Monday, November 18, 2013

What Is the Gospel?

According to the Qur'an, the Gospel (Injeel) is a book:

Qur'an 7:157—Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) . . . it is they who will be successful.

The Qur'an also suggests that the Gospel was given to Jesus:

Qur'an 5:46—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 God.

Since we have no record of any book given to Jesus, Muslims have a problem, for the Qur'an affirms that Christians have access to the Gospel and that we must judge by what it says:

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."

How can we obey a book given to Jesus when we have no record of any book given to Jesus? The only way to reconcile (1) the fact that we have no book from Jesus, and (2) the fact that the Qur'an affirms some book in our possession, is to adopt the Christian perspective of the Gospel. The Gospel was a message (the "Good News") delivered by Jesus to his followers and then proclaimed by these followers. This message was recorded in books called "Gospels" (because they contain the Good News). These books were eventually collected into a larger book called "The Gospel."

From the second century on, the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were known as "The Gospel" or "The Four-Fold Gospel." But the core message of the four Gospels is that Jesus is the divine Son of God (Matthew 3:17), who died on the cross for our sins (Mark 10:45) and rose from the dead (Matthew 28:5-7). Islam, by contrast, teaches that Jesus was only a prophet (Qur'an 4:171), who never died (Qur'an 4:157) and didn't rise from the dead (Qur'an 4:158). Because the Qur'an commands us to judge by the Gospel, and the only Gospel we have access to is the book containing the four Gospels, we have no choice but to reject Islam, which contradicts the message of the Gospel.

To put the matter more succinctly, if the Gospel is the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false, because Islam contradicts the Gospel. If, on the other hand, the Gospel is not the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false, because Islam affirms the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Gospel.

Either way, Islam is false. Muslims have no rational choice but to reject Islam and search for the truth.

Here's N. T. Wright on the Gospel message:


Ken said...

Good post -

Also Surah 3:48 says that Allah will teach Jesus "the Book" - Al Kitab - الکتاب

Sahih International
And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel

And He will teach him the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel,

Yusuf Ali
"And Allah will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel,

And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tavrat and the Injeel.

Anonymous said...

"To put the matter more succinctly, if the Gospel is the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false, because Islam contradicts the Gospel. If, on the other hand, the Gospel is not the inspired, preserved, authoritative Word of God, then Islam is false, because Islam affirms the inspiration, preservation, and authority of the Gospel."

The muslim response i've been told every time i bring up that contradiction is the conspiracy theory. Not "a" conspiracy theory but "THE" conspiracy theory. Forget NWO, space lizards, 9/11-inside job, UFOs and man in black, we're talking about the original conspiracy theory, a conspiracy of biblical proportions. It requires more willing suspension of disbelief than Live and Let Die, Highlander II, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Prestige and professional wrestling fused together.

The muslims claim that shortly after the death of muhammad the sacred texts of Jews and Christians were changed to erase all traces of the coming of muhammad and islam. All of them.

That's right, in order to accept that islam is the final word of God we need to believe that all torahs, old testaments, new testaments, all of them were changed. Now, we're talking about a time where there were no fast and secure means of transport or even communication. No airplanes, automobiles, cellphones, nothing. Voyages were long, arduous and perilous. But muslims believe that somehow back then jews and christians agreed and succeeded to change all of their texts, from the biggest basilica in Constantinople to the most obscure church deep in barbarian land, from the Temple Mount to the tiniest synagogue on the farthest reach in the known world, jewish and christian authorities managed to track down and change their sacred texts without a peep of complaint from any practicing jew or christian. They tracked down all copies of books that had been copied and passed around for hundreds of years - thousands for jewish texts - to the last one, changed them and no jew or christian spoke against it.

To that i say two words: Occam's razor. And the irony is that if we believe that jews and christians managed to change all their texts in a time where the average lifespan probably wasn't enough to visit all locations in the known world, then another question arises: if the word of God was changed by men, what assurances do we have that the same has not happened to the quran? I was assured by muslims, several times, that the quran that exists today is the same that was delivered to muhammad, word by word, and that nothing was changed. Let's ignore that the arabic language 1400 ago isn't the same arabic we have nowadays and the difficulties inherent to it. The first written compilation of the quran was done by the caliph Uthman decades after the death of muhammad. And we know that he had other versions of the quran burned into oblivion. We know this from islamic sources. So, even if we believe that jews and christians managed to track down and change ALL existing copies of their holy texts and convince all practicing jews and christians to accept it, we still have a couple of problems: not only there were several versions of the quran circulating around at a time (therefore even the quran is susceptible to being altered), but Uthman had the final word on what was kept in and out of the quran (and therefore he had the means to change it).

And let's not forget how islam works: nothing happens unless allah wishes it to happen. So if jews and christians did manage to change all the copies of their texts (as far as i know, no muslim authority as ever presented an unaltered copy of the Bible or Torah to prove his point) it only happened because allah wished for it to happen, and therefore jews and christians should not have to suffer for it. After all, tracking down and changing all known copies of jewish and christian texts without facing opposition would be nothing short of a miracle.

Henri-Paul Indiogine said...

I am no expert in Arabic for sure, but it seems to me that in Q4:171 the word "merely" or "only" is not part of the text but is rather added by the translator.

In addition Q4:157 does not say that Jesus did not die, but rather denies that the Jews killed Jesus. This is in agreement with the NT that states that God "handed over" Jesus and that Jesus willingly gave up his life.

Ken said...

For sure they did not crucify Him, nor kill Him . . . for sure they did not kill Him

But it was made to appear so

But Allah raised Him to Himself

It says more that just the Jews did not kill Him; it is saying no one crucified or killed Jesus - if it was saying what you try to make it say, it would have said, "The Jews didn't crucify Him, or kill Him, but the Romans really did" - but that would go against the context of the plotting and scheming in Surah 3:54-55 - they plotted and schemed (to crucify and kill Him, by instigating the Romans to do the work for them); but that context says that Allah schemed better and Islamic Tafsirs interpret that to mean that Allah decieved the Jews and the Romans to think they were crucifying Jesus, but Allah saved Him and took Him to heaven and make it appear to them that they were crucifying Him. And many Muslims beleive that Judas was put in Jesus' place and made to look like Jesus.

A big unprovable conspiracy theory.

Brother C.L said...

Masterful!...... yet will be ignored but 90% of Muslims who read it. That 90% can't turn its back on their worldly desires to be accepted by men, not be persecuted, and not face the fear of a new you just continue in you false moralism and rituals to your false god and hope in the end its real ... and you get your light skin hoor al-ayn and your river of wine. Thank God for the 10%!

Romans 8:7 (NASB95)
7  because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,

Unknown said...

no one said about 1 Cor 15 ?

GOSPEL according to Paul is:

1 Now I would remind you, brothers,[a] of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being SAVED, if you HOLD FAST TO THE WORD I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:

---> that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Foolster41 said...

Watch the silence as no Muslim posts on this topic. I've challenged a good number of Muslims on this point (Osama, Samatar) repeatedly (and I'm sure others have too), and they ALL ignore it.

Unknown said...

How can Allah be a JUST god when he threatens to torture and burn forever anyone not believing in the Injeel, a book for which absolutely no evidence exists? No religion threatens disbelievers more than Islam and yet no religion is more devoid of evidence for its core claim than Islam.

goethechosemercy said...

We are not the people of the book.
This is a Muslim claim that should not be honored.
We are the people of the Word, and the Word is the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Unknown said...


if you are not the people of the book so what you want to tell me??
all Gospel writers saying that Jesus went to certain place and preached the Gospel, so what was that Book.
the Gospel or the injeel that was given to Jesus partially lost and partially changed by Paul and other Later Gospel writers.

Deleting said...

Mohamed said 'the Gospel or the injeel that was given to Jesus partially lost and partially changed by Paul and other Later Gospel writers.'

Prove it from the Koran. The Koran affirmed the 'ingeel' that existed at Mohammed's time and Paul had been dead for over 500 years!!

Your assertion FAILS because it is totally anachronistic to the HISTORICAL FACTS.

goethechosemercy said...

We are the People of the Word.
The Word is Jesus Christ.
The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God Incarnate.
Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Mohamoud Hassan Mohamed said...
"the Gospel or the injeel that was given to Jesus partially lost and partially changed by Paul and other Later Gospel writers."

I assume you're talking about Paul, the Apostle? Then you're saying that the gospel was changed during Paul's lifetime, which was centuries before the birth of mahomet. But the quran tells that it came to confirm what was in the gospel. So if what you say is true and the gospel was changed during Paul's lifetime then not only the quran is wrong, but also allah can't distinguish between revelations he passed before (for the sake for the argument let's assume the god of the quran is the same god of the bible and torah, like muslims claim) and edits made by men. So if you're right then the quran and allah are fallible.

Unknown said...

Mohamoud Hassan Mohamed -

You say that the gospel is a book because Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. The passage to which you are referring is:

But He said to them, "It behooves Me to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because for this I have been sent forth." (that is from a literal translation bible.)

The word often translated "Gospel", means "Good News" the two translations are simply different words one can use to translate the original, gospel is older English, good news is more modern English. Neither means book. Gospel means message, good news means message. So even in the Quran, it is telling you that Jesus had a message - not a book if it meant book it would have said Kitab in Arabic and NOT Injeel, the translations into English would have said Book, and not gospel which means message. To continue:

This message was not a new or different teaching - theologically speaking, as evidenced from the next passage:

And He was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel (message) of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.

So, Jesus was teaching this good news or gospel, in synagogues. If He had been teaching something else other than the torah, they would not have been calling Jesus their Rabbi, and He would not have been allowed to teach in the synagogues, so this good news/gospel message Jesus proclaimed, is found in Jewish texts.

It isn't a different book, or a different message from one the Jews already had. The only difference there ever was, is that the Kingdom of God is "at hand" or, in other words, the Kingdom of God is here now. That is the only difference, that teaching what set Jesus apart from other Rabbi's and what made it "good news" instead of typical rabbinical teaching.

That is the gospel, not another book, not a new teaching, but the old one come to Israel in the flesh. That the Kingdom God had promised the Israelite's was here, and that Jesus was the Messiah promised by God, to the nation of Israel. That is what Jesus taught. And that, is what the Rabbi's in Jesus' day felt threatened about. Not that some person was teaching some new or different religion or texts in their synagogues, but that Jesus was teaching the Messiah come to them - and was here in the person of Jesus Christ.

Hopefully this is easier for people to understand.