UI – Part 216 – Which Came First – Bible or Quran?
Chicken or Egg
This is not a chicken or egg question. It is a Bible or Quran question.
Many Islamic scholars are teaching the Quran was ‘uncreated’. What does that imply? As God is uncreated so too they are claiming, attempting to convince all Muslims, all humans, the Quran is ‘uncreated’. So God sat around the day he created the universe with the Quran in his lap saying this book will guide the human inhabitants I place on earth. I do not believe that.
Inspired Word of God
Biblical scholars do not proclaim the Bible as ‘uncreated’. The Bible is ‘inspired’, the infallibly Inspired Word of God. It was written by humans whose hands were guided by the supernatural, whose record provides for everyone a pathway to live life and ascend to the eternal kingdom of peace which God has prepared. There is nothing in that record that misguides those who seek answers to ‘what is truth’.
Written by Mortals
Similarly the Quran was written be men. Words from Allah via the angel Gabriel were recited by Muhammad, as Muslims claim and Hadiths support (although first on the scene over 150 years after Muhammad died, and scholar dependent as to which Hadiths are used), yet many who recalled what Muhammad said, the Companions, died and their recall was not recorded, thus the Quran is not complete. Why would God create anything incomplete? Also its compilation came subsequent to Muhammad’s death and included views by successors, Caliphs, who began the process of transcribing their Laws into the document. If there was inspiration it was human, mortal, not divine. It was and remains a reflection of Muhammad and the imperialists that continued after his unexpected death.
In comparing the two scriptures it is obvious the Quran cannot stand alone. It has a basis. It is also incomplete. The basis for the Quran, its foundation is the Bible, which the Quran then, as per the ulema, the Islamist scholars and Muhammad, aver, is the ‘corrected’ version. Corrected by men who prefered the direction of their choosing.
Once the egg is laid how can it then be corrected? Or is the history of the Quran the story of the Bad Egg?
Was there more than one Creator? I say no, it was only God. And God then as Creator, created everything. Our universe, our earth, our humanness, and all that surrounds, the mountains, sea and plains, was created by the Creator. And in that vein the Quran cannot be but a created document. Otherwise it would be equal to God, or for the Muslim, Allah.
Muslims say there is no concept of Original Sin. They are born sin free. Their Garden of Eden story does not reflect a change in the nature of man, yet Adam was disobedient towards God’s directives and cast out of the Garden. Was there no blemish as a result?
Many, if not most, Muslims suggest everyone is born a Muslim. They are changed in their belief by their parents, Christian or Jew, and are represented as apostates of Islam. But then Muhammad suggested they can convert to Islam. Suggesting also they are sinners, and can have their sins forgiven by converting. Conversion: if you convert to Islam all your sins are forgiven, then a measure of works becomes the determinate for salvation. A rather superior view. I’d say.
Muslims do recognize a sinful nature in man, and call for forgiveness. What they dismiss is God’s Plan, from the day of creation, for Christ to live among us and provide for our forgiveness and salvation.
As an aside the following describes in part how good deeds, or works, benefit a Muslim. This is according to Muslim or Quranic standards. If someone intends to do a good deed but does not do it, a good deed will be recorded for him. And if he does do it, (a reward of) ten to seven hundred or many more times (the reward of the good deed), will be recorded for him. And if someone intends to do a bad deed but does not do it, a good deed will be recorded for him. And if he does do it, a bad deed will be recorded against him or God will wipe it out (from Hadiths that claim Muhammad announced such measures). The analogy for me is Green Stamps[i].[ii] From the good works your stamp collection grows, receiving more stamps when you actually do good, just one for good thoughts. And the bad deeds, the stamps are removed one for one, unless you only think them (bad thoughts) and do not proceed, then there is an added Stamp.
Bible As Truth
Taken from the Blog (Understanding Islam – Part 9) posted Jan 11, 2011[iii]:
Bible as Truth Revealed in Qur’an
In reading the Qur’an as early as Chapter 3 it affirms Allah is all knowing, the best at knowing even, and upon whom all Muslim’s depend. Then it states, “He”, referring to Allah, “has revealed to thee the Book,” referring to the Bible, “with truth, verifying that which is before it,” reaffirming the truth in Biblical history, “and He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.” That says much about the Bible. So why then, after this, does the Qur’an go on to suggest Allah speaking through the Messenger (Muhammad) makes alterations to the Bible, especially with reference to Christ and Ishmael, suggesting the Qur’an is the corrected copy, the final word?
Earlier, in Sura 2:75, the Qur’an suggests the men writing the Bible knowingly altered the words of Allah “after they understood it”, and confirms that the hands of men did this. “Woe, then to those who write the Book (the Bible) with their hands then say, this is from Allah….” (Sura 2.79) Now this may be a condemnation of humans, and indeed the Messenger (use of the capital “M” denoted the Prophet Muhammad in the Qur’an) was human, thus can one argue that Muhammad, who as all mankind a sinner, imparted personal desires in his recitations? His deviation from the Bible marks him as knowing the Bible, but possibly either repeating Biblical stories as best he could recall (as being illiterate he could not read) and flavoring his recitations with the life he would want for himself and other Arabs associated with him. I will give him his preference for a monotheistic religion, its unifying benefits, but caution all who read the Qur’an of the fearful defense he suggests against those that might object to his message. Is Islam and the Qur’an Muhammad’s own religion and book of retaliation? And as to unification, certainly destruction of those of other faiths is not unifying.
Going back in time to creation and having the Quran equally as uncreated as God becomes a dilemma for me. Even Allah refers to the Bible, as does Muhammad as he is the Messenger. The Bible never refers to the Quran, even when so many of the Prophets of the Old Testament (‘messengers’ themselves) revealed the future. God spoke to the Prophets, inspired them and guided them. It was recorded. History supports their presence on earth. Events occurred that substantiated their forecasts. Muhammad never appeared in their revelations (although Muslims scholars attempt to provide a few examples – one being Muhammad came after Jesus, not the Holy Spirit.) God was the First Cause. Nothing came before or contemporaneously, certainly no Scripture – Quran. See also: UI – Part 194 – Quran The Book.[iv] In that Blog I note:
Sura 10.37, “And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the Book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds.”
What is important to notice in the last reference is the usage of the term ‘verification’, saying what Muhammad was sharing was confirmation of the Bible.
Bible or Quran
Thus the questions is which came first – The Quran or the Bible. Well we know God came first. After that I contend it was the Bible, with so many other events transpiring recorded so we could know God (inspired). There have been many gospels, scripture for followers of ideologies. They are not the Bible. The Quran first arrived on earth sometime after Muhammad’s death in 632. The 3rd Caliph, Uthman, took charge in the creation of this book, eliminating any other drafts with which he did not agree. Men created the Quran.
You need to decide for yourself. Be Independent, it is our nature, and make your own discoveries. Let your enlightenment be the Light of God. There are many scholars and leaders in the world that are false in their teaching and requirements, only to achieve their objectives, not God’s.
Grace and Peace.
[ii] As I read the Quran the thought of ‘Green Stamps’ came to mind. For good works there are available so many Green Stamps. Depending on the goodness of the work, there are greater or fewer Green Stamps possible. The non-good works though take away Stamps. There are Stamps for memorizing the Quran – the more you memorize the more Stamps. Same for prayer – honor the 5 calls each day and the Stamp pile grows. Zakat – give money – receive Green Stamps. Fighting in the cause of Allah (Jihad) – lots of Stamps, dying for Allah – many more Stamps. To fight only needs a specter of persecution, which this writing alone might be considered. For those that ‘believe’ keep their duty to Allah and believe in Muhammad, there are double Stamps plus a flashlight (from Sura 57:28). I hope I am not viewed as persecuting Islam as I am only trying to clarify doubt that can arise in reading the Quran and coming to terms with the requirements of Islam. Returning to the Stamps, they would then, in this depiction, be placed on a scale, a balance. However, even if one side of the scale is heavily weighted with Green Stamps, clearly favoring the beneficiary of those Stamps, ‘mercy’ remains with Allah. The final decision is Allah’s alone indicates insecurity for Muslims as there is no Assurance of Salvation. From Sura 14:4 – “Allah leaves in error whom He pleases and He guides whom He pleases. And He is the Mighty, the Wise.”