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 5:47—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.
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!
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?
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.