by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


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A Study of Conflicting Beliefs

Session Four - November 13, 2002
"Is the Christian Holy Bible / Qur’an God Breathed?"


What is the source of the Christian Holy Bible / Qur’an?

Is the Bible God breathed or God Inspired? What does this mean?

Was the Bible "dictated" or was it filtered, breathed, through the individual God was speaking to?


I believe the understanding of "revelation" is at the heart of this matter. Does God reveal Himself to mankind? If so, how? (A: history, self revelation, experience, the inspired word, incarnation.)

In this understanding has revelation ceased? In other words is it closed?


The Christian concept of revelation is the interaction of the God of Creation in the affairs of humanity! The grandest revelation of this interaction is God incarnate, God becoming flesh so we can see and know Him. Jesus said, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father."

On the other hand, Islam believes revelation has been closed. The Qur’an is Allah’s final revelation or recitation (Qur’an means recite). Revelation in Islam is not an interaction of God with His creation, but the transmission of the pre-existant book - the Qur’an or the recitation. The Qur’an is the final revelation of Allah, an exact word-for-word copy of Allah’s final revelation.


The Qur’an is to the Muslim what Jesus is to the Christian: the final complete revelation of God! Attacking the Qur’an is to the Muslim what attacking Jesus Christ is to the Christian. The Qur’an is the word of Allah to mankind. Jesus is the incarnation of the word of God in flesh, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God", John 1:1.

"Both Islam and Christianity say that God is totally other and beyond comprehension, completely beyond the ability of humans to grasp, yet Christians add something completely different: that God sanctified the world by deigning to become part of it, by loving us so much that he was willing "to come down from his throne" to become part of this mess which we call the world. In this bold – and wonderful – assertion, Christianity stands apart from both Judaism and Islam, which stress the total otherness and transcendence of God to the point where it is incomprehensible to them that He could become part of the created order." Paper "Islam and Christianity"; www.answering-islam.org

Divine inspiration, or wahy, to the Muslim is explained in surah 42:51, "It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills, for He is most high, most wise." Allah does not have, nor desires a direct contact with humanity, but uses others or devices to shield Himself from contamination with His creation.

Muslim authors and historians (Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Athir, and ‘Ali Halabi) refer to seven methods Mohammad received "wahy."

1) Seizures: Mohammad sweat vigorously, bells rang in his ears, he became upset and his face changed, Aisha, his third wife said. Umar, Aisha’s father, describes that Mohammad foamed at the mouth and roared like a camel.

2) Dreams

3) Visions

4) Saw an angel in the form of a young, tall man.

5) Saw other angels.

6) Once Mohammad said he crossed the "seven heavens" to receive the revelation.

7) Allah spoke from behind a veil.

Islam believes every prophet, there have been hundreds through history to all people groups, has been given "the book." Thus Jews and Christians are referred to as "the people of the book." Abraham, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus are believed to have received the "book" or the revelation of Allah, even though none of these mention any "book" that they drew their understanding from. In deed even Jesus said, "I speak what I hear from My Father."

This "book" given to earlier Muslims, has been lost or perverted. Mohammad received the Qur’an to correct previous distortions of Allah’s revelation. The only "book" of Allah that can be trusted as true and pure is the Qur’an. The Qur’an retells many of the Biblical stories but each comes from out with a twist toward Muslim beliefs. To the Muslims the Qur’an does not contradict the Old or New testaments, but rather fulfills them. They believe the Old and new Testament are seen to be divinely given but humanly corrupted.

Revelation for the Christian is for the purpose of redemption, to save mankind; for the Muslim revelation is for the sake of "guidance" in living in this world.

In Christianity revelation is mediated. The Bible was not mechanically transmitted, but written by human beings in human words under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, thus being filtered through a human lens and written in human words and within human history. This is why our Scriptures refer to historical circumstances.

On the other hand, the Qur’an is considered the "unmediated" Word of God. Islam stressed very strongly that in receiving his revelation Muhammad was illiterate – and hence completely passive. He simply recited what was put in his mouth, without any input of his own, thus guaranteeing its preciseness and authenticity, since Mohammad could not filter it through his human lens.


Because of the intense persecution of Christians from 33-324 vast numbers of New Testaments were destroyed, reaching its height in 303 with Roman Emperor Diocletian who decreed that anyone found with a Bible would be executed.

However the Bible is preserved in far greater numbers and with far more credibility than any other ancient manuscript (A Sceptic’s Search for God, Ralph O. Muncaster, Harvest House Publishers, 2002). There are 5,600-plus ancient manuscripts in Greek, more than 10,000 in Latin, more than 2,000 in Ethiopic, 4,000 in early Slavic, 2,500 in Armenian, more than 350 in Syriac, and numbers of manuscripts in nearly a dozen other languages.

The complete Bible was written by at least 40 authors over a span of 1,500 or 2,000 years with no discrepancies from text to text. This proves the high esteem given to the original text and the faithfulness of the copying as each copy was copied by hand! Yet Islam says these copies are corrupted and cannot be trusted.


In Arabic the Qur’an (read or recite) is also referred to as Al-Kitab (the book), Al-furkan (the distinction), and Al-dikhr (the warning). According to Islamic scholars 86 surahs were revealed in Mecca, while 28 were revealed at Medina, for a total of 114 chapters. The Qur’an is about 1/3 the size of the Christian Bible.

The Qur’an affirms the Old and New Testament!

(surah 4:47), "O ye People of the Book! Believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you."

(surah 6:92), "And this is a Book which we have sent down, bringing blessings and confirming (the revelations) which came before it."

When discrepancies with the Old and New Testament were questioned they had to come up with an explanation. How could the Qur’an contradict the earlier Testaments if it was a confirmation of the former? A number of responses are found in the Medinan surah’s: The Jews are accused of knowingly perverting God’s word after hearing it (2:75); some actually "write the Book with their own hands and then say, ‘This is from God" (2:79); these "transgressors changed the word from that which had been given to them" (2:59); other corrupt the text by displacing words, changing them from their right places (4:46, 5:14), or by "twisting" their tongues and reading it incorrectly.

"There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues. (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, ‘That is from God,’ but it is not from God" (3:78).

"Of the Jews there are those who displace words ... and say: ‘We hear and disobey ... with a twist of their tongues.... (4:46).

Of Christians, it is said that "they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them" (5:15).

While this is creative it has no basis in the manuscript tradition!

"Unveiling Islam", pages 89-91

There are a number of surah’s that teach that Allah revised biblical stories to "fix" the corrupted Bible.

Qur’an teaches (28:9) that Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s wife and not his daughter as the Bible says.

Qur’an teaches (5:116) that Christians worship three gods: the Father, the Mother (Mary), and the Son (Jesus).

Qur’an teaches (28:38; 40:25) that Pharaoh built the tower of Babel through a man named Haman. But the Tower of Babel occurs in Genesis 11, long before there were Pharaohs. The only Haman recording in the Bible is the Haman of Esther who desired to destroy the Jews.

Qur’an teaches (20:85-97) that the Samaritans molded the golden calf that was worshiped on Mt Horeb, but the term Samaritan was not used until 722 B.C., hundreds of years after the Exodus.

Qur’an teaches (37:100-111) that Ishmael was offered up as a sacrifice by his father Abraham instead of Isaac. This event is celebrated in one of the two holidays of Islam.

Qur’an teaches (2:249) that King Saul led the 300 man army of Gideon’s. Saul was not even born at the time.

Qur’an teaches (4:157) that Jesus did not die on the cross, He was not crucified, but it only appeared to be one like Jesus (a prophet of Allah could never die in such a disgraceful manner). In fact the Qur’an teaches that Jesus did not die but was caught up to Allah and will return one day as the final judge and will judge those called Christian without mercy!

Qur’an teaches (65:12) that Allah created seven heavens and seven earths.

Qur’an teaches (37:6-10; 55:33-35; 67:5; 72:6-9) that meteors and shooting stars are missiles fired at "satans" and jinn who try to listen to the reading of the Qur’an in heaven, and then try to pass it on to men in surahs.

Qur’an teaches (2:65-66; 7:163-167) that Allah turned certain fishing people into apes for breaking the Jewish Sabbath.


Islam strongly opposes idolatry, polytheism, associating anything or anyone with God. This is a sharp contract with Arab contemporaries of Mohammad who believed that God had associates (partners). Three of these associates are even mentioned in the Bible

"Allah, Muslim name for the Supreme Being. The term is a contraction of the Arabic al-llah,"the God." Both the idea and the word existed in pre-Islamic Arabian tradition, in which some evidence of a primitive monotheism can also be found. Although they recognized other, lesser gods, the pre-Islamic Arabs recognized Allah as the supreme God." Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 2001.

The "satanic verses" are earlier verses of the Qur’an which have been replaced with newer, more accurate revelations. The question is this, "If the Qur’an is the pure revelation of Allah, which came through a clean vessel such as Mohammad, why does it require a newer revelation to correct it?" Was the messenger corrupted? Was the Message corrupt?

While in Mecca the new movement was painfully slow. "According to early and treasured biographical and historical accounts of Muhammad, authored by competent Muslim scholars (such as writings of at-Tabari and Ibn sa’d), Muhammad longed for better relations and reconciliation with his community. Thereafter, the accounts continue, (Allah) revealed Surah 53 to Muhammad up to and including vss. 19, 20." The Satanic Verses, www.answering-islam.org

"Have ye thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza
And Manat, the third, the other?"
Then, originally, these verses followed: (53:21-22)

"These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries)
Whose intercession is to be hoped for."

The same sources tell us that after this revelation was completed, Muhammad, his followers and the pagan Arabs all prostrated. Tensions eased, reconciliation was at hand, and all were delighted.

But Muhammad soon retracted this revelation. At an unknown interval, the angel Jibril (Gabriel) informed Muhammad that Satan had used Muhammad’s desire for reconciliation with the pagan Arab leaders to insert the first verses, now known as "the satanic verses."

Here is the "new" revelation:

"Are yours the males and His the females?
That indeed were as unfair division! (53:21,22)

The new meaning is that while the Arabs have sons which are preferred over daughters, how unfair it is to say that God has daughters! The idea is now that God has daughters, goddesses, is ridiculous!

Evidently even Allah can change his own revelations if it fits him:

(surah 17:73-75), "And they indeed strove to beguile thee (Muhammad) away from that wherewith We (God) have inspired thee, that thou shouldst invent other than it against Us; and then would they have accepted thee as a friend. And if We had not made thee wholly firm thou mightest almost have inclined unto them a little. Then had We made thee taste a double (punishment) of living and a double (punishment) of dying, then hadst thou found no helper against Us." 

(suarh 22:52,53), "Never sent We a messenger or a prophet before thee but when He recited (the message) Satan proposed (opposition) in respect of that which he recited thereof. But Allah abolisheth that which Satan proposeth, Then Allah establisheth His revelations. Allah is Knower, Wise; That He may make that which the devil proposeth a temptation for those in whose hearts is a disease, and those whose hearts are hardened – Lo! the-evildoers are in open schism." 

(surah 2:106 cf 16:101), "Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?" 


The Sunnah and the Hadith serve as instruction to the Muslim much the way the Midrash serve the Hebrew.

The Sunnah is the basis for the legal code of Islamic jurisprudence (shari’a, the path), and is authoritative in rulings among Islamic states. It depicts the events of Mohammad’s life, offering examples for ethics and living.

Hadiths (or ahadith) are similar to the sunnahs, but not identical. Each Hadith is a narration from the life of Muhammad and what he said, as opposed to a biographical sketch.

The Sunnah gives the significant story of Muhammad, the hadith expounds Muhammad’s crucial, ever lasting commandments.

According to the South African Council of Muslim Theologians, "The Holy Qur’an without the Hadith or Sunnah of the Prophet remains unintelligible in certain instances and in view of that, the Holy Qur’an has, in several verses, ordered Muslims to follow the Prophet in all his deeds and sayings. Therefore, if one believes in the Holy Qur’an, there is no other alternative but to uphold the Hadith of the Prophet."


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