[This article was published in the 7th issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine (), February - March 1995]

The Bible: God's Word Or Man's Work?

Allah (s.w.t.) has said, "The Jews and Christians will never be satisfied with you unless you follow their form of religion". However, as Islam in Australia is to stay and spread, some fanatical Christians have become noticably alarmed. Among those who are very concerned are ardent Zionist Christians like Jehovah Witnesses, Born-agains and their likes. For them, Islam is a curse from Satan and they are looking for a cure! This cure is the wholesome evangelism to all Muslims living on this continent. Surely, they have started their version of Holy War. The homes and hearths of unaware Muslims are under their constant barrage of propaganda emitted through the media . Therefore, in order for Muslims to defend themselves and plan to overcome this fateful war, we must arm ourselves with the appropriate knowledge of our adversaries' weapon: the Bible. In this spirit and intention, I am writing this article.

The reader should be aware of the fact that Allah (s.w.t.) has already delivered His verdict on the Judaic-Christian scriptures, charging it with corruption and accusing its people of committing this appalling crime, when He said, "...Woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, 'This is from Allah' " [2:79]. In the following lines, I shall try only to prove and substrate this Quranic warning with evidence taken only from the Bible itself.

The Bible: The Encyclopedia Britannica writes "There will be no Bible without a Church that CREATED it" 1 . However, the term "Holy Bible" was not used by any of the Bible writers. It was rather a late Christian invention to identify the compilation of their canonised writings. It is composed of two parts, the Old Testament (O.T.) and the New Testament (N.T.).

O.T: a name given to the sacred books of the Christians (and Jews). It consists of

1) Torah (The Law),

2) The Books and

3) The Prophets.

The Christians, however, disagree on the exact number of the O.T. with its three parts. Protestants (like the Jews) believe only in 39 books as being canonized, whereas the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches take as sacred 52 books with an extra 14 books, known as Apocrypha (doubtful). The original manuscripts of the O.T., written in Hebrew, were all lost. What Christians are using today are only two translations of the lost originals. The Latin Translation, (known as Septuagint) is used by the Catholics, whereas the Greek translation is used by the Orthodox Christians. Nevertheless, the two versions "differ from each other frequently in minor particulars and sometimes in important particulars" 2. The modern different English translation, in particular, confirm these textual differences alluded to.

N.T.: "The Church CREATED the N.T. canon". This is verbatim quotation from the Encyclopedia Britannica3 . This part of the Bible is composed of 27 books that are divided into three parts:
1) The Four Gospels - figuratively known as Injeel in Arabic
2) The Epistles and
3) Revelation.

Mormons, a Christian sect, add their own (Book of Mormon) as an indivisible complement of the New Testament. With regard to the Four Gospels, it has been proved beyond doubt (yet millions of ordinary Christians are unaware) that the present Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as many other Gospels- were written by anonymous writers, and not the disciples, who used for their writings the names of those disciples "only to gain ecclesiastical recognition." 4 Nonetheless, when it comes to identifying the real authors, a variety of assumptions are made. Some of the scholars of Comparative Religion, both Muslims and non-Muslims, assume that the existent Gospels were inspired, if not physically written, by St. Paul for a number of valid reasons as spelled out by Al Haj Ajijola5 . Similarly, Christians differ greatly on pinpointing the precise date in which the Gospels were written. Notwithstanding, they agree that the writing of the Gospels took place between 50 and 150 years after the ascension of Jesus (a.s.).6 They also admit the historical fact that there were, contemporary to the Gospels, a number of other gospels in circulation and all were accepted by the different Churches of that time. What is unknown, however, is the precise number of those gospels. Some scholars have the belief that they were no more than 20; others put the number up to 300 gospels7.

If this was the case, then why and how did the Church select only four books which are still used in Churches now? The answer is simple; if we know that the four Gospels were selected in 325 A.C. - during the Nicene Council - in which the creed of "Trinity" was introduced for the first time, then it will become obvious that the selection was based on the fact that the current Gospels were held to be in support of that pagan doctrine, known from Egypt to India, some very explicitly like the Gospel of John. Furthermore, the manner in which the selection was conducted exposed very clearly the superstitious and Byzantine legacy of the Church and its anti-Jewish and pro-Hellenic Christianity. The event of the selection occurred during the Nicene Council which was attended by delegations from different Mediterranean churches. In that Council, "it was decided that all the different Gospels should be placed under a table in the Council hall. Every one there left the room and the door was locked. The bishops were asked to pray for the whole night that the correct version of the Gospel might come unto the top of the table. In the morning, the Gospel acceptable to (the Council decisions) were found neatly placed on top of the table. It was decided that all the Gospels remaining under the table should be burnt"8.

Despite this theological 'holocaust' in which more than one million Unitarian Christians were killed, some of the condemned Gospels, like Thornas' and Barnabas', miraculously survived. Thereafter , since that date - 323 A.C. - the right of keeping, copying and reading the Bible remained the unchallenged monopoly of the Church father until the fourteenth century.

As the Church "believed it was wrong for the ordinary people to read the Bible", John WY cliff, the English clergyman, was not forgotten or forgiven by the Church until his "bones were dragged from their grave and burnt" for he dared to translate the "Holy Writ" into his own mother tongue, English9 . With the loss of the political and military power it possessed, the Church lost its grip on the monopoly of its 'Holy Book'. Today, the Bible is rendered into almost every spoken language. In English alone, there are about 40 authorised versions/translations. Because these versions were translated from different manuscripts- 22,000 of them which no two copies are identical, according to Ahmed Deedat- they understandably suffer from enormous textual differences.

Textual Difference in the Bible's Versions:

With the exception of the extra 14 books added by the Catholic Church coupled with the difference in the text between the Latin and the Greek translations of the Old Testament, the New Testament, in particular, underwent extensive changes and adulterations clearly manifested in the still existing phenomenon of the additions and omissions in the text of the Bible which was carried out by Christian scholars. The following comparison between the Authorized King James Version (KJV) and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) provide concrete evidence of the corruption of the Bible.

KJV -Vs- RSV (1952):

a) Mark (16:8-20) in KJV ends with verse 20, but in (RSV) it ends with verse 8! This then means 12 verses were thrown out as FABRICATION!!

b) In KJV, chapter 8 in John starts with verse 1, which is quite regular, but the irregularity becomes visible when it starts with verse 12 as RSV (1952). Again 11 verses were unceremoniously expunged as INTERPOLATION!

c) Even verses clearly supporting fundamental dogmas, e.g. "Trinity", were not saved from this tampering. An example of this is John 5:7, which says, "For there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the three are One". This verse appears in KJV, yet disappears in RSV!

RSV: Comparison:

In the Preface of the RSV it is written that "The KJV has GREAT defects... those defects are SO MANY and SO SERIOUS as to call for a revision of the English translation". In the above lines a few examples of these defects in KJV were mentioned. What is amazing about this Book is that every RSV, which came to correct these defects, contains even GREATER defects itself! A few examples will make it clear.

a) RSV (1952) had 23 verses REMOVED from the text as fabrication. (Mark & John).

b) The same RSV for the year (1971) allowed all 23 verses to make a mysterious comeback to the text! Hence they are now rendered revelation after they were fabrication.

Amid this unholy game of editing and re-editing,resulting with the Christians playing with their "Holy Book", the translators of the New International Version (NIV 1984) have scored yet another shot in the game by returning the 23 removed verses but in a different way. They have inserted a 'warning statement', enclosed in two brackets, to precede each portion of verses to warn the unwary Christian that the most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses DO NOT HAVE MK [16:8-20] & JN [8:1-10]!

Internal Contradictions In The Bible:

I was honestly bewildered by Rev. W. Haley's book "Alleged Discrepancies of The Bible", in which he cited about 800 discrepancies in his sacred book where he tried to apologetically explain them away. I was surprised because it was far beyond my expectation. I like his classifications, and so I shall apply them here. Doctrinal Contradictions:

O.T: 1) In Ishaiah 40:28, "He (God) DOES NOT FAINT OR GROW WEARY" contradicted by Exodus 31:17, "In the six days, the Lord made heaven and earth and on the seventh day He RESTED".

2) In exodus 33:20, "He, God said, 'you (Moses) CANNOT see my face; for man shall not see me and live", contradicted by Genesis 32:30, "So Jacob called the name of the place Pari'el, saying, 'For I have SEEN GOD FACE TO FACE, and yet my life is preserved' ".

N.T: 1) In John (1:1-2) "In the Beginning was the Word (Jesus) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God", contradicted by Jesus (a.s.) himself in the Gospel 8:40, "But now you (the Jews) seek to kill me, a MAN who has told you the truth".

2) In John 1:18, Jesus is described as "The only Son from the Father", contradicted by Luke 3:38 who calls Adam "Son of God" (others are also called the same in , e.g. Psalms 2:7 & Exd 4:22 etc..).

3) In John 14:27 Jesus was made to say, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you", contradicted by Matthew 10:34 who made Jesus to say, "I have Not come to bring peace, But a SWORD". ETHICAL/MORAL CONTRADICTIONS:

O.T: In Deuteronamy (27:22), "Cursed be he who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother" contradicted by Genesis (20:12) where Abraham was made to say about his wife Sarah that "She is INDEED my SISTER, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother. She became my WIFE"

N.T: John (3:16) writes "for God so loved the world that He gave his only son to be crucified", as the Christians believe, contradicted by Matthew (26:39) when Jesus prayed"O My Father, if it be possible, that let this cup pass from me, ... not as I will, but as though will". Even where he was on the cross, as the myth tells, Jesus did not give up the hope of being saved when he was made to plea "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34).

HISTORICAL CONTRADICTIONS:

O.T: 1) In Genesis (22:2) God was made to say, "Abraham... take your son, your ONLY SON Isaac... and offer him... there", contradicted by Gen 21:5 "Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him" whereas in Gen 16:16 he was "eighty six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him". Therefore, Ishmael was 14 years old when Isaac was born. During these years, Ishmael was the ONLY SON of Abraham. Ishmael was called "Son" as his mother Hagar was called "Wife" of Abraham according to Gen 16:3 & 15.

N.T: According to Matthew 27:35 Judas, the traitor, "...went and HANGED himself", contradicted by Acts 1:18-19 where Judas fell and "...he BURST OPEN in the middle and all his bowls GUSHED out". The two accounts disagree also on who bought the "Field of Blood" and why it was called so!

SCIENTIFIC INCONSISTENCIES:

Maurice Bucaille - the French scientist - describes the biblical story of the Creation as being "Master of Inaccuracy". Since this story is long in the Bible and Mr. Bucaille's comments make it even longer, only one example is stated below. For details, you can obtain the book which is very highly recommended for reading.

O.T: In Geresis 2:1 it is written "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished. And on the seventh day God finished his work which He had done", contradicted by the scientific fact that "the formation of the Universe and the Earth took place in stages that lasted for very long periods" Bucaille writes. Therefore, "the idea of that successive phases of the Creation could be compressed into the space of one week is one which cannot be defended from a scientific point of view"10 . According to the Bible, however, the Creation lasted for one week, 7 successive days. The beginning and the end of each day was marked by the set and the rise of the sun thus, "and there was evening and there was morning, one day ..etc".

N.T: The genealogy of Jesus (?) in Matthew 1:1-17 is INCONSISTENT with that in Luke 3:23-38 in the number of generations as well as the names. It is also irrelevant to Jesus (a.s.) as he was without a biological father11 .

It is not untrue to assert that another book, the size of the Bible, would be inevitable if the Bible was scrutinised for every single defect, error or fault. This fact is supported by the Jehovah's Witness' magazine (AWAKE) which reported that there are 50,000 errors in the Bible"12 . This astronomical figure should cause no surprise if we care to know that the writing of the Bible spanned over 3000 years and was carried out by more than 40 writers! Most certainly, during that vast space of time, the Divine truth, the Inspired Word of Allah went missing. But Allah (s.w.t.) through His mercy had restored that truth in His Final Revelation: the Holy Qur'an. He also promised to preserve it from any human distortion or corruption when He said, "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and we will assuredly GUARD it". As for those who still stubbornly refuse to believe in the Diving origin of the Holy Qur'an, Allah (s.w.t.) is reasoning with them and inviting them to study, check and compare it to their (holy) books, yet with a gentle rebuke thus, "Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care) had it been from any other than Allah they would have found therein many discrepancies" (An-Nisa 4:82). n

(If you are interested in further information or wish to borrow any of the references mentioned below, please write to "Nida'ul Islam".)

By Mohammed El-Yameni


Footnotes: *All emphases through out the article are mine. * Revised Standard Version was used in quoting the verses of the Bible.
1) 1989, p813. 2) Yusuf Ali: Translation of the Qur'an, appendix II. 3) 1989, p813. (4) Ibid. (5) "The Myth Of The Cross" (6) Ahmed A.Ali: "The Christ as Seer in The Sources of The Christian Beliefs" (7) M Ataur-Rahim "Jesus: A Prophet Of Islam". (8) Ibid. (9) Plain Truth" April 94 (10) M. Bucaille: "The Bible, The Qur'an and Science" (11) Ibid. (12) Issue 17, Sep 57.


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