Facts & misunderstandings about the Bible

Facts & misunderstandings about the Bible
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In the Quran Allah informs us that He revealed a number of books, including the pages of Prophet Abraham (Ibraaheem may Allah exalt his mention), the Psalms of Prophet David (Daawood may Allah exalt his mention), the Torah of Prophet Moses (Moosaa may Allah exalt his mention), the Injeel (Gospel) of Prophet Jesus (‘Eesaa may Allah exalt his mention), and finally, the Quran of Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). Of these revealed texts only the Quran remains intact in its original form. All of the others (as complete books) have been lost, their remains have survived only as fragments or tampered with in some way so as to make their authenticity doubtful. Nowhere in the Quran is the Bible even mentioned, to say nothing of its being among the revealed texts of Allah, or as Christian claim “The Word of God.”  Further, we know from respected scholars that although some fragments of the Psalms, the Torah, and the Injeel (the teachings of Prophet Jesus) may be found in the Bible, comprised of the Old and New Testaments, the Bible cannot rightfully be called “The Word of God.”  Why is this so?

As one publisher (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois) stated: “The Bible may look like one book, but it is actually sixty-six books in one. Thirty-nine books make up what we call the Old Testament, and twenty-seven make up the New Testament. It is possible that more than forty writers were used by God to write all sixty-six books.” (Quoted from the “Holy Bible” – New Living Translation, Gift & Award Edition, l997, p. vii)
So if the Bible is neither narrated by God nor written by Him, and, as such, is not ‘the word of God,’ then what is it?  By any objective criteria, the Bible is a book containing a compilation of stories, legends, folk tales, folk lore, myths, sagas, narratives, poetry, fragments of scriptures (fragments from the Psalms, the Torah, and the Injeel as already mentioned), letters (esp. in New Testament), visions, dreams, accounts of events from doubtful sources (not eye witnesses), editors’ or scribes’ notes, as well as human errors.
For those who believe in it, it is a book that has historical, cultural, moral and ethical values, and a source of spiritual teaching and guidance. It is a book held in high esteem, primarily by Christians who see it as a divine book and the source of their religious beliefs.  But, in the final analysis it is only a book with many limitations and imperfections which disqualify it from being called “The Word of God.”  Whoever makes such a claim then the burden of proof rests with him. On the contrary, the Glorious Quran is the Speech of Allah and, through the Angel Gabriel, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ); later compiled into a book more than 14 centuries ago it remains preserved in its original form until today.
Some common misunderstandings about the Bible include the following:
  • The Bible is one book, the Old Testament. The Bible contains sixty-six books (or more depending upon the denomination one belongs to).
  • The Old Testament (OT) is the Torah followed by the Jews. The OT contains some fragments of the Torah which was lost and the Psalms, but the Talmud is the book followed by the Jews and is totally unrelated to the Bible.
  • The New Testament (NT) is the Gospel of Prophet Jesus, or the Injeel. It is neither. It is made up of twenty-seven books, none of which was narrated or written by Prophet Jesus although the NT may contain fragments of the Injeel (sayings and teachings of Prophet Jesus). The Injeel as revealed through Prophet Jesus has been lost. The fragments which may be cited in the NT may not be authentic or in their proper context. So it is erroneous to equate the NT with the Injeel mentioned in the Quran.
  • The Bible is a holy book, narrated, dictated by God and is infallible. While this is a claim, this misconception has already been addressed. Since the Bible is ‘only’ a book, there is no need to call it a forgery, a corrupted text, etc. The Quran is the only authentic “Word of God,” His Speech, and Allah has promised to protect it from distortion of any kind until the Day of Judgment and He has kept His promise. Not one letter or syllable has been changed over the past l4 centuries.

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