Your Bible is Corrupted! Really?
“The Bible has been corrupted.” This is one of the arguments Muslims are taught to use against Christians by their Imams in the local mosque. Yet the Quran actually affirms the Bible in many places. So why such a charge? In this article I want to address that issue as well as how to rightly respond to such an accusation by a Muslim.
God has given me a burden for Muslims after reading the Quran and researching Islam. I am writing these articles because too many Christians are fearful of Muslims and refuse to dialogue with them. My hope is that the Lord would use these articles to influence some believers to talk to Muslims and share the Gospel with them. So now that you have my motive for these articles (more to come) and my plan for this article. Let’s get to it.
I will address this issue by answering two questions:
- Does the Quran affirm the Bible as revelation from God?
- Why do Muslims claim the Bible has been corrupted?
Does the Quran affirm the Bible as revelation from God?
Yes! Here is a list of verses where the Quran affirms the Bible as revelation from God (3:93-94, 5:46, 5:50, 5:71, 7:157, 28:48-49, 29:46-47, 32:23, 53:36). These verses affirm that the Law & the Gospel are from Allah (God).
So why do Muslims claim the Bible has been corrupted?
Muhammad claimed to be the final prophet sent by Allah. Thus affirming that all the other prophets found in the Bible were sent by Allah, including Jesus. But also putting himself forward as the final authority in matters of contradiction between his supposed revelation and that of previous prophets, including Jesus. And it is especially here that we begin to see the problem: The New Testament and the Quran are teaching radically different doctrines.
What are some of those differences? Here are some major ones:
- The Quran teaches that Jesus was a very special prophet sent by Allah, but he was still just a man. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God.
- The Quran teaches Allah is one and denies any doctrine of the trinity. Though the Bible never uses the word “trinity” it reveals and says things about the being of God that leave us all with only two options: (a) Either the God of the Bible is in fact multiple gods, and not one, or (b) He is three Persons in one Being. When you put all of the biblical evidence together it forces you into the conclusion that “God is one is essence yet three in Person.”
- The Quran teaches that it only seemed like Jesus died on the cross, when in reality Allah spared him from that. However, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world.
- The Quran teaches that submission to Allah and good works are what can lead to salvation, but even then none can be certain of salvation. However, the Bible teaches that we can be certain of salvation through repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Such huge differences between what the Quran teaches and what the Bible teaches begs the question: Why did Muhammad teach that the Bible was revelation from Allah if he knew that such discrepancies existed? It would seem that Muhammad didn’t really know what the Bible taught, nor did he know what Christians meant when they spoke of the doctrine of the trinity. But of course, it is here that Muslims disagree. They are forced to do so because they cannot admit of error in the Quran. So for any good Muslim the error must be found in the Bible. This is why Imams teach those who attend their Friday sermons (in the mosques) that the Bible has been corrupted: They cannot admit of error in the Quran.
Let’s Test the Hypothesis
If the charge of Islam, that the Bible has been corrupted, is true — then that would mean that somewhere between the time of Jesus and Muhammad we should expect to see massive doctrinal differences in manuscripts. Yet the very opposite is true. In fact one of the most trustworthy Greek manuscripts is Codex Sinaiticus which dates to the fourth century A.D. It contains the entire New Testament. Even if scholars were to say that the dating of the manuscript should be about 370 A.D. that would still be 200 years before even the birth of Muhammad. Codex Sinaiticus, written some 200 years before Muhammad was even born agrees doctrinally with every other Greek manuscript from any time period in church history that has manuscript evidence to represent it.
So one must ask the question of Muslims: At what point was the Bible corrupted? If a Muslim says the Bible was corrupted after Muhammad wrote the Quran, then how do they explain the fact that Codex Sinaiticus agrees with later manuscripts that were written centuries after Muhammad died? If they say the Bible was corrupted before Muhammad wrote the Quran then why did Muhammad affirm the Bible in the writing of the Quran? This is just one of the dilemmas that Muslims are forced into by their own accusations that do not fit the historical facts.
Conclusion: The massive manuscript evidence for the Bible shows no evidence of corruption. Are there variants? Sure. Thousands of them, but none of them compromise a single doctrine of the Christian faith. Therefore the Muslim claim that the Bible has been corrupted is simply not true. There is no factual evidence to support the claim. If you are ever in a conversation with a Muslim about this issue present them with the facts, lovingly, and prayerfully, and may God open the eyes of their hearts to see the truth found in Jesus Christ.