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What the Koran Says about the Bible

One common misconception that many Christians have about the Koran is that it rejects the Bible or replaces it. Actually, however, the Koran is very positive about the Bible and says that it contains Allah’s revelations. Many Muslims, on the other hand, have allowed the Koran to replace the Bible contrary to the teachings of the Koran. The reason why this has happened is because their religious leaders have convinced them that the Bible has been corrupted to such an extent that it can no longer be trusted in matters of doctrine and morality.

However, the Bible which Orthodox Christians used in the seventh century was accepted by Muhammad. We possess manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments in Greek which predate Muhammad by three or four hundred years. Orthodox Christians in the seventh century used the Greek Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. Also, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the twentieth century. Those Hebrew manuscripts predate the birth of Christ. Therefore, the Muslim religious leaders should be encouraging their parishes to read and study the Bible instead of shunning it.

Five of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of the Church had already come and gone before Muhammad started receiving his revelations. A well-defined theology already existed among Orthodox Christians. The heresies of Arius, Sabellius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Cerinthus, Nestorius, Eutychius, Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and others were all rejected by the Church during these councils. The tritheist heresy of John Philoponus emerged in the middle of the sixth century and Muhammad was born in 569 A.D. So, it is certain that he had probably heard some heretical Christians propagating this heresy. St. John of Damascus said that Muhammad had dialogued with an Arian monk in Jerusalem. It is also quite conceivable that he encountered some Nestorians. I have mentioned these heresies because of this revelation in the tenth surah.

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.(10:94, 95, Pickthall)

This revelation allegedly came about 617 A.D. according to Marmaduke Pickthall. In an earlier revelation which came in about 615 or 616 A.D. Muhammad calls Orthodox Christians “believers.”

The Romans have been defeated in the nearer land, and they, after their defeat will be victorious within ten years – Allah’s is the command in the former case and in the latter – and in that day believers will rejoice. (Koran 30:2-4, Pickthall)

The Romans are the Byzantine Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire. They were at war with the Persian polytheists. In 624 A.D., the Byzantines finally defeated the Persians. Another point to make here is that if the Muslims wanted to get rid of Orthodox Christianity and the word “believers” refers to the Muslims, then they would not rejoice when the Orthodox Christians defeat the Persians.

According to the passage from the tenth surah, therefore, Muhammad was supposed to ask the Orthodox Christians whenever he had any doubts concerning a revelation. The Orthodox Christians are believers according to the thirtieth surah.

The Third Council of Constantinople occurred in 681 A.D. The Monothelite heresy was rejected by the Church then. The Quinisext Council occurred sixty years after Muhammad’s death in 692 A.D. The canons of the Fifth and Sixth Ecumenical Councils were written at that one. In 787 A.D. the Seventh Ecumenical Council of the Church rejected the Iconoclast heresy.

During the time of Muhammad, the Koran was being scribbled down onto palm leaves, stones, and animal bones. Some of the Muslims memorized large portions of these revelations, but many were killed in battle. The period of time during the receiving of these revelations lasted from 609 A.D. until 632 A.D., the year during which the Islamic prophet died. After his death, these revelations were gathered together and put into a book called the Koran. The revelations were not arranged according to chronological order. Some of the chapters (i.e., surahs) that were written down later in Muhammad’s life precede some of those that were written down earlier in his life. Even in some chapters, there are verses that may have been written down five or six years later than the rest of the verses in that chapter.

Since these Koranic revelations were not collected together to form a complete written book during the life of Muhammad, one should interpret the word, “revelations,” to mean the Bible and not just the Koran. Here are some passages from the Koran encouraging people to read and know the Bible. Surah 3:79 even says that people should study the Bible. The “People of the Scripture” are the Jews and the Christians. The “Followers of the Remembrance” are the Jews. “Disbelievers” and “unbelievers” in the Koran usually refer to polytheistic idolaters. There were many polytheists among the Arabs during Muhammad’s time.

But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein. (Koran 2:39, Pickthall)

And believe in that which I reveal, confirming that which ye possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, and part not with My revelations for a trifling price, and keep your duty unto Me. (Koran 2:41, Pickthall)

And when We gave unto Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (of right and wrong), that ye might be led aright. (Koran 2:53, Pickthall)

And the Jews say the Christians follow nothing (true), and the Christians say the Jews follow nothing (true); yet both are readers of the Scripture. Even thus speak those who know not. Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they differ. (Koran 2:113, Pickthall)

Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers. (Koran 2:121, Pickthall)

Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Koran 2:136, Pickthall)

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing. (Koran 2:177, Pickthall)

It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof. (Koran 3:79)

O ye unto whom the Scripture hath been given! Believe in what We have revealed confirming that which ye possess, before We destroy countenances so as to confound them, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers (of old time). The commandment of Allah is always executed. (Koran 4:47, Pickthall)

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

Lo! Those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 4:150-152, Pickthall)

Lo! We inspire thee as We inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as We imparted unto David the Psalms; and messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spake directly unto Moses; messengers of good cheer and of warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise. (Koran 4:163-165, Pickthall)

If they had observed the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto them from their Lord, they would surely have been nourished from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them there are people who are moderate, but many of them are of evil conduct. (Koran 5:66, Pickthall)

Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (Koran 5:68, Pickthall)

He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in truth. In the day when He saith: Be! It is. His Word is the Truth, and His will be the Sovereignty on the day when the trumpet is blown. Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, He is the Wise, the Aware. (Koran 6:74, Pickthall)

Perfected is the Word of thy Lord in truth and justice. There is naught that can change His words. He is the Hearer, the Knower. (Koran 6:116, Pickthall)

Again, We gave the Scripture unto Moses, complete for him who would do good, an explanation of all things, a guidance and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord. And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed. So follow it and ward off (evil), that ye may find mercy. Lest ye should say: The Scripture was revealed only to two sects before us, and we in sooth were unaware of what they read; or lest ye should say: If the Scripture had been revealed unto us, we surely had been better guided than are they. Now hath there come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, a guidance and mercy; and who doeth greater wrong than he who denieth the revelations of Allah, and turneth away from them? We award unto those who turn away from Our revelations an evil doom because of their aversion. (Koran 6:155-158, Pickthall)

Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian. (Koran 15:9, Pickthall)

And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men whom We inspired – Ask the followers of the Remembrance if ye know not!  (Koran 16:43, Pickthall)

Lo! Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, Allah guideth them not and theirs will be a painful doom. Only they invent falsehood who believe not Allah’s revelations, and (only) they are the liars. (Koran 16:104, 105, Pickthall)

And thy Lord is Best Aware of all who are in the heavens and the earth. And we preferred some of the prophets above others, and unto David We gave the Psalms. (Koran 17:55, Pickthall)

And We sent not (as Our messengers) before thee other than men, whom We inspired. Ask the followers of the Reminder if ye know not? (Koran 21:7, Pickthall)

And We sent no messenger before thee but We inspired him, (saying): There is no Allah save Me (Allah), so worship Me. (Koran 21:25, Pickthall)

And We verily gave Moses and Aaron the Criterion (of right and wrong) and a light and a Reminder for those who keep from evil. (Koran 21:48, Pickthall)

Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth. Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise. (Koran 22:52, Pickthall)

We verily gave Moses the Scripture and placed with him his brother Aaron as henchman. (Koran 25:35, Pickthall)

And We verily gave the Scripture unto Moses after We had destroyed the generations of old: clear testimonies for mankind, and a guidance and a mercy, that haply they might reflect. (Koran 28:43, Pickthall)

But as for those who disbelieved and denied Our revelations, and denied the meeting of the Hereafter, such will be brought to doom. (Koran 30:16, Pickthall)

We verily gave Moses the Scripture; so be not ye in doubt of his receiving it; and We appointed it a guidance for the Children of Israel. (Koran 32:23, Pickthall)

And We verily gave Moses the guidance, and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the Scripture, A guide and a reminder for men of understanding. (Koran 40:53,54, Pickthall)

Unto this, then, summon (O Muhammad). And be thou upright as thou art commanded, and follow not their lusts, but say: I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying. (Koran 42:15, Pickthall)

Surah 15:9 is often quoted by Muslims as referring to the Koran, but one must remember that the Torah is also called the Reminder in verses 21:7, 48 and 40:53,54 of the Koran. Surah 6:116 says that “there is naught that can change” Allah’s words. Surah 22:52 says that Allah establishes His revelations even when Satan tries to undermine them and destroy them. The Muslim religious leaders should pay attention to this revelation of Allah:

But the Word of the Lord endures forever. (I Peter 1:25, NKJV)

and this one as well in their own holy book:

Lo! Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, Allah guideth them not and theirs will be a painful doom. (Koran 16:104, Pickthall)

They should also ask the Orthodox Christians whenever they have doubts about a particular revelation. (Koran 10:94,95)

Also, notice how often Allah uses the words, We, Our, and Us, when referring to Himself but also claims to be only one God in the Koran. It is quite obvious to a Trinitarian Christian that Trinitarian theology is being expounded in the Koran. The subject of the Trinity and the various heresies that the Koran condemns are the topic of another blog.

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