Home > Islam > Does the Koran Teach that the Bible has been Corrupted?

Does the Koran Teach that the Bible has been Corrupted?

This is a short blog post. The answer to the question is no. The Koran does not teach that the Bible has been corrupted. Actually, the Koran says that we are supposed to believe the Bible and believe all of the messengers of God.

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 2:285, Pickthall)

Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us [the Koran] and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Koran 3:84, Pickthall)

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah… Lo! ye are those who love them though they love you not, and ye believe in all the Scripture. (Koran 3:110,119, Pickthall)

So believe in Allah and His messengers. If ye believe and ward off (evil), yours will be a vast reward. (Koran 3:179, Pickthall)

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger [the Koran], and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime [the Bible]. 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)

So believe in Allah and His messengers. (Koran 4:171, Pickthall)

Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us [the Koran] and that which was revealed aforetime [the Bible], and because most of you are evil-livers? (Koran 5:59, 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)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us [the Koran] and revealed unto you [the Bible]; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

If Muhammad accepted the Bible of Orthodox Christians in the seventh century and his followers believed and obeyed the Bible in the seventh century, then it is reasonable to believe that what existed back then was acceptable and was not “corrupted.” There are textual variants, but those variants are not serious enough apparently for Muhammad and his followers to reject the Bible. There are textual variants in the Koran, too, but many of the Islamic scholars and imams do not tell the people they teach and pastor that.

Here is an excerpt from Halley’s Bible Handbook.

There are now in existence about 4000 known manuscripts of the Bible, or parts of the Bible, made between the 2nd and 15th centuries. This seems few to us, but it is far more than the manuscripts of any other ancient writings. There is not a complete known copy of Homer earlier than A.D. 1300; nor of Herodotus earlier than A.D. 1000. (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 751, Twenty-Fourth Edition, Copyright 1965, by Halley’s Bible Handbook, Inc., Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 49506)

Actually, anyone who refuses to believe and obey the Bible is disobeying the Koran.

The Koran says:

Naught is said unto thee (Muhammad) save what was said unto the messengers before thee. (Koran 41:43, Pickthall)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

Muhammad received no new revelations and he was not an innovation among the messengers. The Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.

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)

I think that what has happened is that Islamic scholars have interpreted some passages in the Koran in ways that contradict what the Bible teaches. For example, Koran 4:157 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)

They interpret this verse to mean that Jesus never died. Actually, this is saying that the Jews did not kill Jesus. It does not say that He did not die. The Roman soldiers nailed Him to the Cross. No one killed Him. He laid down His life voluntarily. (John 10:17,18) There are two places in the Koran that say that Jesus died. (Koran 3:55; 5:117) Most English translations do not accurately indicate what the Arabic is actually saying in those verses. The words translated “but it appeared so unto them” could be translated “but He caused Himself to appear to them.” It would be referring to His resurrection. I guess the translators adhere to the same error as those Islamic scholars.

So, because the Bible is not teaching what the Islamic scholars and imams are teaching, it must be “corrupted.”

Another contributing factor to the belief that the Bible has been corrupted is the Sunna — that massive collection of hearsay written in the ninth century, over two hundred years after Muhammad died. If someone finds something in the Sunna which contradicts the teachings of the Bible, then I guess those Islamic scholars explain the contradictions by saying that the Bible has been corrupted.

By rejecting the Bible, Muslims lessen their reward that they will receive from God (Koran 2:285; 3:179), wander far astray (Koran 4:136), and become disbelievers in the truth (Koran 4:150,151).

There is another reason why Muslims should believe and obey the Bible.

But they who deny Our revelations and scorn them — each are rightful owners of the Fire; they will abide therein. (Koran 7:36, Pickthall)
Hell could be their abode. I hope none of them go there.

 

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