In the comments section of our last post, Islam2009 said: "Is Mark 16:9-20 the word of God, David? Have a guess!"
I'm absolutely astounded when Muslims make these sorts of comments, not only because of their ignorance of NT criticism, but also because of their utter inconsistency.
In Christianity, we can actually investigate whether Mark 16:9-20 was originally part of the Gospel of Mark. We can examine early manuscripts (which suggest that the ending of Mark was not part of the original) and literary style (which suggests that the ending of Mark was not part of the original). Are scholars "guessing" when they say that Mark 16:9-20 wasn't part of Mark's Gospel? Not at all. Christians have the evidence, and people are free to examine it.
Let's compare this with the situation in Islam. What happens when we examine the earliest codices of the Qur'an? Nothing, since Uthman burned them all to end disputes about all the differences! We can't examine the differences between Zaid's codex and Ibn Masud's codex, since Muslims have deliberately and systematically destroyed the evidence.
I have a few questions for Islam2009.
Are Surah 1, Surah 113, and Surah 114 supposed to be part of the Qur'an? Ibn Masud (Muhammad's top choice as a teacher of the Qur'an) says no. Zaid says yes. Who's right? Have a guess, Islam2009 (though my money's on the man Muhammad believed was more reliable; feel free to go against your prophet on this one, though).
Are Ibn Ka'b's two additional Surahs supposed to be part of the Qur'an? Ibn Ka'b (Muhammad's top choice as a reciter of the Qur'an) says yes. Zaid says no. Who's right? Have a guess, Islam2009.
According to Aisha and Ibn Ka'b, two-thirds of Surah 33 is missing. Were these missing verses supposed to be part of the Qur'an? Have a guess, Islam2009.
According to Aisha, after she wrote down the Verse of Stoning and the Verse of Suckling and laid them under her pillow, a goat ate them. The Verse of Stoning and the Verse of Suckling aren't part of the Qur'an today. Were they supposed to be? Have a guess, Islam2009.
According to Sahih Muslim, the early Muslims used to recite entire Surahs that they later forgot. Were these Surahs supposed to be part of the Qur'an? Have a guess, Islam2009.
Ibn Umar told Muslims that they shouldn't say that they have learned all of the Qur'an, since much of it is missing. Were these missing parts supposed to be part of the Qur'an? Have a guess, Islam2009.
Notice the difference between Christianity and Islam. Christian scholars are doing everything in their power to find earlier manuscripts. Christians want the earliest data, so that we can examine the evidence and make reasoned evaluations. We know that we have nothing to fear from the evidence, since the evidence always confirms what we believe. By contrast, Muslims burn their evidence, and whenever history shows that Muslim beliefs are false, Muslims reject or radically reinterpret the evidence and stubbornly cling to their falsified beliefs. Then they point a finger at Christians and say, "Look how bad the situation is in Christianity!" Yes, shame on us for respecting the evidence and going where it points. I suppose I could just deny all the evidence the way Muslims do, but I can't bring myself to embrace that sort of closed-mindedness.