John 8:32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”
Perhaps the main argument used by Muslins against Christians is that the Holy Bible has been corrupted.
What is the truth and how are Christians to respond?
1) We have to remember that all English Bibles are translations – no translation is perfect. The same goes with the Koran – there are translational problems when the Koran is translated into English (See article on how many days the world was created, which AT THE VERY LEAST is a translational error). But are we talking about a translational error or a changing of the substance of the message (Which is what the Koran is saying)?
2) The problem with the newer translations (NIV, NEB, NASV RSV GOOD NEWS etc.) is that they translate from multiple different manuscripts – Codex Siniaticus, Codex Vaticanus, Septuagint, and Textus Receptus.
3) The newer translations use the Siniaticus and Vaticanus manuscripts because they are the oldest manuscripts found. They predate in age the Textus Receptus, which is the basis of the King James Version (KJV).
4) But from the earliest letters we have from the church fathers from the late first and second century (which predate the earliest complete manuscripts we have found as yet ), it is clear that they used the Textus Receptus! The King James Version only uses only ONE Manuscript – Textus Receptus and for this reason is traditionally regarded as being the most reliable manuscript.
5) Many Muslims believe that the newer translation ‘create a Trinity’ or ‘make Jesus to be God’ or ‘say that Jesus died on a cross’. But the truth is the opposite. They clearly attempt to pull down His deity and glory of His finished work by removal of words (God, Lord, Christ, blood, sin, repentance etc.). Complete verses are removed in the New International Version (NIV) even portions of chapters! What is going on? Why is there such an attack on the Word of God if it’s wrong!? Cunning …. Because the teachings or doctrines of the demons and of men try to alter the Word of God.
6) But praise the Lord even in these newer translations, the essence of the gospel message has not been removed in its entirety – God will not be mocked!
7) The Dead Sea scroll were found in 1947 and written approximately between 100 BC and 100 AD – many copies of the Old Testament were found along with commentaries on all the books. What do they show us – simply that the translations of Old Testaments we read today in English (especially the KJV) are pretty good translations! In fact the Jews themselves are quite happy to use our Old Testament translations and vice versa.
8) I have an interlinear Hebrew and English Tanakh – Jewish Old Testament only (I use it to witness the gospel to Jewish people who get a bit nervous when they see a New Testament. Remember the gospel is in the Old testament – as are the prophecies of the person character, nature, and work of the coming Messiah – The apostles themselves only had the Old Testament, as the New Testament had not yet been written)
John 1:43-45 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Luke 24:25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses (Torah) and all the Prophets (writings of the prophets), He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures (Old Testament), which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
But I also ask Muslims who I meet – Which bits of this Hebrew Old testament have been corrupted to distort its message?
Let us go back to the Tanakh (Old Testament) for a moment, because it is here that we can understand some things concerning the nature of the Messiah who was to come.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that He would be born unto a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), that he would be of the descendancy of King David (Isaiah 11:1) and of course perhaps most famously that:
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The prophet Micah tells us that:
Micah 5:2 “ But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
Not only can we understand that the coming Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but that His going forth is from everlasting! His very being is one from eternity.
It is for this reason that many scholars conclude that it was the Messiah himself (who is the image of the invisible God) – God, who manifested Himself to Abraham along with two other angels (Genesis 18), To Jacob as he wrestled (Genesis 32), to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3) and in communion along with the 70 elders of Israel (Exodus 24)
Exodus 24:9-11 Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.
We could also consider Joshua who saw and worshipped the Commander and Chief of the Lords Army (Joshua 5:13-15), and Samson’s parents (Judges 13). We could go on and on…
This Hebrew Tanakh is a faithful copy of the Dead Sea scrolls (Which pre dates Mohammed by 700 years and the oldest Koran we have by 1400 years!). Where is the Corruption?
Furthermore we can read:
Psalm 2:7-12 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” Now therefore, be wise, O kings Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
While the Proverb by Agur the prophet records:
Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know?
Who is this son? It is the Lords son! (2 amazing passages not just for Muslims, but also for Jews that deny that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah and thus son of God.
Of this Messiah Isaiah writes:
Isaiah 53:4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
And further more
Isaiah 53:8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
Remember these are quotes from the Old Testament. Israel’s rejection of Messiah Jesus was not because the claims that He made were unbiblical – the Old Testament tells us that God has a son, but because they refused to believe that Yeshua was the Messiah and all that the Messiah would be.
Alongside this we read from the prophet Daniel in chapter 9 that the Messiah would be heralded as King 490 years (70 sevens) after the decree to rebuild and restore Jerusalem (which can be found in Ezra chapter 7 – most scholars agree this decree took place in 458 BC). That takes us to 33AD, which was also the year that Yeshua rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was heralded as king in fulfilment of the Prophet Zechariah’s words 600 years earlier:
Zechariah 9:9 “ Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.
Amazing! Pinpoint accuracy.
And furthermore Daniel goes on to say:
Daniel 9:26 ….Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Thus Daniel tells us that messiah would come, be heralded as king, then be cut off and then the temple would be destroyed! Then there would be wars and desolations (not peace as many Jews believe – it will be the second coming that will bring the peace – you can’t have an eternal reign if sin has not first been dealt with. Otherwise you give an eternal reign to sin!)
When was the Jewish temple destroyed? – 70 AD. Thus Messiah must have come before 70 AD.
The following verses from the Qur’an are taken from http://www.quranexplorer.com/
Surat 10:94 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.
Surat 21:105 And verily we have written in the Scripture, after the Reminder: My righteous slaves will inherit the earth
In both of the above passages we read about the ‘Scripture’. This is regarded according to Islamic commentaries as being the Torah, Zabur (Psalms) and the Injeel (Gospel) – this is actually written in my Qur’an.
BUT we can see from these books that Jesus is the Son of God:
Matthew 16:13-17: When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” And they said, “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” He saith unto them, “But whom say ye that I am?” And Simon Peter answered and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered and said unto him, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”
Of course Muslims will argue that our Scriptures contained with the Holy Bible have been altered and contain contradictions … which is true to a degree – but the answer to this and many more accusations can be found in the Josh McDowell – Evidence that Demands a Verdict series of Apologetic Books that give a defence of the Scriptures. There are also clear answers of rebuttal in a number of other books written by scholars over the years. Attacking the Holy Bible has gone on for centuries but it still stands aloof as the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God, who states “I am watching over My Word to see it performs” – Jeremiah 1:12. All Scripture is God breathed – 2 Timothy 3:16. The truth has set millions free from the bondage of religions including Islam as hundreds of thousands are receiving Jesus as the only way of salvation. We should not be surprised as God states through the Prophet Isaiah “that His word will not return to Him void, but will achieve the purpose for which it was sent.” Isaiah 55:11. The purpose of God’s Word is to save souls and that is why men come against Him as false teachers and prophets distorting and denying His Holy Word. They simply reject the message of life which started thousands of years ago.
But the message remains the same – from Genesis to Revelation (even taking into account some translational errors and manuscript discrepancies made by the copyists). Some of deliberately in the new versions changed God’s Word ignoring the 4 warnings given not to take away or add in. Despite this the Holy Bible is the most popular, most read, most printed and the Guinness Book of Records confirms this last fact. God is in charge and still on the Throne and His Son Jesus is sat next to the Power on High having finished the work He was sent to do. This is what the Holy Bible gives us, an assurance, a sure hope, an everlasting promise of eternal life to those who repent through Jesus, the Author and Finisher of the Faith once and for all delivered.
The corruption that Muslims speak for is a total rewriting and that does not exist – Only if the Qur’an is the final revelation that God has no Son and was not crucified which therefore denies and attacks the Deity, Crucifixion and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus let alone the witnesses who were there at the time! We cannot listen to voices or opinions of disbelief hundreds of years later.
The Qur’an tell us:
Surat 10:64 Theirs are good tidings in the life of the world and in the Hereafter – There is no changing the Words of Allah – that is the Supreme Triumph.
If the Bible has been changed to a degree that the message has been changed, can we see even one unchanged copy of any of the 66 books? What was written we still have.
If we cannot even find one ‘uncorrupted copy’ how do we know it’s corrupted to this degree?
When was it corrupted to this degree?
Why doesn’t Muhammad say its corrupted? As we’ve seen in the earlier quotes from the Quran, Muhammad tells the reader to check what he’s saying with the Hebrew Scriptures!
Again the Dead Sea scrolls prove that the message we have within the Old Testament is the message that was existent 2000 years ago. These written transcripts predated Muhammad’s birth by over 600 years!
May God bless you in your personal studies.
Date : 30/11/-0001 Author : Marek Holowenko