UI – Part 364 – Where Muslims and Christians Disagree
This is not meant to be all encompassing. It is an attempt to dispel a few of the false arguments Muslims, the scholars, present to Christ followers as reasons that Islam is correct and the Bible is wrong.
Moses Pointed to Jesus not Muhammad
Muslims claim what is noted in Deuteronomy 18 is a call to Muslims. But ‘brethren,’ used on most Bibles, refer to the Jews, not Muslims. To be more exact, “15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” That refers to Jesus Christ.
Muhammad is not referenced in the Book of John
John 14:16 has Jesus speaking to his disciples. He tells them there will be a Counselor that will come after his resurrection. That is not a human, it is a spirit. It is the spirit of the Lord or the Holy Spirit. It is not Muhammad. The teachers of the Muslims tell Muslims the reference is towards Muhammad. This is a lie. Here is the verse, Jesus speaking, “15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father (God), and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bein you.” This can only be the Holy Spirit that dwells within believers, believers of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
Man has not Corrupted the Bible over Time
When the New Testament was written in the Greek, many, many copies were made. Multiple copies are available to check the work of any new scripture written in a different language. More than one source can be accessed to assure the new document is accurate. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found the Book of Isaiah was complete except for very few missing areas. Bibles written and in circulation were checked against this ancient script and found faithful to the prophesies made.
The Bible, New Testament, is Historically Accurate
The books of the New Testament written by the disciples, and Mark and Luke, were completed and used within less than a hundred years from the death of Christ. Some written as much as 20-30 years after his death, and the last book of the Bible about 70 years after. This includes letters written by Paul. That compares most favorably to the Quran, and the Hadiths which provide important references of Muhammad, his life and sayings.
The first of the Hadiths appeared 200 to 250 years after Muhammad died. They were records of oral recall shared and transmitted over many years until a pen was put to paper. Oral recall, which has been proven over and over, after many repetitions, loses much of the accuracy of that said, becoming more legend or myth than reality.
The Quran was also from oral recall of words spoken by Muhammad which he claimed were received when on respite in caves in and around Mecca and Medina. These are words from Allah, but not directly. These words were also second hand, received from the angel Gabriel. Then they were shared with many different Companions, close followers of Muhammad. His sudden death prompted a need to record his sayings or statements. But almost immediately after the death of the Prophet many who acted on his behalf on raids and in battles, claimed to be Muslims and loyalists, took the opportunity to return to what they believed before Muhammad. They may have been Jew, Christians or pagan, not Muslim. The first Caliph, Abu Bakr, formed an army and what may have been his first battle was against these defectors, or ‘apostates.’ Referred to as the battle of Yamama (Read – Wikipedia). Apostates killed, but then also many Companions, and with them the words Muhammad spoke which they memorized. That which was collected to create the Quran is thus incomplete. In addition the early Caliphs took the opportunity to input laws they preferred and desired into this Scripture for those coerced into Islam, or actually born or choosing Islam. It became a step by step way of life. To deviate is violate the law and to deserve punishment. For the ‘apostates’ it is death.
This suggests much greater accuracy for the Bible. Even the life and exploits of Alexander the Great were first documented 400 years after he died. Many believe all of it, but know there is myth as well as fact incorporated in his life story. Muhammad 200 years after death, Alexander 400 years after death, Christ within years of his death. That written about Christ was available to contemporaries, as well, those alive and witnesses to what was recorded. More recent records to the time of actual events, plus witnesses, would suggest a more plausible statement as to actual events and words spoken for the Bible.
When it comes to historical accuracy, there is no comparison. In fact the Quran is incomplete.
The Quran is Most Reliable – Not
Muhammad was illiterate. He could not write. His Companions were called upon to remember and recall Muhammad’s words shared. Words he received from Allah through the angel Gabriel. He died unexpectedly (632 ce). Caliphs who followed made every attempt to gather all they could to have as complete a Scripture (Quran) as possible. By the 3td Caliph, Uthman, many versions of the work were screened and a final was chosen, the rest it is claimed were destroyed. It was written in the language of the family of Muhammad, a most difficult form of Arabic. From this there have been many interpretations, not all the same. In fact many interpretations were considered the most reliable, until 1924 when a gathering of Islamic scholars, gathered and agreed upon one interpretation, the “Cairo.” The reliability of the Quran, having many lost oral passages (due to those in possession dying in battle – Yamama), is questionable. It is written more as a mandate of Muhammad, his goal to enrich himself while proclaiming his devotion to one god – Allah. Allah became a manmade god, a manmade Scripture favoring males over females, and insisting on bully tactics to insure followers remain and critics, dissenters, are condemned. Even consideration of other alternatives to the commands and Scripture of Islam are not allowed.
A Muslim is only to obey. They are not to think. They are to follow. They are to fight those that do not follow. They are to take territory and then to keep such territory as if was always possessed by Islam. That is not the will of Allah, although so claimed, it is the will of Muhammad, and in fact, it is really the will of the Caliphs and the authoritarians that followed using Islam as their method to raid, take, and keep what others before them owned and believed.
Non believers are the enemy of Islam. Sura 3:12, “Say to those who disbelieve, “You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting place.”
Jesus Did Die on the Cross
It has been confirmed by many scholars, not only Christian scholars, that the facts of Jesus life are valid. As to the cross, there were many witnesses to this event. Books and texts written subsequently during the period when witnesses were still alive never contested the event. Soldiers pierced Jesus side to assure he was dead before he was taken down to be buried. He was naked and many gathered to prepare his body for burial.
Jesus Did Rise from the Tomb
Two Roman guards were posted at the tomb in which Jesus body was placed. His body was cleaned and prepared for burial, wrapped in a shroud, and placed on a slab. A large round stone, over 6 feet in diameter, was rolled to cover the entrance, requiring more than one person. The guards sat on either side of the stone. They were to remain for at least three days. If anything happened and the body was removed, a deception took place, the soldiers would be killed. That was the Roman policy. Jesus body was absent after the third day. The soldier’s experienced a vision, angels, and to their dismay the tomb was empty. Christ then appeared to others, physical marks on his body from being placed on the cross, nail holes in his hands and feet, readily viewable. Over 500 persons became witnesses to Christ’s resurrection.
Virgin Birth of Jesus
Jesus was born of a virgin. The Quran agrees. In Sura 3.45 it even refers to Jesus as the good news and Messiah. Sura 3:45, “[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ].”
God is the Father of Jesus
Muslims deny that Allah or God is the Father of Jesus. They claim he is a mortal, his birth as the birth of Adam, yet when Mary asked Allah, “how can I have a son and man has not yet touched me?” (Sura 3.47), Allah’s response did not deny his role in the matter, “Allah creates what He pleases. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.” How can God not then be the father?
God (of the Bible) is One. Christianity is not Polytheistic
Islam claims it is a monotheistic religion. One god – Allah. They call out Christians as polytheists believing in 3 gods, The Father, Son and Mary. But they err, first, on the Trinity, as it is not Mary as the third attribute, but the Holy Spirit. The Muslims see the family element, not understanding the true relationships. As Allah has 99 attributes, so God has 3 primary essences, yet they are but One God.
Jesus is God incarnate, that is God made man. How else could God be present on earth without causing great fear. He can do as he wished, and wanted to correct the failings of man than took place in the Garden, thus making himself available as a human so mankind would know him better. Certainly God is God, our creator.
The last is the Holy Spirit, the essence of God that lives within those who believe in their hearts and say with their voices the good news of the Gospel. Upon Christ leaving earth, after 40 days resurrected and making appearances, he rose to heaven, his divinity proven, and as promised sent to the believers the Holy Spirit, to dwell within them as a reminder and guarantee of their salvation.
As an analogy, consider the sun, as God, rays of the sun as Jesus, and the heat from the suns rays as the Holy spirt. They are all one, connected, united, never separate.
Salvation is Assured by Believing in the Sacrifice God made for Mankind, not Earned through Deeds
We cannot earn our way into heaven. No matter the amount of good we do, in life, to our fellow man, in charity, we cannot offset the crimes committed against God, our sins, in word, thought or practice. It is not that simple to just ask God for forgiveness with each and every sin we commit. It is impossible. So God provided a substitute for to be punished for our sins, past, present and future. That was Jesus. Punished, we are forgiven. We are then to do good deeds because we believe in the saving grace of the Lord. We admit to our sinful nature and in fact die to our sins with Jesus, on the cross, and are reborn righteous in God’s eyes. Jesus becomes our advocate on Judgment Day. Jesus died and then rose to be with the Lord, proof that he was divine, he was God, enabling the spiritual and eternal rebirth of all those who have Christ in their hearts.
Deeds Do Not Work
No matter how many good deeds are done, even if they overwhelm evil deeds committed, as if collecting a book of deeds showing multiples of pages of good vs a few of bad, the final decision according to the Quran, is Allah’s. There is never an assurance of a Muslim’s salvation. For those who are reborn in Christ they do good deeds as evidence of their eternal life.
Abraham was Called to Sacrifice Isaac not Ishmael
God tested Abraham. It was a test of his faith. Abraham obeyed and was willing to sacrifice his son. Genesis 22. However he was stopped, his faith proven and a ram was substituted. This was not an act to prove a willingness by a father to sacrifice his child. This justified Abraham’s faith. There is no exchange, that is honoring God in exchange for a reward from God. In Islam it is not Isaac, but Ishmael they point to as the son Abraham was willing to sacrifice. Isaac was younger than Ishmael. He was Abraham’s son by marriage. Ishmael was Abraham’s son by his wife’s Egyptian maidservant. Ishmael’s name is not mentioned in the text, however the interpreters take a verse saying “And We gave him the good news of Isaac, a prophet, a righteous one.” (Sura 37.112) and make an assumption. Could that not as easily referred to Abraham, the good news that Isaac was saved. Recently I read that Radical Muslims take from this incident, and believe, faithful fathers should be willing to sacrifice their sons and daughters – send them to jihad, holy war. I disagree.
Summary – Takiyya
In Summary, Islam is a manmade religion predicated on the life, the words, the thoughts and suggestions made by one person, Muhammad. He was a mortal, indeed. If you were in command and could structure a lifestyle to suit your wants, as a male, Islam would come close. The Berbers of the Western Maghreb were thieves, bullies, rapists and murderers. They banded as an army to control their environment and have their will. They were invaded by early Muslims. In battle they found their objective not that dissimilar. The Muslims had a god on their side. Followers believed they were doing the will of that god. What a convenient tactic. So the Berbers converted and joined Islam and the jihadists.
Muhammad was aware of the Bible and through exposure and discussion come to know many of the Bible figures and stories, transmitted orally. However he misinterpreted what he heard and thought he understood. God had merit, but he conceived a god of his own. He shared the stories as the story teller he came to be, as a self appointed prophet, and as a charismatic leader of men, a lover, user and abuser, of women, and as a vengeful individual who sought retribution against his own family who rejected his disruptive habit of proclaiming his own god. He did so to the detriment of their peace, their plurality, and their trade. He organized a force of men, that when united, were able to raid caravans supplying areas in their regions with supplies. Muhammad even had a payment structure for the spoils of war, now a chapter in the Quran, which included the taking of women and children for the use of the marauders. Muhammad demanded loyalty from those who joined his commandos. He shared his stories with them, and wanted them to be able to recall specifics as a means of spreading his personal gospel.
The Scripture written after Muhammad’s death is influenced also by the laws and desires of the early Caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman. They introduced into the manual for the lives of followers rules and regulations that suited their methods of governance. The Turks from Asia minor, like the Berbers, were conquerors. Raiding, pillaging, burning, rapings and murder were part of the aggressive acts needed to take lands, possessions, the treasures of others for their purposes instead. They did not like Churches, finding them filled with valuables, and for what purpose, to honor a God. It was easy picking. When confronted by Jihadists from the south they realized they were more similar in their methods and desires, but they had Allah. They put a god to use to justify their terror. The Turks converted, joining the jihadists, and over several centuries took command of the whole of the Muslim world to become the core of Islam, Constantinople the base, the Ottoman Empire the result.
The Muslims, those rightly guided, those who consider themselves descendants of the Prophet, those who converted, adopted the Scripture, the Quran as their holy book, dedicated to their almighty Allah and delivered via their Messenger Muhammad. They raise this book high above their heads insisting that their followers adhere to this book and only this book. obeying Allah without question, and once a Muslim always a Muslim. Apostasy Law became a center-post of Islam to which every Muslim is tied. Should they escape Islam, choose an alternative path, as a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, etc., they were no longer worthy and in fact criminals of Islam for whom the punishment is death. Without Apostasy Laws there would be, in my opinion, no Islam.
Grace and Peace