupted: “They brought the Tawrah…”

(b) The Jews according to the Muslim account, still had an uncorrupted Bible because they had to try to hide it with their hands: “but one of them hid the verse about stoning with his hand”

(c) The Jews according to the Muslim account, still had an uncorrupted Bible because they had to avoid reading it: “and recited what is before and after that verse.”

(d) Readers of the Bible will note that the text has not been corrupted since it still record accurately that the penalty for adultery in the Old Testament is stated to be stoning.

(e) Nowhere in the Bible today do one find that the penalty in the Old Testament for adultery was only that they should be exposed and flogged.

Conclusion

After a closer inspection of Surah 5:13 itself, with idiomatic consideration in light of Surah 4:46, alongside consideration of the larger context of Surah 5 and looking into the Tafsir of the Quran for Surah 5 as a historical witness, we must conclude that Surah 5:13 is insufficient to prove the thesis by contemporary Muslims that the Quran teaches the Bible has been textually corrupted.

GO TO PART 4

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To see the rest of the series from the 10 part course, please see this link:

Muslim Brotherhood: Course in 10 Parts

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GO TO PART 1

Surah 4:46 is a  proof text Muslims use to try to establish that the Quran teaches the Bible has been corrupted.  Here I provide three English translation of this passage, though afterwards all citation of the Quran will be from Yusuf Ali’s translation:

Sahih International

Among the Jews are those who distort words from their [proper] usages and say, “We hear and disobey” and “Hear but be not heard” and “Ra’ina,” twisting their tongues and defaming the religion. And if they had said [instead], “We hear and obey” and “Wait for us [to understand],” it would have been better for them and more suitable. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.

Yusuf Ali

Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their (right) places, and say: “We hear and we disobey”; and “Hear what is not Heard”; and “Ra’ina”; with a twist of their tongues and a slander to Faith. If only they had said: “What hear and we obey”; and “Do hear”; and “Do look at us”; it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief; and but few of them will believe.

Shakir

Of those who are Jews (there are those who) alter words from their places and say: We have heard and we disobey and: Hear, may you not be made to hear! and: Raina, distorting (the word) with their tongues and taunting about religion; and if they had said (instead): We have heard and we obey, and hearken, and unzurna it would have been better for them and more upright; but Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief, so they do not believe but a little.

As one Muslim apologist expounded,

So as you can see, the Jews intentionally miss-interpreted what they were given and made several things up, so their book is indeed corrupt, they have added their own desires into the Torah.

But does this verse really teaches that the Jewish Scripture has been corrupted?  Let’s take a closer look.

Establishing the Context:  Surah 4 is titled “The Women.”  It is a long chapter in the Quran that addresses many social issues such as sex, marriage, inheritance, etc.  Verse 46 is situated in a section beginning at verse 43 which instructs how to pray righteously, with the attention then turning to the Jews as contrast with their wicked ways (v.44-46) followed by a direct appeal to unbelieving Jews to repent and turn to Allah (v.47-49).

Exegesis

It is clear that the Jewish Scripture is in view here.  The crux of the matter rests with the Arabic verb that is translated “displaced” by Yusuf Ali, “alter” by Shakir and “distort” in Sahih International.  It seems that the action done does not refer to the tampering of the actual written text of the Jewish Scriptures (and that, at a global scale) for the following reason:

(1) Even if one were to grant the Muslim that the verbs does refer to the tampering of the text of Scriptures itself, note that this verse does not support a global corruption, since the action were done only by some of the Jews as the beginning of verse 46 states,  “Of the Jews there are those who…”  This point is important because if some of the Jews were wicked to tamper and attempted to corrupt the text of Scriptures, there are the other subset of Jews that were not doing so.  Thus, there cannot be a global textual corruption of the Bible.

(2) Note that this verse has nothing to do with “writing.”  This verse cannot be the basis of proving that the written transmission of Scripture has been textually corrupted since it does not even address the topic of writing.

(3) Verse 46 even suggests that the distortion of the Word of God has to do more with what was verbally said rather than what has been written down as Scripture with the phrase, “with a twist of their tongues.”  That is, the distortation is by means of spoken words rather than by means of written words.  Shakir’s translation makes it more explicit that the tongue is the instrument of distortion  at view here, with the translation, “distorting (the word) with their tongues.”

(4) That the distortion has to do with spoken words rather than written text of the Scriptures finds further support when the verse states that the Jews “say: ‘We hear and we disobey’; and ‘Hear what is not Heard.'”  Note the focus on what is spoken audibly, as indicated by the verb “hear” and “heard” being mentioned a total of three times in this phrase and  a total of five times in the entire verse.

(5) Apparently, the Scripture could not have been textually corrupted or otherwise verse 46 could not go on to say about the Jews, “If only they had said: ‘What hear and we obey’; and ‘Do hear’; and ‘Do look at us’; it would have been better for them, and more proper;”  What the Jews can hear is good enough for them to follow and actually obey, which this verse even deem as “better” and “proper.”  This suggests very strongly that the verse is talking about not practicing the Scriptures they have and heard, rather than the Scriptures being textually corrupted.

(6) If this verse teaches that the Jewish Scripture has been corrupted, how could “Allah hath cursed them for their Unbelief?”  For Allah to curse them for their willful unbelief presupposes that the Jews had access to the truth for them to believe in the first place and since this verse is talking about the Jewish Scripture (and not the Quran), it indicates that the truth of the Jewish Scripture has been preserved.
(7) In the same line of reasoning, if this verse teaches that the Jewish Scripture has been corrupted, how could any Jews believe in the truth?  And yet verse 46 teaches “and but few of them will believe?”  No matter how few, the fact that any can “believe” in the truth reveals that they had access to the truth in the first place, and that truth can be found in the Jewish Scripture since this verse is talking about the Jewish Scripture and not the Quran.
(8) The next verse, verse 47, reinforces the view that Surah 4:46 is not teaching that the written text of Scripture has been corrupted.  Note the verse goes on to say, “O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of Allah Must be carried out.”  Of course, Muslims would expect that the Quran would appeal to the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) to believe “in what We have (now) revealed,” ie., Islamic revelation.  But the verse goes on to say to the People of the Book, that this Islamic revelation would be “confirming what was (already) with you.”  That is, the claim here by the Quran itself is that Islamic revelation would confirm with the Scriptures already possessed by the people of the book.  It would be strange for verse 47 to say “confirming what was (already) with you” if the Bible was already textually corrupted!
Thus, Surah 4:46 does not establish that the Bible has been corrupted as Islamic apologists might want to claim.

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As it was outlined in an earlier post, the fact that the Quran does not deny the Bible has been corrupted but rather affirm it’s authority should shape the way a Christian engage in apologetics and evangelism with a Muslim.  Thus, the Christian in evangelism and apologetics can cite the Bible in sharing the gospel, prove a doctrine, etc.,  and upon the Muslim rejecting what the Bible has to say, the Christian can say that the Quran affirms both the Bible’s authority and the fact that the text has been faithfully transmitted.  Thus, when the Bible conflict with the Quran, in light of the Quran’s own statement about the Bible, it does raises problem for the Muslim’s faith.

However, some Muslims would object to the fact that the Quran does not teach the Bible has been corrupted.  In the next few installment in this series, we will consider other verses from the Quran that Muslims might cite to try to prove otherwise.  Again, this series assumes what has been covered  in the original outline, “WITNESSING TO MUSLIMS: THE QURANIC VIEW OF THE BIBLE,” and is intended to consider other verses beyond the ones already covered.

Before we begin our survey, one must remember a methodological issue.  It is important to be reminded that in order for a verse from the Quran to demonstrate that the Bible has been corrupted textually, it is not enough to cite Surahs that teaches the following point:

1.)The people of the Book (Jews and Christians) and/or subgroups of it  are evil.

2.) The Bible can be or has been misinterpreted.

3.) There are followers of the Bible (Jews and Christians) who are wrong in what they believe.

The reason why these type of verses in the Quran is insufficient is because assuming that they are true, it does not logically follow therefore that the Bible textually itself has been corrupted.  One way to illustrate the flaws of this kind of reasoning is to note that this kind of faulty argumentation can also be turned back on the Muslim as well:  There are Muslims or subgroups of Muslims who are evil, the Quran can be and has been misinterpreted, and followers of the Quran throughout history might have been wrong in what they believe, should the Muslim therefore think this demonstrates that the Quran has been corrupted textually?

Now that we know what it is we are looking for in the Quran and what we are not looking for, the second installment will begin our evaluation of the Muslim’s attempt to prove from the Quran that the Bible has been totally corrupted!

 

GO TO PART 2

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(NOTE: I believe that what I have written here is an original counter-argument against a common Muslim argument in that I am bringing in the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer as a defeater to the discussion.  If this is not original, I would not be totally surprised since nothing is new under the sun.)

In a popular work titled, “A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam,” the book presented one of the arguments for the Qur’an’s divine origin is the fact that it reveals that the deep sea is dark.  The passage from the Quran that is cited to prove this comes from Surah 24:40.  Here I cite three popular translation:

YUSUFALI: Or (the Unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depths of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hands, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!
PICKTHAL: Or as darkness on a vast, abysmal sea. There covereth him a wave, above which is a wave, above which is a cloud. Layer upon layer of darkness. When he holdeth out his hand he scarce can see it. And he for whom Allah hath not appointed light, for him there is no light.
SHAKIR: Or like utter darkness in the deep sea: there covers it a wave above which is another wave, above which is a cloud, (layers of) utter darkness one above another; when he holds out his hand, he is almost unable to see it; and to whomsoever Allah does not give light, he has no light.

In context, Surah 24 deals with the issue of punishment of sexual sins, how these sins ought to adjudicated along with commands for Chasity and purity.  Verse 40 is situated in the logical section of verses 35-57 that deals with the topic of God as light, and the theme of punishment of darkness for the unbelievers and light for believers.

After citing the verse, the book goes on to say,

This verse mentions the darkness found in deep seas and oceans, where if a man stretches out his hand, he cannot see it. The darkness in deep seas and oceans is found around a depth of 200 meters and below. At this depth, there is almost no light.  Below a depth of 1000 meters there is no light at all.  Human beings are not able to dive more than forty meters without the aid of submarines or special equipment. Human beings cannot survive unaided in the deep dark part of the oceans, such as at a depth of 200 meters.  Scientists have recently discovered this darkness by means of special equipment and submarines that have enabled them to dive into the depths of the oceans.

(PAGES 20-21)

What is implied here is that humans in the seventh century during Muhammad’s days could not have known about the sea being dark.  It therefore must have been revealed by God.  As the book states, when summarizing all the arguments given,

The only possible answer is that this Qur’an must be the literal word of God, revealed by Him.

(PAGE 31)

Concerning those who live in the day and age before modern submarine, the argument assumes this,

P1. In order to know that the deep sea is dark, a human being must be able to enter into the deep sea.

P2. No human being has been able to enter into the deep sea.

C1. Therefore, no human being can know that the deep sea is dark.

With this understanding, the  core of the argument seems to be as follows:

P3. A book that reveals that the Deep Sea is Dark must be authored by God.

P4. The Quran reveal that the Deep Sea is Dark.

C2. Therefore, the Quran was authored by God (the Word of God).

I think this argument is not without it’s problem.

(1) First off, the Quran is not the only book that assumes that the deep of the sea is dark before the modern technological error of submarines.  Here the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, a Jewish collection of Rabbinic sayings and interpretation of the Jewish Scriptures, can be a defeater against the Muslim argument.  This is noted in the tenth chapter of the work, where it gives an account of the “history of Jonah.”  According to Rabbi Tarphon, the fish that swallows Jonah had eyes like windows to look out into the sea, even giving lights for illumination:

Rabbi Tarphon said: That fish was specially appointed from the six days of Creation ” to swallow up Jonah, as it is said, ” And the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah ” (ibid.). He entered its mouth just as a man enters the great synagogue, and he stood (therein). The two eyes of the fish were like windows ^ of glass giving light to Jonah.

(GERALD FRIEDLANDER’S TRANSLATION PAGE 69)

Another Rabbi also added

Rabbi Meir said: || One pearl was suspended inside the belly of the fish and it gave illumination to Jonah, like this sun which shine with its might at noon ; and it showed to Jonah all that was in the sea and in the depths,^ as it is said, ” Light is sown for the righteous ” (Ps. xcvii. 11).

(GERALD FRIEDLANDER’S TRANSLATION PAGE 69-70)

This being the case, the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer could also be a substitute referent into the original Muslim argument:

P3. A book that reveals that the Deep Sea is Dark must be authored by God.

P5. The Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer reveal that the Deep Sea is Dark.

C3. Therefore, the  Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer was authored by God (the Word of God).

In light of this, should Muslims also accept the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer as Divinely authored as well?

(2) Secondly, invoking the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer as a defeater might bring some possible objections by Muslim apologists.  I anticipate two possible counter-arguments: (a) That the Quran predates Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, and (b) the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is dependent upon the Quran as its’ source.

(a) Possible Objection: The Quran predates Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer

Some might object that the Quran predate the  Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer.  Three things can be said in response to this.  First off,  when we take the citation at face value, one must note that the two Rabbis describing the darkness of the sea lived centuries before the Quran was written down.  Thus, these citation might predate the Quran itself, before the seventh century advent of Islam: Tarphon was from the first to the second century, and Rabbi Meir was also from the second century A.D, along with Rabbi Eliezer who supposedly collected these Rabbinic citations.  Secondly, any argument put forth to demonstrate that the citations cannot be attributed to Rabbi Tarphon, Meir or Eliezer as the editor,  would seem just as equally speculative as the position that these quotes are from these Rabbis.  However, it would seem that the methodology behind such arguments would engage in the same Source/Redaction criticisms that Liberals employ against the Quran, and one that a Muslim apologist should reconsider pursuing to avoid the charge of being inconsistent and engaging in methodological double-standard.  Thirdly, one must not forget the bigger picture: the point is that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer still predate modern Ocean studies and mentioned that the sea is dark.  Thus, the objection that the Quran came first before the edited version of Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer was completed does not really resolve the dilemma that this work, like the Quran, does mention about the deep of the sea is dark.  The difficulty it raises against the Quran still stands.

(b) Possible Objection: The Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is dependent upon the Quran as its’ source.

This hypothetical objection, if it works, would undercut the conclusion that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is divine if it can be shown that it is dependent upon the Quran as a source.  If one were to make this objection, the it would be ironic since historically scholars have attributed  the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer as one of the source for the Quran, though there is no consensus with this today, as Muslim apologists correctly points out.  It is true that one can make a case that the Quran came before the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer.  However, to argue that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is dependent upon the Quran as its’ source is another matter.  Two things can be said in addressing that matter.  First off, while there are some correlation between some of the stories in the Quran and Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, this does not necessarily mean that the Quran was the source for Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer or vice versa.  For instance, there might be a third source that both the Quran and Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer shared.  Even assuming the Islamic view of the origin of the Quran, the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer might happen to record accounts of events that happen to have been handed down as true and which the Quran affirms (that is not to say that I personally believe this is so, or that the accounts both mentioned in the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer and Quran are true, but I point this out to show that correlation does necessitate that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is dependence upon the Quran as a source).  Secondly, noting the polemical tendency in Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer makes it unlikely that whoever the Jewish writers/editors were, they would have been inclined to go to the Quran as a source material.  As GERALD FRIEDLANDER notes in his introduction to his translation of the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer,  the work alludes unfavorably towards the Islam:

§ 8. Polemical Tendency in P.R.E.

Apparently there is no direct reference to Christianity. On the other hand, there are several allusions to Islam as the ” Fourth Kingdom ” destined to persecute the Chosen People prior to the dawn of the Messianic Kingdom.

(GERALD FRIEDLANDER’S TRANSLATION PAGE lv)

The “Fourth Kingdom” is an allusion to the book of Daniel in the Jewish Scriptures (Old Testament), who will persecute the Jews, and this fact makes its improbable for the author/editor of the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer to borrow from the religion or the culture that it is against, much less so if it is persecuted by it.  In fact, a survey of Jewish rabbinic materials and the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer indicate that the Jews Rabbinic writting projects were always consciously trying to be set apart and different in their beliefs and practices from other people.  All this makes it unlikely for any Jewish Rabbi to read the Quran in the first place for the purpose of incorporating it into the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer, much less an obscure reference to the darkness of the deep of the sea found in a verse in a Surah, buried deep within the Quran.

Therefore, it would seem that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer provides a defeater to the Muslim argument that the reference in Surah 24:40 to the darkness of the deep of the Sea is an argument for the divine authorship of the Quran, if Muslims would not hold also that the Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer is God’s divine word (which being Jewish, is contradictory to the teachings of Islam).

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As stated before, beginning on July 15th, we began a week long focus her on Veritas Domain on the topic of Islam, with the hope of providing Christian apologetic addressing Islam, as a way of keeping our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world under the oppression of Islam in our prayers and also with the hope of having Christian defense resources on the web being offered or promoted largely with them in view.

Continuing from yesterday’s posted outline on how to witness to Muslims in light of the Quran’s view of the Bible, it seems appropriate to follow through with a video featuring the discussion between David Wood, Sam Shamoun and Paul Rezkalla concerning just who it is exactly is behind the Muslim claims that the Gospels have been corrupted.

Both Sam Shamoun and David Wood have done so much for the cause of Christian apologetics in dealing with Islam, and Islam’s attack on Christianity.  Keep these men in your prayers and may I add, financial support!

[HT]

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NOTE: The following is the outline I used when I teach people on how I evangelize to Muslim.

I. Introductory Matters

a. Why this lesson is important.

i.      Islam is going to be more and more on the news for the West.

1. The issue of Radicalism.

a. Quasi-international scene: Al Qaeda style terror.

b. Local radical clerics in the West.

2. The issue of Tolerance.

a. For Muslims.

 i.      People taking their frustration with Islamic terror on random law abiding muslims.

ii.      A general Xenophobia.

b. From Muslims.

i.      Muhammad Drawing.

ii.      Murdering apostates, Christian converts, etc.

ii.      Globalization will bring us face to face with Muslims on the internet, at work, tourism and your neighborhood.

1. Muslim propagation will bring more people to their faith.

2. Immigration will bring Muslims around the world.

iii.      Christians are called to understand the times, and evangelize everyone including Muslims.

1. Therefore, it is important one understand Islam more than some soundbites on Foxnews or articles by Huffington Post “reporters.”

2. Christians should have a general plan of how to witness and give an apologetics towards Muslims.

a. The old saying goes: “Without a plan, you have already planned to fail.”

b. Any good lawyer knows what he knows and what he does not know and makes his defense plan accordingly.  Likewise, preparation with a plan makes you able to have an informed discussion with what you know, while you can also humbly admit your ignorance and willingness to learn on some other sub-topic on Islam with a Muslim.

b. Purpose of this lesson: Give a guide for the Christian of how to defend the faith when it comes to the concerns of Islam, so that you can be an effective witness to your Muslim friend.

c. Important terms and individuals.

i.      Allah The Islamic/Arabic word for God.

ii.      Quran- Islam’s Scripture, believed by Muslims to contain the Word of God.

iii.      Surah- Chapters in the Quran.

iv.      Mohammed- Founder of Islam, the last major prophet according to it’s teaching.

v.      Abdullah Yusuf Ali- Translator of the Quran, whose English version is the most popular in use.

vi.      People of the Book: Jews and Christians, because they follow the Bible.

II. An Evangelistic and Apologetic Method

a. Important Methodological principles.

i.      Principle 1: The Bible is the Word of God.

ii.      Principle 2: Islam’s teachings contradict the fundamentals of the Bible.

1. Denial of the Trinity (Surah 112).

2. Jesus did not die on the cross.(Surah 4:157)

iii.      Principle 3: Muslims believed the written Bible has been corrupted and changed (deleted, additions).

iv.      Principle 4: The Quran does not teach the written Bible has been corrupted and changed but rather it teaches the Bible’s is authoratitive and remains.

1. This does not mean the Quran does not teach that men have twist the reading (INTERPRETATION) of the Bible.

2. Some Muslims will be surprised themselves when they hear you say this.

3. Controversial claim that the rest of this outline will seek to explore more.

b. The Strategy

i.      The game plan

1. The main goal is to share the gospel from God’s Word.

a. Why: God’s Word is what changes people’s heart from unbelief to belief!

b. Share about God as Creator, man as sinner, Jesus Christ as Savior, etc.

c. You can use the “Bridge”, Romans Road, the Way of the Master, etc.

2. When the Muslim object at any point in the presentation that a doctrine goes contrary to the Quran, ask them where in the Quran it says it.

a. Why: To challenge the Muslim to examine their own beliefs in light of the authority of the Quran in their worldview, and to see whether or not a certain belief they hold to is based upon the Quran.

b. Feel free to use the index of the Quran to look things up.

3. Then show from the Bible where you as a Christian get your belief.

a. Why: This exposes them to the Word of God, which does not go forth void.  It also shows that what you believe in is not just your opinion but taught from the Bible.

b. Hopefully, you know the Bible well enough to show where you get your beliefs from!

4. When the Muslim object that the writing of the Bible has been corrupted, changed, etc., ask if the Quran teaches this, and where does one find this teaching.

a. Why: Asking them puts the burden of proof on them and makes them think about what the Quran teaches about the Bible.

b. Be gracious: let him or her use the index of the Quran to look things up without attacking them that they don’t know their Quran.

5.  Showthat the Quran does not teach the Bible has been corrupted in two ways:

a. Refuting how their Quranic proof text does not teach the WRITING of the Bible has been corrupted.

b. Presenting verses from the Quran that presupposes the authority and perseverance of the Bible as the Word of God.

6. Press the antithesis to the Muslim that when the Quran’s teaching contradict the Bible, it’s Islam that the Quran itself is in trouble for being inconsistent with the Bible, and not the Bible itself.

a. Reasoning

i.      If the Quran has a high view of the Bible’s authority and perseverance,

ii.      And the Bible warns against teaching going contrary to the Bible,

iii.      So when the Quran contradicts the Bible,

iv.      By the basis of the Quran’s view of the Bible, Islam itself is incoherent.

b. Illustration: If someone said she’s finished custom knitting an outfit for your baby in one week, and it turns out that what she gave to you was too small for your child, the problem is not with the baby but with outfit that was claimed to fit neatly the child.  In the same way, the Quran is like the baby outfit.

7. Continue with the Gospel, repeat cycle if an objection to the Gospel is raised again.

ii.      Illustration of the General strategy:

The Marines in 2003 had the object of heading toward Baghdad.  They only fight when there are obstacles along the way.  After they clear the obstacle hindering them, they continue on toward their objective.  Since the Christian’s main goal is to share the gospel, removing the obstacle is not the goal in of itself, but for the purpose that one can get back towards sharing the gospel without any rational/irrational resistance.

III. Survey of the Quran’s affirmation of the Bible

a. The Quran does teach the Bible is the Word of God that has not disappeared

i.      Muslims are to believe in the Bible (Surah 29:46)

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).” 

      1. In context, the verse earlier (v.45), the Quran exhorted Muslims to recite “the book of inspiration to you.”
      2. Then in this verse, it tells Muslims not to “dispute” with the the People of the Book (Jews and Christians).
      3. This verse then tells the Muslim to say the People of the Book that Muslims also believe “believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you…”
      4. Muslims during the writing of the Quran are to believe the revelation that has been given to them in the Bible.

ii.      Koran is to be tested by previous revelation (Surah 5:46-48)

v.46  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.

V.47 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.

V.48 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 Allah 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 Allah 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 Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;

      1. Note in verse 46, Jesus had to confirm the Law that was before Him.
      2. Then in verse 47, there is the call for the “people of the Gospel” (Christians) to judge the teaching of Islam.
      3. Verse 48 explains that the basis would be with pervious revelation (Old Testament, New Testament Gospels cf v.46-47) since “To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety:”

iii.      The Quran teaches the Bible will not be abrogated or forgotten (Surah 2:106)

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?”

      1. Previous verses in our survey above establish that the Bible is the revelation of God
      2. This verse teaches these “revelations” will not be abrogated nor forgotten.

IV. Survey of possible Quran’s denial of the authority and perseverance of the written Bible

Remember: The Quran does teach that men have twist the reading (INTERPRETATION) of the Bible.  What needs to be proven is that the Bible has been changed in it’s writing.

a. Surah 3:78

“There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!”

i.      This text does not say the writing of the Bible has been changed.

ii.      Rather, this verse teaches that people distort the teaching of the Book “with their tongues.

iii.      Then the verse also describe “how they say…” which means the verbal interpretation was twisted not the written content.

iv.      These word twisters apparently “tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!”

1. In order for someone to lie, they have to know they are not aligning with the truth, and thus have an idea of what the truth is to begin with.

2. Which means that the “Book” is still a possible source of truth.

b. Surah 2:59

“But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly.”

i.      This text does not say the writing of the Bible has been changed.

ii.      It does mention “the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them…”

iii.      Then in the context, the next verse (2:60) it quotes from Exodus 17:6 (Moses striking the rock), showing that the Quran still appeal to the Bible.

iv.      Verse 59 cannot teach the Word of God in writing is changed since later in verse 62, the Quran appeal to the Jewish Scripture as a means of salvation:

“Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

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