Archive for March, 2017

Leaving the Straight Path

March 3, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the petitions in the Fatihah — a prayer prayed frequently by Muslims — is “Guide us to the straight path.” (Koran 1:5) Unfortunately, many Muslims have disobeyed the teachings of the Koran and have left the straight path — the path to salvation, the path to immortality, the path to Paradise.

I have quoted this verse often in my blogs. I will quote it again here.

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)

The Scripture which God has “revealed aforetime” is the Bible. Muslims ignore the Bible and do not take the time to read it. Many of their religious leaders have told them that the Bible has been corrupted. They have convinced them that the Koran replaces a corrupted Bible when the Koran teaches exactly the opposite. How can someone believe in the Scripture which God has “revealed aforetime” if he never reads it and studies it? Would not God protect this Scripture from corruption if He wanted people to believe it? Koran 4:136 says to believe the Koran and believe the Bible. It does not say believe the Koran only and reject the Bible.

Here is another verse from the Koran which says to believe God’s messengers.

Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve chieftains, and Allah said: Lo! I am with you. If ye establish worship and pay the poor-due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a kindly loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and surely I shall bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoso among you disbelieveth after this will go astray from a plain road. (Koran 5:12, Pickthall)

The Children of Israel were required to believe God’s messengers. Whoever disbelieved them went “astray from a plain road.” In the Koran, it says that the Torah — the first five books of the Bible — is “a light and guidance for mankind.”

And they measure not the power of Allah its true measure when they say: Allah hath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on parchments which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and (by which) ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. (Koran 6:92, Pickthall)

Since every Muslim is a member of mankind, the Torah is, therefore, a light and guidance for him, too. When he rejects the Torah, he rejects God’s revelation. The Koran says:

And they who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of hell. (Koran 5:10, Pickthall)

The Koran says that the Torah and the Gospel are “a guidance to mankind.”

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong). (Koran 3:3,4, Pickthall)

It  says that in the Gospel there is “guidance and a light.”

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before Him in the Torah, and We bestowed on Him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). (Koran 5:46, Pickthall)

The Koran cautions people about disbelieving Jesus’ disciples.

(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. (Koran 5:113-115, Pickthall)

Jesus had two groups of disciples, the Twelve and the Seventy. (Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 10:1) Much of the New Testament was written by some of these disciples. The writings of St. Paul were accepted by St. Peter as Scripture.

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, 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. (II Peter 3:15,16, NKJV)

St. Peter was one of the Twelve. (Matthew 10:2)

Jesus said to the Twelve:

He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. (Matthew 10:40, NKJV; see also John 13:20.)

When someone receives the writings of the Twelve, he receives Allah. Jesus told the Seventy:

He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. (Luke 10:16, NKJV)

When someone rejects the writings of one of the Seventy, he rejects Allah. St. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote the Epistle of James in the New Testament. He was one of the Seventy.

It is important that one believe all of the messengers of Allah. The Koran says:

Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? Those whose effort goeth astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work. Those are they who disbelieve in the revelations of their Lord and in the meeting with Him. Therefor their works are vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We assign no weight to them. That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our revelations and Our messengers. (Koran 18:104-107, Pickthall)

Those other messengers are those who wrote the books of the Bible. The Koran teaches that people who refuse to believe the Bible will be rewarded with hell.

What has happened is people have misinterpreted verses in the Koran and then looked at the Bible and have seen that the Bible does not teach their interpretation of the Koran. So, they say the Bible has been corrupted.

Here is an example of what I am saying. In the Koran, it says:

And because of their 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. (Koran 4:157, Pickthall)

The Jews did not slay Jesus. That is true. The Roman soldiers nailed Him to a cross. Jesus said:

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. (John 10:17,18, NKJV)

No one killed Jesus. He voluntarily laid down His life.

This verse in the Koran appears to contradict what the Bible says, but that is not true. Muslims are supposed to ask an Orthodox Christian when they have doubts about the meaning of a verse in the Koran. (Koran 10:94) Jesus has both a divine nature (John 1:1-4; Koran 4:171) and a human nature (Luke 2:40, 52; Koran 5:75). The two natures are joined together inseparably without division, change, or mixture. He is one Person, not two Persons in one body. His soul and His body are human. The divine essence that permeates His soul and body are divine. Every infinitesimal particle of His divine essence belongs to the Father and the Holy Spirit as well as to Himself. All Three Persons share the same essence, but are distinct Persons. Each Person is God in His entirety, but there is only one God. When Jesus died, His soul left His body, but because of the inseparable union of His humanity with His divinity, He could not stay dead. His soul and body were still joined together outside of space and time. So, He appeared to be dead, but was in fact not dead because of the union of the divine and human natures. The Arabic words translated “but it appeared so to them” could also be translated “but He appeared to them repeatedly.” Those words of the Koran could be talking about His resurrection. After He arose from the dead (in space and time), He appeared to His disciples on many occasions over a forty day period of time. (Acts 1:1-3; I Corinthians 15:3-8)

The Koran confirms the Bible.

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

It does not contradict it. Any interpretation of the Koran that contradicts the Bible is a misinterpretation.

It is because of these misinterpretations of the Koran that many Muslim religious leaders have formed the opinion that the Bible has been corrupted. There are variant readings among the manuscripts of the Bible. There are manuscripts of the Bible which predate the birth of Muhammad by two hundred or three hundred years. Those manuscripts say that Jesus died on a cross and arose from the dead on the third day. They do not teach the things those who misinterpret Koran 4:157 say. There are variant readings among the manuscripts of the Koran, too. There are at least 26 different Arabic versions of the Koran. We Christians do not let the textual variants affect our faith. We accept them and try to reach the true meaning of a Biblical text by comparing them and studying them. No major doctrine of Orthodox Christianity has been undermined by the textual variants in the Bible.

Muslims need to obey the Koran and believe the Bible. Those who reject the Bible have “wandered far astray” and will be rewarded by Allah with hell. That is what the Koran teaches. By rejecting the Bible and disbelieving those other messengers of Allah, Muslims reject the straight path for which they pray in the Fatihah.

I have watched videos on Youtube where Muslim sheiks and imams talk about various religious topics. They say, “The prophet (peace be upon him) said…” They never say what the other prophets said. What about Micah, Amos, Isaiah, Samuel, David, Solomon? Why do they never quote them? If you reject those other prophets, you are not on the straight path. The Koran is like the final summary paragraph of an essay. By accepting only the Koran, you have omitted the body of the essay. The Bible provides more detail than the Koran does. The Koran speaks about the creation of man, but the Bible gives more detail which is important to know.

So, stay on the straight path and do not be a Muslim without a Bible. Islam without the Bible is not genuine Islam.