Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Who Corrupted the Gospel?

Muslims often claim that the Gospel has been corrupted. The Qur’an, however, tells us that the Gospel is the Word of Allah, and that no one can corrupt Allah’s Word:

Qur’an 3:3—He has revealed to you the Book with truth, verifying that which is before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, a guidance for the people, and He sent the Qur’an.

Qur’an 6:115—The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all.

Qur’an 18:27—And recite what has been revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, there is none who can alter His words; and you shall not find any refuge besides Him.

These verses lead to an obvious question. If the Gospel is the Word of God, and no one can corrupt God’s Word, who corrupted the Gospel? The answer may surprise you.

For nearly two thousand years, Christians have proclaimed Jesus’ death and resurrection. Islam rejects both of these doctrines and offers a different account of what happened at the cross and afterwards. However, the Muslim explanation comes at a terrible price: God is portrayed as a horrible deceiver, and Jesus as the most stupendous failure in the history of the prophets.

According to the Qur’an, Allah not only corrupted Jesus’ message, but also helped Christians spread false teachings. To understand why Islam demands such a view, let us consider seven facts.

FACT #1: The Qur’an states that Jesus was a messenger of Allah and a prophet of Islam. Indeed, Qur’an 19:23-33 tells us that Jesus began preaching Islamic theology shortly after he was born! Jesus continued to preach Islam throughout his life, until he was taken to heaven. According to Qur’an 42:13, Jesus’ message was no different from the message of the prophets before him.

FACT #2: The Qur’an states that Jesus won a number of followers, who were Muslims. Since Jesus spent his entire life proclaiming Islam, his preaching must have centered on the basic tenets of Islamic theology. The Qur’an tells us that Jesus was successful, and that some of his listeners converted to Islam (Qur’an 3:52, 5:111).

FACT #3: In the Qur’an, Allah promises Jesus that his followers would be superior to unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection. Notice that Allah doesn’t say to Jesus, “Sorry, but your disciples will be immediately overpowered by the Apostle Paul.” Instead, Allah promises victory for the Christians:

Qur’an 3:55—Behold! Allah said: “O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme; I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection.”

Since the Day of Resurrection hasn’t arrived yet, Christians must still be “superior to those who reject faith”!

FACT #4: If there were any first-century Jews who converted to Islam at the preaching of Jesus, they didn’t last very long. The claim that Jesus’ followers were Muslims leads us to ask: Why have we never heard of any Muslims existing in the first century? We have a great deal of historical information about Jesus’ disciples, but we have no evidence at all that any of them believed in Islam. Indeed, the evidence we have tells us that Jesus’ followers believed in his death and resurrection. Defenders of Islam will most likely respond that later Christians wiped out all records of Jesus’ “Muslim” followers (just as I could claim, based on sheer speculation, that Muhammad’s followers were all Christians, but that later Muslims wiped out all records of their Christian beliefs). However, even if we grant such an outlandish assumption, this still presents Muslims with an enormous problem: What happened to these first-century Muslims? Why was their Islamic faith replaced by belief in Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead?

FACT #5: According to Islam, Allah corrupted the Gospel through illusion, deceiving people into believing that Jesus died on the cross. History shows that Jesus’ early followers became convinced of his death and resurrection. Hence, the obvious reason that there were no Muslims after Jesus ascended into heaven is that Jesus’ followers came to believe that he died on the cross and rose from the dead. Where, according to Islam, did they get this idea? The Qur’an tells us that belief in Jesus’ death was caused by Allah!

Qur’an 4:157-158—That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”—But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not—Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.

Based on this passage (and on narrations going back to Muhammad’s companions), Muslims believe that Allah took Jesus to heaven, and then disguised someone else (Judas, according to the most popular interpretation) to make him look like Jesus. This other person was later crucified, but Allah made everyone think that it was Jesus.

Thus, even though Muslims often maintain that the Apostle Paul altered the Gospel, the Qur’an tells us that Jesus’ message was corrupted, at least in part, by Allah himself, who either intentionally or unintentionally originated belief in Jesus’ crucifixion. But Allah didn’t stop there. Instead of correcting the errors he invented, he took Christianity to the next level.

FACT #6: The Qur’an states that Allah helped spread Christianity. Once Allah had deceived countless people (thereby corrupting Jesus’ message), he worked diligently to aid the Christians in spreading their “false” Gospel:

Qur’an 61:14—O you who believe! be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as [Jesus] son of Marium said to (his) disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the cause) of Allah. So a party of the children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became uppermost.

This verse tells us that Allah helped the followers of Jesus against the Jews who rejected Jesus, and that these followers eventually, with the help of Allah, “became uppermost.” So who were these followers of Jesus who became stronger than the Jews? Muslims can’t claim here that Allah helped the “Muslim” followers of Jesus, because even if we assume that such a group existed, they obviously never gained an upper hand over anyone. Indeed, since we have no record of their existence, they must have gone astray immediately. The only Christians who ever “became uppermost” over the Jews were the Christians of the Roman Empire. But these Christians believed in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and divinity, all of which are false doctrines, according to Islam. Hence, if we believe the Qur’an, we can only conclude that Allah helped spread a corrupt version of Christianity!

FACT #7: The Qur’an affirms the Christian Scriptures. When Muslims say that the Bible has been corrupted, they contradict the Qur’an. As we have seen, the Qur’an declares that no one can corrupt God’s Word. Muslims will likely reply that this only refers to the Qur’an (as if Allah somehow acquired the ability to protect his Word after the earlier texts had been altered), but this doesn’t account for numerous clear Qur’anic passages affirming that the Christian Scriptures were available during the time of Muhammad:

Qur’an 5:47Let 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.

Qur’an 5:68—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.”

Qur’an 7:157—Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (Scriptures)—in the Law and the Gospel— . . . it is they who will prosper.

Amazingly, Muslims tell us not to trust the very Scriptures the Qur’an commands Christians to obey!

QUESTIONS

The seven facts we have examined leave a number of questions unanswered.
  • Why would Allah lead Jesus’ followers astray and destroy everything Jesus had worked so hard to accomplish?
  • Why did Allah tell Jesus that his followers would be superior to unbelievers until the Day of Resurrection? Didn’t Allah know that he was about to corrupt Christianity?
  • If the Gospel was given to man as “guidance,” why didn’t Allah preserve his message (rather than start a heresy)?
  • If the Gospel was corrupted in the early centuries of Christianity, why did Allah say that Christians still possessed it during Muhammad’s time?
  • If Allah is powerless to stop people from corrupting his message, can we even trust the Qur’an?
  • Once the Christian heresy had started, why did Allah help the Christians rise to power?
  • If Allah deceives people who follow his prophets, how do Muslims know that he isn’t deceiving them?
Since Allah deceived people about Jesus, and since he couldn’t protect the rest of Jesus’ message, what did Jesus ultimately accomplish?

ASSESSMENT

Muslims boast about their reverence for God and their respect for his prophets. Yet, upon closer examination, we see that Islam accuses God of one of the most heinous religious deceptions ever. Allah leads people astray for no reason, starts false religions, overthrows the work of his prophets, and is powerless to preserve his message.

The Muslim position also suggests that Jesus was the greatest failure in the history of the prophets. Jesus spent his entire life preaching, yet he couldn’t win a single lasting convert, and his “Muslim” followers fell apart so rapidly that they vanished from history.

The true Jesus warned his followers that false prophets would come. He also commanded us not to believe them (Matthew 7:15-20). One of the ways we can spot false prophets is by carefully discerning when their teachings lead to unacceptable beliefs about God. God is Truth, and he is Love. Islam, when carefully examined, would have us believe otherwise.

If we compare Muhammad’s teachings with those of the New Testament, we see a stark contrast. According to the Bible, Jesus voluntarily entered our world to be the perfect sacrifice for sins (Isaiah 53, Mark 10:45, John 10:17-18). The Father was victorious from beginning to end. Jesus was entirely successful in his work. The disciples he chose preached his message fearlessly even in the face of torture and death. Hence, while Islam insults and degrades God and Jesus, Christianity glorifies the Father and the Son.

Who corrupted the Gospel? The facts we have examined leave us with only two options. Either (1) Allah corrupted the Gospel, by producing a false belief in Jesus’ crucifixion, or (2) Muhammad corrupted the Gospel, by changing the message from one of victory and sacrificial love to an absurd tale of a deceptive God and an incompetent Messiah. Since it is impious and immoral to accuse God of pointless deception, we must conclude that Muhammad was a false prophet.

40 comments:

PYEM Ministry Inc. said...

Man oh man this is just superb! Thanks David God bless you man!

Zack_Tiang said...

Good article. Appreciate the summary regarding this subject.

GreekAsianPanda said...

I think this provides a good case for the Quran's incorrectness regarding what happened to Jesus' religion (i.e. it states that Jesus' followers would be uppermost until the Day of Resurrection, yet history does not say that they followed Islam; if his first followers were Muslims, they did not last long, because very, very soon the Jesus movement became something completely different from Islam).

Interestingly, regarding the fact that the Quran says in 3:55 that Jesus' followers would become superior, ibn Kathir acknowledges that it is true ("...[T]he Christians had the upper hand and dominated the Jews. Allah aided them against the Jews because they used to be closer to the truth than the Jews, even though both groups were and still are disbelievers..."), yet still explains how Trinitarian Christians and Constantine changed Jesus' original religion (thus, the people with the upper hand could not truly be called Jesus' "followers"). He doesn't even see the mistake.
Poor ibn Kathir =(

I would like to offer some criticisms, though, regarding Islam's stance on the Bible, which, if correct, would undermine the point of your post (that Allah is completely responsible for the Gospel's corruption).

1. It seems pretty clear that 6:115 and 18:27 refer only to the Quran; the verse that precedes 6:115 talks about "the Book," which is most probably the Quran, and 18:27 refers to "the Book," too. Even though the (original?) Tawrah and Injil were the "words of Allah," these particular verses only refer to some specific "words of Allah"--the Quran.

2. There are some Quran verses and traditions from the Hadith that indicate that the "People of the Book" corrupted their Scriptures.

...a. From the Quran: 2:75, 79; 3:78; 3:187; 6:91. (Link is to ibn Kathir's comment.)

...b. Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461; Volume 9, Book 93, Number 614.

(There may be more, but I'm no expert on Islam. That should probably suffice.)

3. You offer 7:157 as a verse that confirms that the Bible is intact, but it doesn't necessarily affirm that the entire Bible is uncorrupted; perhaps some authentic "nuggets" ended up staying in that happened to be "prophecies" of Muhammad (though the best ones Muslims can find are the Deuteronomy one and the "Comforter" one, which are pretty bad examples).

Even if the Quran does not support the Bible, though, it doesn't really get rid of the fact that it says Jesus' followers would be uppermost, and, if they were actually "Muslims," this would be historically incorrect.

Anyway, I'm not sure your arguments of "why would Allah do that" are completely valid. True, it doesn't look like there would be any reason to allow Jesus' message to be lost and totally turned around from what it "originally" was, but I think an omniscient god could possibly see something a mere human cannot see or have reasons that we cannot understand. I think your objection is akin to the atheist objection, "Why would God allow evil?" God probably has reasons we don't fully understand; he obviously knows more than we do, being all-knowing and stuff.

new91princess said...

Wow this is good. How can a Muslim possibly explain this one away? Of course they will say you got the Arabic all wrong and ppl need to stop translating the Quran to English. You see this is always their last, defeated excuse when they know they just lost an argument.

Xiao-Fury said...

Awesome!

simple_truth said...

David, well done!

Thank you for the analysis. It really gets to the matter very effectively, IMO.

I just hope that Muslims can learn how to reason and evaluate both their Qu'ran and the Bible this way. It would definitely be an eye opener for them.

Jeffrey said...

What an amazing answer to "who corrupted the gospel?"...Ive never seen It this way before...but I pray muslims will see the truth for I fear for thier lifes...They think we are attacking them by doing this but in actual fact we are revealing the truth because we care and Love Just as the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did....do unto others as you would have them do unto you :)

alekhine said...

good assessment! sound conclusion

Sam said...

Let me quickly respond to

1. It seems pretty clear that 6:115 and 18:27 refer only to the Quran; the verse that precedes 6:115 talks about "the Book," which is most probably the Quran, and 18:27 refers to "the Book," too. Even though the (original?) Tawrah and Injil were the "words of Allah," these particular verses only refer to some specific "words of Allah"--the Quran.

You are mistaken, since even Muslim scholars have used these texts, specifically Q. 6:115, to prove the incorruptibility of all of God's revealed Books:

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/word_incorruptible.html

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zawadi/gods_words_unchangable.html

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zawadi/gods_words_unchangable_r1.html

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zawadi/gods_words_unchangable_r2.html

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/ibn_al_qayyim_torah.html

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/ibn_al_qayyim_torah.html

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/zawadi/torah_quran.html

2. There are some Quran verses and traditions from the Hadith that indicate that the "People of the Book" corrupted their Scriptures.

Wrong again. THERE ARE NONE THAT EXPLICITLY DO SO, but plenty that affirm the exact opposite.

...a. From the Quran: 2:75, 79; 3:78; 3:187; 6:91. (Link is to ibn Kathir's comment.)

...b. Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 9, Book 92, Number 461; Volume 9, Book 93, Number 614.


Read the following articles for a complete analysis of these verses and narrations, as well as for a refutation of your assertions:

http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/q2_77-79.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/ibnabbas.html

http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/ibnabbas_bukhari.htm

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/abualrub/quran_bible1.html

http://answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/abualrub/quran_bible2.html

http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Osama/zawadi_mhd_torah.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Hahn/integrity.html

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/aboutbible.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/aboutbible2.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/bible_authentic1.htm

http://answering-islam.org/Shamoun/bible_authentic2.htm

In fact, I suggest reading all of the articles rebuttals which are found in the following link: http://answering-islam.org/Quran/Bible/index.html

You really need to spend less time reading Muslim articles, and actually start spending more time reading the Christian responses.

David Wood said...

GAP seems to be getting all of her information about Islam from bad Muslim websites (or from a Muslim feeding her nonsense), instead of going to actual Muslim sources. That's the only explanation I can think of for why she keeps repeating the same Muslim responses that are easily refuted by the Muslim sources.

BLT31 said...

To tell the truth:



http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/index.html

BLT31 said...

http://www.tellthechildrenthetruth.com/gallery/index.html

Fernando said...

David Wood saide: «That's the only explanation I can think of for why she keeps repeating the same Muslim responses that are easily refuted by the Muslim sources»... really? I can think off one more...

minoria said...

You forgot to add 10:94 but when you read the few verses that come before have 2 undeniable errors about what is written in the Bible about Moses and the pharaoh chasing him.

http://www.antisharia.com/2011/02/08/chapter-1090-95-of-the-koran-has-2-false-assertions-about-what-is-in-the-bible/

Fisher said...

Wow, this is a pretty awesome article. Hey David, is it okay with you if I used this article as to design a Muslim-oriented tract? I'll put Acts 17 on it so that your ministry gets full credit.

David Wood said...

It's already being made into a tract. I put the content here because, at the end of the tract, I'll be inviting comments. If you want to print some, let me know and I'll send you the file. (I could also send you some copies after I have them printed.)

David Wood said...

GAP said: "It seems pretty clear that 6:115 and 18:27 refer only to the Quran; the verse that precedes 6:115 talks about "the Book," which is most probably the Quran, and 18:27 refers to "the Book," too. Even though the (original?) Tawrah and Injil were the "words of Allah," these particular verses only refer to some specific "words of Allah"--the Quran."

You missed the point of these verses (and I suggest reading the articles Sam posted, instead of the horrendous Muslim articles you're going to for information). The reason the Qur'an is trustworthy is that no one can corrupt Allah's word. (The verses don't say, "No one can corrupt the Qur'an." They say that no one can corrupt Allah's words.) If you're telling me that the Torah and the Injeel have been corrupted, then you're telling me that Allah's words can be corrupted, in which case the statement in the Qur'an is false. (To help understand the point, suppose I say, "I can beat up Mike Tyson, because I can beat up anyone." I then get beat up by Evander Holyfield. Someone says, "See, you were wrong, David. You got beat up." I then say, "Well, in context, I was only talking about Mike Tyson." Do you see why this response would fail? My reason for saying I could beat up Mike Tyson was that I supposedly could beat up anyone, and this is obviously false, since I got beat up. Similarly, the Qur'an claims incorruptibility because of its claim that no one is powerful enough to corrupt Allah's word. If Allah's words have been corrupted, then the entire argument fails.)

GAP said: "There are some Quran verses and traditions from the Hadith that indicate that the "People of the Book" corrupted their Scriptures."

Tell me you actually read these "traditions." You didn't, did you? Everyone here knows you didn't.

David Wood said...

GAP said: "You offer 7:157 as a verse that confirms that the Bible is intact, but it doesn't necessarily affirm that the entire Bible is uncorrupted; perhaps some authentic "nuggets" ended up staying in that happened to be "prophecies" of Muhammad (though the best ones Muslims can find are the Deuteronomy one and the "Comforter" one, which are pretty bad examples)."

I also offered other passages, which command Christians to judge by the Gospel and to stand upon the Gospel. If only some of the Gospel his reliable, as you think the Qur'an teaches, how on earth can we judge by it? Let me give an example. I believe that the Qur'an contains some truth (e.g. when it says that Jesus performed miracles). Should I then say, "I tell Muslims to judge by the Qur'an and to stand upon the Qur'an," simply because I believe it contains some "authentic nuggets"? Of course not. Why? Because it contains a ton of falsehood. Now does it makes sense that Allah would tell Christians to judge by a book that contains mostly falsehood, because of some "authentic nuggets"? Obviously not. So which Muslim website told you otherwise?

GAP said: "Anyway, I'm not sure your arguments of "why would Allah do that" are completely valid. True, it doesn't look like there would be any reason to allow Jesus' message to be lost and totally turned around from what it "originally" was, but I think an omniscient god could possibly see something a mere human cannot see or have reasons that we cannot understand. I think your objection is akin to the atheist objection, "Why would God allow evil?" God probably has reasons we don't fully understand; he obviously knows more than we do, being all-knowing and stuff."

Let me get this straight. You're comparing (1) why God would allow evil (my area of philosophy), and (2) why God would deceive people who follow his prophets and start false religions? Seriously? Tons of responses have been offered to the problem of evil. Can you give me a single plausible reason why God would send Jesus and then corrupt Jesus' message, thereby starting the world's largest false religion? Notice also that, following your reasoning, nothing attributed to God would ever be implausible. Someone could say to me: "Your wife doesn't exist. She's an illusion made by God." Here I would question why God would send me such an illusion. But you would simply respond: "No, you can't question the claim. After all, there's evil in the world." Once you're willing to grant an omnipotent deceiver, how can we believe anything. Perhaps God is using you right now to deceive people. Perhaps you've been deceived by God for no reason at all. You can't say otherwise, since there's evil in the world. Does this way of thinking somehow make sense to you?

GAP, you seem to be sinking lower and lower in your efforts to defend Islam. Is there a reason? I expect these odd explanations and defenses from Muslims, but why on earth are you giving such desperate and implausible answers?

John Lollard said...

Wait, is GAP female?

I've always loved this argument. I first read it on the answerling-islam site after I first heard of you (David), and it's pretty solid.

Here's a question I had, however: weren't the Ebionites a 1st century Nazarite group that denied the divinity of Christ and rejected Paul's writings? I understand that they can't be the "Muslim Christians" in the Quran because they lasted for so little time that all we know about them is from the writings of orthodox Christians denouncing their beliefs as heresy, but the Muslim is still free to assure himself of these groups.

Maybe the argument would be made more solid if you explicitly mentioned that any Christian group to deny the divinity of Jesus had so little influence and lasted for so little time that they could not have been made "uppermost".

I think GAP raised some points that, despite how valid or accurate they are, are worth considering specifically because Muslims will consider them. I'm assuming that the purpose of this article is to try and convince Muslims to leave Muhammad and embrace the real Jesus - the more stumbling blocks we can identify on that road, I think the better.

I was also wondering, in regard to the last point, that it sounds almost like the argument in Romans 1, about how God gave the idolaters over to idolatry so as to increase his judgment of them. GAP mentioned explicitly the problem of evil, and I've read your blog on the problem of evil and I'm pretty impressed with the explanation that you give for it, but isn't "God knows things we don't" essentially the answer explicitly given by God himself in the book of Job? If it's a reasonable answer for God to give to Job about the problem of evil, wouldn't it be a reasonable answer for a Muslim to give about the problem of Allah totally undermining Jesus' work as a prophet?

I bring this up because there are plenty of situations besides the problem of evil where my best answer is "God knows things I don't", and it seems like your argument would undermine that.

Or maybe I missed something? I am perfectly open to correction from any wiser parties on these matters.

In Christ,
JL

Nabeel Qureshi said...

@John, the Ebionites were a mid-late second century sect. The earliest reference to them was from Irenaeus's "against heresies" written in 180.

What we know is if Irenaeus wrote about them in 180, they must have existed before that. How much earlier is sheer conjecture. Anyone who argues that they were a first century group probably has an agenda; regardless, their claims cannot be sufficiently substantiated.

John Lollard said...

Nabeel,

Thanks for point that out. Let me also say how much I admire your irenic attitude everything I see you on camera (since I've never spoken to you directly before). It's great and encouraging and I'm sure a real light of Christ's love to those who have never seen it. May God bless you with such love all the more :)

I'm not a historian so I won't even pretend to be making an argument, but it would seem an argument could be made that the Ebionites were a natural extension of the Judaizers. It would at least make sense to my un-trained mind that a group denying the New Testament would have an easier time getting off the ground before the New Testament was written than after - but then again plenty of heretic groups throughout history sort of shoot that one down.

Thanks for responding so quickly.

In Christ,
JL

Fisher said...

Nabeel said: @John, the Ebionites were a mid-late second century sect. The earliest reference to them was from Irenaeus's "against heresies" written in 180.

While I hate to be nitpicky. I would like to point out that there is one even earlier reference to the Ebionites. Writing in AD 117, bishop Ignatius of Antioch wrote the following:

"If any one says there is one God, and also confesses Christ Jesus, but thinks the Lord to be a mere man, and not the only-begotten God, and Wisdom, and the Word of God, and deems Him to consist merely of a soul and body, such an one is a serpent, that preaches deceit and error for the destruction of men. And such a man is poor in understanding, even as by name he is an Ebionite."
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.v.vi.vi.html

It is interesting to note that even in that early period, the deity of Christ was already claimed to be orthodox doctrine and denial thereof was already pegged as heresy. That surely refutes the idea that the deity of Christ was an invention of Constantine in the fourth century.

Whatever the case, the Ebionites are too small to have been of any significance, and while they did indeed deny the deity of Christ, they were the only heretical group to do so (at least until Arius came along). Besides, the Ebionites rejected doctrines that the Muslims affirm, such as the virgin birth. That alone should be enough to refute any assertions that these groups are somehow "proto-Islamic."

ha said...

Another excellent article, very well put. Thanks David and God bless you

Angelo_Arts said...

Great analysis that I have been waiting so long to see that clearly and precisely put in a Christians Apologetics site as I have been always thought about this "superior state" verses of "Christ's followers" as stated in the Qur'an and how clearly it contradicts the belief of "Bible corruption" if it has ever happened.
Well done David.

minoria said...

Hello John Lollard

Great you are back and Nabeel also.You mentioned Paul and the Ebionites and that they did not believe Jesus was God.What if the Ebionites were right and Paul wrong?

That question interested me also.I can say there is INDEPENDENT ATTESTATION that shows the first disciples in JERUSALEM also believed Jesus was God.Plus that they believed in the PHYSICAL RESURRECTION of JESUS(that point almost all scholars agree)

They are in French but can be translated using GOOGLE TRANSALTE

http://translate.google.com/#

GOOGLE TRANSLATE is not perfect but it is 95% understandable.

Artcile 1:
It is about the evidence and how they INTERCONNECT fromIreneus,Polycarp,Ignatius,etc:

http://www.avraidire.com/2011/03/la-confirmation-par-clementpolycarpeignaceirenee-et-tertullien-que-le-message-de-paulde-pierre-et-de-jean-etait-le-meme/

Article 2:

On the evidence from Paul and from some other Jews in Jerusalem and Palestine,like the High Priest, that they persecuted the Messianic Jews only because they believed Jesus was God.

http://www.avraidire.com/2010/12/sur-la-transfiguration-de-jesus-et-la-vraie-raison-pour-laquelle-paulun-juifpersecutait-des-autres-juifs/

Fernando said...

Where is GAP? back to his/her mosque?

CristoTeAma said...

Hi, i have been over 2 months watching you all (David wood, Sam shamoun, white, nabeel etc)You are doing such a great job, i had some argues with muslims in my university and i noticed they realy believe they are here "to correct us", and i was like"they can't be serious"(i already knew they have the "same problems" than us in Islam like the spirit of Allah or putting muhammad in the same level that god or at least in the same level we put jesus, you know John 14:6, or bowing to a black stone in a way of idolatry, yep i know in psalm he says he bows to the house of god, but this house has a huge credential) but later on i noticed they do believe that, so i knew i had enough refenrence to stay firm in my faith (not just tradition or culture faith) but then i started to feel that there is a huge difference between stay in my faith and make them see that they are wrong so i said "i need to get my sword(god's word)prepared to preach to this kind of people (with all respect) so you guys have been a good example of doctrine. this week i've been preaching to a muslim friend and she didn't even know that they are commanded to be violent in sura9:29 she actually believed it was in a spicific context that they can't apply anymore, but after some arguments (i learned with you guys) she was kinda surprised, i know her from the first year of the carreer and it's been 5 years, it's really surprising the little they know about their own faith.Well i just wanted to encourage you to keep this word, and remeber you that it's doing things like this blogs the current way christian can help to fulfil Matthew 16:15. Sorry for my english i'm spainiard and as you surely saw by now my english is not so good.

Faisal said...

Peace Be Upon You

I must applaud you for your research on the Qur'an. Most people who would write this article would definitely put forward such a hypothesis without referring to either Book, so in that sense, I respect what you are saying a lot more than what others may say.

I am a Muslim and I do understand what you are trying to prove. But you must understand what Muslims mean when they say that "The Gospel has been corrupted". When we lay such a claim, we mean to say that many of the main ideas that had been in the Bible were either lost to time or changed by institutions. Saying that God corrupted the Gospel is blasphemous (also remember that Allah is God and God is Allah, we use the Arabic name to preserve the connotations of the word).

Let me first explain what I mean by "changed by institutions", as I have done research on at least that part. The Old Testament was written some time between 1400 to 400 BCE and the New Testament was written between 40 A.D. to 90 A.D. Before the printing press, each Bible was transcribed by hand onto parchment. Since it was in Latin/ Greek/ Hebrew, only a few elite could do this. In addition, these languages had various dialects so one thing may mean another and naturally, minor differences in meaning arose. Even today, many Bible scholars are still trying to get the syntax of the Bible perfect, as shown by the various editions of the King James Bible.
*Note, since there were several authors to the Bible, we must also remember that each may have had his own dialect, so if the first people who translated it into other languages only stayed in a single dialect, the Bible may have some (or a lot depending on the difference of the dialects) changes in meaning.

One must also remember that before a proper Authoritarian christian institution, the Bible transcribing was left up to the elite, who could easily change words to suit their own needs, which often may include controlling the masses or promoting their own ideologies. Also, during the time of monarchs in Europe, there were kings who defied the Church by publishing their own versions of the Bible. Can you please explain to me why Christians read the King James version of the Bible and not the God or official version? These monarchs could have easily tampered with the beautiful message in the original Bible. There has also been some research on whether the Church had edited some parts of the Bible to make it more "Mainstream", if you know what I mean. I must emphasize that I can only say this as food for thought because I do not have concrete evidence to support this claim.

We Muslims say that Christians are Muslims because followers of Christ used to have the basic message as Islam would later. I believe that if a Christian is true to his religion and leads a pious and morally righteous life, he is as good as a Muslim, which I believe the Qur'an was trying to emphasize.

I would love to try to dissect more of your article, alas I do not feel up to the daunting task. I wish you success in all your future articles and hope that you will be a bit more understanding and research a bit more into these subject matters before prematurely publishing things such as this.

I will admit that an argument that the Qur'an can also be compromised due to the same problems I mentioned above. The defense I have for this is that when Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) died, his companions (sahabi, literally means companions) collected all known versions and copies of the Qur'an and made sure that a single version that followed the Prophet's dialect was preserved. All others were burnt (you could make an argument that this may have destroyed a vital piece of the Qur'an to which I would agree). Whenever a copy was made, it was presented to a council of scholars who would criticize it and see if it matched up perfectly to the original.

Again, I would extend this response but I am too tired.

Faisal said...

I would not be offended if someone brings up some evidence that contradicts something in my response but please keep it civil and scholarly. Do not cite partisan sources as I will criticize them as you had GAP's sources.

Peace Be Upon You

zitouni said...

Forget about Koran and whether it mentions gospel was corrupted or not just read the book of the world renown biblical scholar Bart Ehrman he says that all new testamente is corrupted LOL

zitouni said...

(None can change His Words.) meaning, none can avert Allah's judgment whether in this life or the Hereafter,

David Wood said...

Nice try, zitouni. According to Ehrman, the New Testament has vastly more manuscript support than any other book of antiquity.

Further, Ehrman says that they only reason he doesn't criticize the Qur'an in the same way is that he's worried about being killed by Muslims!

In other words, he'll criticize the Bible because Christians are peaceful, but he won't criticize the Qur'an because Muslims aren't!

And you're going to Ehrman to support your views? LOL.

David Wood said...

zitouni said: "(None can change His Words.) meaning, none can avert Allah's judgment whether in this life or the Hereafter"

Now try reading the verses in context. The context specifically refers to "books." So the Qur'an isn't simply referring to judgment. (Note: You've just attempted to lead people astray with respect to the meaning of the Qur'an. Shouldn't you have more respect for your book?)

Vega punk said...

@Faisal: Still the problem remains that if it was true that the word of God was corrupted, Allah was incapable to keeps his promise to preserve its inerrancy which would disqualify him as God.
About the corruption of the bible, the different manuscripts actually testifies to each others purity. Where different manuscripts spread to different areas they were copied over and over again. Hundreds of years later when the different manuscripts from differing areas were compared they were congruent to 99.5% where most errors were spelling mistakes or accidental omissions. Now because the manuscripts were copied in different regions it means that any corruption would stand out. There's no chance manuscripts would be corrupted in the exact same way because the deceivers wouldn't be in contact with each other.

In christianity there is no such thing as a 'good' child of Adam, so everyone fails the good-enough test according to God. No one has any merit for entering the Kingdom of God because we all have sinned. All except God's Son the Christ who took upon Himself all the sins of believers and entered death with it so that we could be forgiven.

Anonymous said...

oldest source of reference (NT) in a complete manuscript is 250-300CE and it happen not to be in the language of Jesus (Aramaic). So how can translations of what Jesus conveyed not be corrupted?


'P52' is the famous Fragment containing John 18:31-33, 37-38.

This fragment dates to about 130 CE. and is the oldest portion of the New Testament. This fragment follows the Western Text against the traditional Greek text as shown below:

Jn. 18:33a
P52 follows the word order:
“entered then again into the praetorium Pilate”
In agreement with the Western type text of Codex D, the Old Latin and the
Latin Vulgate.

However the Alexandrian and Byzantine types (such as Codex ), Codex A, and
the Majority Text) read with the word order:
“entered then into the praetorium again Pilate”
- ), A, C2, Mj.

Thus the oldest fragment of any New Testament book is of the Western Text type. so are western text type still considered unreliable?

Ed K said...

You have left your trash pamphlet on my Car. If you ever leave this crap on my car again, I will find you and I will sue you for vandalism. DO NOT TOUCH MY CAR! Besides, you are coward! Find a Muslim scholar and debate with him/her. They will wipe the ground with your stupid argument. DO NOT TOUCH MY CAR AGAIN!

David Wood said...

Ed,

Never left a pamphlet on a car in my life, so you just falsely accused me!

But if someone did leave one of our pamphlets on your car, that's perfectly legal in the U.S.

michael christian quillosa lopez said...

hi brother David,

can you make a Hindi and Arabic version?
for your site and as well as hindi arabic version of Jesus and Mohammed in youtube.

cause i got alot of muslim brothers here that willing to listen to the topics about theyre religion hope you guys can make a good miracle over here..

may the Lord Jesus Christ Bless you And all that helping you to bring the messege of our Lord
be spread thru those who lost there believe in the true meaning of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

michael christian lopez

AQEEL AHMED said...

Lol, well its really very easy to get only a word of your choice and say see allah has crrupted the gospal. May i ask?

Why god let adam to do sin at 1st place ?

Why God let created an other religion when Judaism was there ?

Why god let fero to control jew at 1st place ?

I have seen all of these verses and i could not see any logical reason he is showing argument showed be based on knowledge. And i hope who is Here saying wow what a topic and explaination let them to listen other as well.

Please read that link too

http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/refuting_the_argument_regarding_the_qur_an_ordering_the_jews_and_christians_to_judge_by_their_scriptures

Unknown said...

Or, another option you haven't discussed: It's poor exegesis to say 4:157 says Jesus was not killed or crucified. I think a better reading is that it says the Jews didn't kill him, so they could not take the "credit" (or the blame). It only looked to them like they were the ones who crucified him, while in reality God is the one who orchestrated the whole thing, Jesus could have avoided it if he had wanted to, so he was not powerless to the Jews, and it was actually the Romans who did it. The Jews only picked who would be crucified - Jesus instead of Barabbas. The Jews thought they were responsible, and it doesn't even say God was responsible for a deception. It just says it appeared to them that they were the ones to have him crucified. You think perhaps Muslim bigotry after skirmishes with the imperial Byzantine church has caused them to adopt some bad theology?