The Muslim view of Jesus, a corrupted Bible, and the great dilemma in the Quran

false gospel

When exactly was the Bible corrupted and where is the evidence for this corruption? Who corrupted it?

According to Islamic teachings, Jesus was both a prophet and a messenger of God. It is also an Islamic belief that the Torah and the gospels were handed down as the word of Allah, but that they were later corrupted. It is hard to sort out exactly when this textual change is supposed to have taken place considering that both the gospels and Paul’s letters date back to around 40-60 AD – and they are texts which contain the same gospel as we have in our modern Bibles today. This means that the corruption must have taken place even sooner than that, right after the death of Jesus, which means that Jesus did not succeed to keep the word of Allah very well. What did Jesus really accomplish on this planet if his urgent message to the after world was corrupted as soon as he died, despite that he had chosen faithful disciples to spread his gospel? How come both Jesus and his first disciples failed so miserably?

1 Cor. 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

Muslims sometimes take Bible verses out of context which they claim are revelations about the upcoming prophet Muhammad. The problem is that the very same Bible passages also tell us that Jesus is the son of God, the final judge etc, and it’s not good hermeneutics to selectively keep and discard verses as you please in order to build up certain preferred doctrines. You can get any outcome in the world with that procedure, depending on your personal agenda. If the Bible is not trustworthy due to being corrupted, why does this not include those verses which are selected as an attempt to prove the prophet Muhammad right? How come we can suddenly trust the Bible in those cases?

Did Christ’s true message get distorted and a false message prevailed over it?sura 61

Why did it take almost 600 years before Allah decided to send another prophet which could set things straight after Jesus total failure to spread the true gospel through his disciples and followers?

Why are there no traces of such ”true” (Islam-supporting) gospel message left to the after world – from the time prior to Muhammad? Why can we only find Bible manuscripts and text variants which confirm the same Bible content which we have today? According to Islam, Jesus preached the same gospel as Moses, Abraham, Noah and Muhammad, so why is there no evidence for this in the manuscripts/variants of the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible)? We have NO historical support for that Jews converted to become Muslims, and if they did exist they must have been rather insignificant since they left no trace.

Yet, according to the Quran, Jesus was successful to acquire followers who were Muslims, and God promised Jesus that his (Jesus) followers would be superior to other believers until the day of the resurrection. The true disciples of Jesus would be the ones who prevailed according to the Quran! Allah did not say that Jesus followers would be led astray by Paul soon after the death of Jesus.

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: Then shall ye all return unto Me, and I will judge between you of the matters wherein ye dispute.” (S. 3:55)

O ye who believe! Be ye helpers of Allah: as said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples, ”Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the Disciples, ”We are Allah’s helpers!” then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved: But We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, AND THEY BECAME THE ONES THAT PREVAILED. (S. 61:14)

If the above verses are reliable, Allah must have helped Christians to spread a false gospel, because we know which gospel message that ”prevailed” and was superior among Jesus followers and that is the same gospel message that we can find in our Bibles today. According to historical sources, Christianity became the predominant religion of the world ever since the time of Christ – and we know which gospel ”variant” that dominated and spread across the world. That is the gospel that we still have today.

The letters of the apostle Paul were also included in the gospel message which prevailed over all other opposing messages. If Paul’s version of Christianity is a distortion, then the Quran must be wrong for claiming that God had caused Christ’s true followers to prevail. This would also mean that Paul was able to thwart Allah’s plans. Either the true followers of Christ were indeed successful to keep the teachings of Jesus (thus falsifying the Quran which has another message), or the Quran is false since it contradicts the true message of Christ’s followers.

The Quran does not say that Christ’s followers would only prevail from the time of Muhammad’s advent, but from the time that Christ was taken to God and unto the Day of Resurrection. So a victory from the very start. Why then is the Bible supposed to have been corrupted? How do Muslims reconcile the idea that the Quran is true when it is a historical fact that the Christianity that has prevailed until this day is what Paul taught and which is recorded in the New Testament?

What was the point with the virgin birth, the many miracles, the talk about being a Messiah, when Jesus failed to spread the gospel? And why is there big Pauline support from for instance Clement of Rome and Polycarp (both disciples of the apostles) if Paul’s teachings were contrary to the apostles? Both must have known the teachings of the apostles and were able to compare with Paul’s teachings. None of them rebuked him but endorsed his teachings. Clement mentions the death and the persecution and death as the most righteous pillars of the church and brings up Paul as a good example. Polycarp wrote that Paul ”accurately and reliably taught the word concerning the truth” (See Michael R. Licona, 2006, Baker Books, Grad Rapids, Michigan, Paul meets Muhammad, p. 75.)

Allah causing Christians to believe in Jesus divinity, death on the cross and resurrection? 

According to the dominant Muslim view (for instance supported by Ibn Kathir) Allah disguised one of Jesus disciples to make him look like Jesus and this person died on the cross. This would mean that Allah is responsible for starting the idea among Jesus followers that Jesus had died on the cross, and it is therefore Allah who is responsible for corrupting the teachings of Jesus. Where else would the idea of Jesus death on the cross derive from? If Allah sometimes tricks people (people who trust in his prophets) into believing falsehood, how can we be sure that he did not do the same thing with Muhammad?

And because of their (the Jews) saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger- they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. ( S. 4:157-158 Pickthall)

No one can change the word of Allah!bible with cross

If no one can change the word of Allah, then surely Paul – who wrote numerous letters in the New Testament – would not be able to thwart it and even be successful about it? Or was Paul powerful enough to change the word of Allah? Note that it is not only the Quran that is the word of God according to Islam, but also the original versions of the Jewish and Christian scriptures (the gospels and the psalms) – before they allegedly were corrupted.

There is none that can change the Words of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those Apostles (or: the other Apostles also say so). (S. 6:34)

No change can there be in the Words of Allah. (S. 10:64) 

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. (S. 18:27)

The Quran is CLEAR – which ought to result in that the text means what it appears to say

If the Quran is clear, and if even the hadiths confirm the clear and obvious meaning of the Quran, then who are we to change the straight forward text which likely mean what it says? It is normally the less popular suras (supporting violence) that people try to ”change” into something less drastic, but they really should refrain from doing this since the Quran is clear.

Muslims believe that the Quran cannot be translated satisfactory since the content of the Quran was revealed in Arabic and should be read in this language. Translations can therefore only provide a message rather than a proper translation. The Bible, however, does not have this weakness and can easily be translated into various languages while still maintaining the message.

Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (The Qur’an), explained in detail… (S. 6:114 Hilali-Khan)

Alif Lam Ra. A Book whose verses are set clear, and then distinguished, from One All-wise, All-aware: (S. 11:1)

And We have sent down on thee the Book making clear everything, and as a guidance and a mercy, and as good tidings to those who surrender. (S. 16:89 Arberry)

A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail; A Qur’an in Arabic for people who know (S. 41:3 Hilali-Khan)

The Torah and the gospels were apparently trustworthy in the time of Muhammad

The Quran states the Bible tells us about the coming of Muhammad and it never suggests that faithful Christians have corrupted their scripture. Why is it that we can we read in the Quran that Muhammad was asked to go to Jews and Christians to get his message confirmed, if their scriptures were corrupted at this point?

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers. (S. 10:94-95 Pickthall)

Muslims are stuck with a dilemma:

1) If the Jewish and Christians scriptures were corrupted at the time of Muhammad, it would result in Allah asking Muhammad to get his message confirmed by false and corrupted scriptures.

2) If the Jewish and Christian scriptures were not corrupted at this time, then Muhammad would be proven wrong since the Bible contradicts the Quran and Jews and Christians would have told him so.

If the Bible was corrupted at the time of Muhammad, then Allah had all the chances in the world to provide a revelation to Muhammad that the scriptures before him should not be trusted for this reason. Instead we can see that the Torah and the gospels were repeatedly endorsed in the Quran which is ”clear”.

Children of Israel … believe in that I have sent down, confirming the revelation that is with you and be not the first to disbelieve in it … and do not confound the truth with vanity and do not conceal the truth wittingly (i.e. concealing the truth against better knowledge). (S. 2:40-42).

We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Apostles. We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear signs and strengthened (or confirmed) him with the Holy Spirit. (S. 2:87).

And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah’s curse is on the unbelievers. (S. 2:89)

And when there came to them an Apostle from Allah verifying that which they have, a party of those who were given the Book threw the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they knew nothing. (S. 2:101 Shakir)

He has sent down upon thee the Book with the truth, confirming what was before it and He sent down Torah and the Gospel afore time, as guidance to the People and He sent down salvation. (S. 3:3).

God gave the scripture to the Christians and Jews so that they could make known to the whole world and every nation the true knowledge of God: And remember Allah took a Covenant from the People of the Book, to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it (3:187 AYA).

And when God took compact with the Prophets: ‘That I have given you of Book and Wisdom; then there shall come to you a Messenger confirming what IS with you — you shall believe in him and you shall help him; do you agree?’ He said. ‘And do you take My load on you on that condition?’ They said, ‘We do agree.’ God said, ‘Bear witness so, and I shall be with you among the witnesses.’ (S. 3:81)

We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them (3:84 AYA).

Say: ‘Bring you the Torah now and recite (or read) it, if you are men of truth’ (Sura 3:93).

You who have been given the Book, believe in what We have sent down, confirming what IS with you, before We obliterate faces, and turn them upon their backs, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-men, and God’s command is done. (S. 4:47)

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). Any who denieth Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgement, hath gone far, far astray (S. 4:136 AYA).

And unto thee (Muslims) have We revealed the Scripture (the Qur’an) with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ. (S. 5:43-48, MP)   

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” (S. 5:71 AYA/68 MP).

And this is a Book We have revealed, blessed, verifying that which IS before it, and that you may warn the metropolis and those around her; and those who believe in the hereafter believe in it, and they attend to their prayers constantly. (S. 6:92 Shakir)

Those who follow the Messenger (Mohammed), the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them (S. 7:157 MP).

This Koran could not have been forged apart from God; but it is a confirmation of what IS before it, and a distinguishing of the Book, wherein is no doubt, from the Lord of all Being. (S. 10:37)

In their stories is surely a lesson to men possessed of minds; it is not a tale forged, but a confirmation of what IS before it, and a distinguishing of every thing, and a guidance, and a mercy to a people who believe. (S. 12:111)

They say: ”If only he would bring us a miracle from his Lord!” Hath there not come unto them the proof of what is in the former scriptures? (S. 20:133 MP).

Before thee (i.e. Mohammed), also, the Apostles we sent were but men … If you realise this not, ASK of THOSE WHO POSSESS THE MESSAGE. (S. 21:7).

Dispute not with the People of the Book, save in the fairer manner, except for those of them that do wrong; and say: ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; Our God and your God is One and to Him we have surrendered.’ (S. 29:45). 

The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah … and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus (42:13 AYA).

Yet before it was the Book of Moses for a model and a mercy; and this is a Book confirming, in Arabic tongue, to warn the evildoers, and good tidings to the good-doers. (S. 46:12)

They said: O our people! we have listened to a Book revealed after Musa verifying that which IS before it, guiding to the truth and to a right path: (S. 46:30 Shakir) 

According to the Quran, Jesus started to preach Islam as a baby

baby

Sura 19:[19:22] When she bore him, she isolated herself to a faraway place.[19:23] The birth process came to her by the trunk of a palm tree. She said, ”(I am so ashamed;) I wish I were dead before this happened, and completely forgotten.”[19:24] (The infant) called her from beneath her, saying, ”Do not grieve. Your Lord has provided you with a stream.[19:25] ”If you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop ripe dates for you.*[19:26] ”Eat and drink, and be happy. When you see anyone, say, ‘I have made a vow of silence; I am not talking today to anyone.'”[19:27] She came to her family, carrying him. They said, ”O Mary, you have committed something that is totally unexpected.[19:28] ”O descendant of Aaron, your father was not a bad man, nor was your mother unchaste.”[19:29] She pointed to him. They said, ”How can we talk with an infant in the crib?”[19:30] (The infant spoke and) said, ”I am a servant of GOD. He has given me the scripture, and has appointed me a prophet.[19:31] ”He made me blessed wherever I go, and enjoined me to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and the obligatory charity (Zakat) for as long as I live.[19:32] ”I am to honor my mother; He did not make me a disobedient rebel.[19:33] ”And peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I get resurrected.”

2 Pet 32 Pet. 3:15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (NKJV)

1 Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

2 Cor. 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish

2 Cor. 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

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