The Revelation and Preservation of Quranic and New Testament Manuscripts

photo by Crystalina

photo by

Both the Christian and Islamic faiths depend on revelation in order to know anything about God beyond what can be learned through observing nature. Muslims claim that the Quran is the eternal Word of Allah, sent down to earth, complete in its original form and unchanged. Christians, on the other hand, believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God, sent down to earth, complete in his original form and unchanged. The New Testament is held to a lower standard than that of the person of Jesus Christ upon which it is based: Is it eternal? No. Was it sent down from heaven? Inspired, but… no, at least not in the Quranic sense. Was it complete in its original form? Yes. Was it changed? Yes, but we know where the changes are for the most part. For both the Quran and the New Testament, the revelation and preservation of the ancient texts is of utmost importance, for they give us confidence that what the scriptures declare about God is reliable. The problem is: If both scriptures tell us contrasting views of God/Allah, which is reliable and trustworthy?

I’ve had the pleasure of engaging in an online conversation with several Muslims on YouTube on this subject. I hope to use this post as a vehicle for continuing those conversations as the YouTube comment mechanism can be uncooperative at times. As I have a day job, this interaction will require patience. Also, I’ll endeavor to be as informed, truthful and fair as possible, so careful research will be required. Please stay tuned!

Editor’s Note: This thread was moved from the main “Ask Me Anything” page. It was based on comments that originated from the YouTube video “A Guide To Missionary Tactics For MUSLIMS” by Radush Shubuhaat. Look for the thread by “A Berean” that begins “So much cynicism in less than 15 minutes…”

4 thoughts on “The Revelation and Preservation of Quranic and New Testament Manuscripts

  1. Hello, it's me, Stoyanovich, tis not my real name, call me Thoriq.

    It's a nice site you've got in here, mashaAllah, i might even make one meself.

    So.. Um, i want to learn more about christianity because Allah ordered me to learn about the Bible, well if i can find one without being changed overtime i would 100 percent believe it, but it's still recomended by the prophet to study it anyways. . In what verse? I do not remember, but it exist.

    Now, i saw your comment (Book of Rome) it's stated that christians are freed from their sins because of Jesus' pbuh sacrifice? So that means you can no longer sin because he sacrifice his life in order to free you from sins? In Bible perspective, is this correct? CMIIW


    • Hi Thoriq. First, Bible Gateway is a great place to read the Bible in whatever version you want. I typically use English Standard Version. You can likely find a translation in your mother tongue for an easier read.

      Regarding the Romans passage, it isn't that we (Christians) can't sin, it is that it doesn't make sense for us to sin — our priorities and motivations are now inclined toward righteousness. We were once slaves to sin. Christ frees us by completing the contract with God's Law so we can now be slaves to righteousness. Why would we want to go backwards? The entire book of Romans is great source to get the general gist of Christianity but it is not an easy read.

    • I went over the list of "contradictions" that you posted on YouTube. I believe they were originally from this article on the American Atheists web site. Since neither atheists nor Muslims share a Judaeo-Christian worldview, I can see how someone outside of that worldview and "armed for bear" against it could harbor those objections. Nonetheless, they are easily addressed. Please reference the above link for each of the points below.

      • The Sabbath Day, specifically, the difference between Old and New Testament observance. The Bible assumes that revelation is progressive. As you go back in time, people knew less and less about God. You could ask, if the Torah was so great, why didn't God reveal it to Adam and Eve? Why not reveal it to Noah? To Abraham? But the Bible account shows that God waited until the children of Israel had grown up in Egypt and been 400 years in slavery. God frees them miraculously and then establishes the Torah through Moses, effectively birthing the nation of Israel. Can God choose to introduce a new covenant, where the application of the Torah was different? Well, God being God, I'm not going to stop him. Paul's letter to the Romans goes into great detail regarding this.
      • The Permanence of Earth. The Bible contains many types of literature. It is also not primarily a science book. Christians around the world sing a tune called the doxology, which contains the phrase "world without end". Does that contradict science? Does that contradict apocalyptic passages describing the destruction of the earth? I don't think so. I think it's just saying that there's a certain permanence regarding the world — it was here before you were born, and it will be here long after you're gone. It just appears to spin effortlessly in space.
      • Seeing God. I'd encourage you to read the Genesis account to get the context. This describes a theological term called a theophany. Christians postulate that this may be a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, but aren't dogmatic about it. In short, anyone can say that they've seen God — it doesn't mean that they have. Perhaps the "man" wrestling Jacob was an angel. There is another theophany in the account of Sodom. Three "men" visit Abraham, but one of them is called LORD (YHWH) in the text. Could this be a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus? I don't know, but it may be the most likely possibility.
      • Human Sacrifice. Today, we acknowledge that human sacrifice is an abomination. Yet, Jews, Christians and Muslims have some explaining to do with respect to Abraham sacrificing his son. Did Abraham see the moral dilemma? I doubt it. Later, we're told the story of Jephthah making a faustian bargain with God. The atheist author says "The terms were acceptable to god". How so? Just because the 'deal' was offered doesn't mean that God approved of it.
      • The Power of God. This is one that you and I can agree — God is all powerful, we are not. The fact that God was with Judah in battle does not necessarily mean that Judah was strong enough to conquer the entire world. God spoke the world into existence, and God can speak the world out of existence if he wills.
      • Personal Injury. This speaks to the difference between a governmental judicial system (in this case the Jewish theocracy) and interpersonal behavior in God's Kingdom under Christ's rule. There is actually very little overlap here, so to say that there is a contradiction here would be a stretch.
      • Circumcision. This is covered very much in Romans and Galatians so I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader. Suffice it to say that it reflects a difference between the old and new covenants. See also this passage.
      • Incest. This is a case of judging Abraham by a law later revealed to Moses. Abraham lived in a different time and a different culture. A modern application of this would be slavery. The modern world now considers slavery an abomination (even though human trafficking still occurs), but it was eliminated neither in the Old nor New Testaments nor the Quran. Many leaders of the abolitionist movements in England and America were Christians who thought that slavery was inconsistent with their faith.

      Finally, you quoted a Quran verse to answer why we don't see Muhammad mentioned in the Injil or Torah:

      The people of the Book know this as they know their own sons; but some of them conceal the truth which they themselves know.   Quran 2:146

      I don't see Muhammad mentioned. I don't see corruption of scriptures mentioned. I don't see when it was supposedly done, or how it was done. The context of the verse is the Qiblah, or direction of prayer. In short, I don't see how this verse can be used to prove your claim of wholesale textual corruption. I observe that today's Muslims assert large scale corruption of both Old and New Testaments. I assert that this doctrine evolved sometime after Muhammad, when it became clear just how different the Quran was from the Old and New Testaments. Perhaps now would be a good time to share your external proofs as to how the Old and New Testaments have been badly corrupted.

Leave a Reply