Location of the original Bible
Fatwa No: 90449

Question

I have heard that a copy of the original bible, I mean the true one, is buried in one of the Vatican churches and it will never be shown. Is that true? If yes, what proofs you have?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If you are referring to the Injeel (the book revealed to 'Eesaa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention by the term 'original bible,' then we do not know the location of the copy you are asking about. But what we can say for sure and without any doubt is that the Injeel has been altered and changed by human beings throughout history and that the original copy no longer exists.

Therefore, a Muslim has no need to search for its original copy after Allaah has sent the great Quran. Allaah Says (what means): {And is it not sufficient for them that We revealed to you the Book [i.e. the Quran] which is recited to them? Indeed in that is a mercy and reminder for a people who believe.} [Quran 29:51]

He also Says (what means): {And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )], the Book [i.e. the Quran] in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it.} [Quran 5:48]

On the other hand, if by the term 'original bible' you are referring to the book used by the Christians, then we say the following:

In the Quran, Allaah informs us that He revealed a number of books, including the scrolls of Prophet Abraham, the Psalms of Prophet David, the Torah of Prophet Moses, the Injeel (Gospel) of Prophet Jesus, and finally, the Quran of Prophet Muhammad, may Allaah exalt the mention of them all. 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 Allaah, or as Christian's 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 can not 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 & Amp; 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, folklore, myths, sagas, narratives, poetry, fragments of scriptures (fragments from the Psalms, the Torah, and the Injeel as already mentioned), letters (esp. in the 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. Conversely, the glorious Quran is the speech of Allaah which, through the Angel Gabriel  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention was revealed to Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ; later compiled into a book more than 14 centuries ago it remains in its original form until today.

 

Some common misunderstandings about the Bible include the following:

·        The Bible is one book, the Old Testament. The reality is that 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 'Eesa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention or the Injeel. It is neither. It is made up of twenty-seven books, none of which were narrated or written by Prophet 'Eesa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention although the NT may contain fragments of the Injeel (sayings and teachings of Prophet 'Eesa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention). The Injeel as revealed to Prophet 'Eesa  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention 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 a mere '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 Allaah 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 of it has been changed over the past l4 centuries.

Allaah Knows best.

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