Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Topic: Who Has Tried To Change History?
Received: 26 May 2005
Subject: Confusing content with topic. I totally agree! History does NOT change!
I cannot agree more with you regarding this fact: When it comes to Holy Bible vs Quran, they're indeed both talking about God and how he should be worshiped, but they have many gigantic differences in contents.
And should anyone argue that God's laws could have changed by the time of Mohammed and that's why Quranic laws are different from Biblical laws, I say this: History DOES NOT change! There's no better way than listing the differences in historical facts of the Bible and that of the Koran. One simple example is the vastly different stories of many prophets. I list below some sharp discrepancies in these stories:
According to the Bible: Jacob tricked his father Isaac to become prophet! David is an adulterer and a murderer! His son Solomon is even worse, he became an idols worshipper! Lut impregnated his two daughters! Aaron is the one who built the Golden Calf! Etc, etc. These most hideous crimes, just to list a few, are committed by people who God has chosen to become his prophets!
So it appears that according to the Bible God either didn't know these people would commit such crimes or He knew and yet chose them still to guide us to Him!!! This is so much in contrast to the so un-sophisticated version found in the Koran. Believe it or not, Muslims are naive enough to believe that God protects His prophets from sinning! That He guides them all the time!!! That just does not make any sense at all! And this is no where near the sophistication/twists/ironies found in the so "un-corrupted" Bible.....
Thank you for your e-mail.
You are correct when you say that the Bible and the Quran contain significantly different content. You are also correct when you say that history cannot be changed - although many have attempted to change it.
I agree with you that it would be possible for God to adjust some of His rules for mankind either due to a "progressive revelation" - whereby He was gradually introducing mankind to a "final revelation" - or simply due to various changes in the world.
The litmus test for the "final" revelation however, is whether or not it maintains any correlation and continuity with the previous revelations. Herein lays one of Islam's most obvious glaring problems. For instance, Islam claims that:
Archeology on numerous levels demonstrates undeniably that the Jews worshipped God primarily through the detailed rituals and sacrifices that were offered at the temple that sat on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem for over a thousand years. On the other hand, many Muslims seem to deny that Mt. Moriah was ever even the location of the Jewish Temple. Consider the official Palestinian Ministry of Information's statement that "there is no tangible evidence of any Jewish traces/remains in the old city of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity." Or the declaration of Palestinian Authority Mufti 'Ikrima Sabri, in an interview with the Germany periodical Die Welt, that "there is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish temple on [the Temple Mount] in the past." - Middle East Media Research Institute.
Such denials even go to the point where many important historical artifacts are continually being destroyed by the Waqf - the Muslim Temple Mount Authority in order to attempt to "change" or hide history:
Why is this re-writing, or should we say erasing of History so important in this discussion? Because, while it is easy to demonstrate the clear continuity between the Jewish rituals, practices and beliefs and Christian practice and belief, there is no reasonable explanation from the Muslim perspective regarding how the complex system of Jewish sacrifices at the Jewish temple have any continuity to Muslim religious practices.
This Muslim denial includes a denial of the Jewish Scriptures which prophesy -- in multiple places, and in many specific details -- the coming of the Messiah, who would, among other things, institute a "New Covenant" through His death burial and resurrection.
For example: Isaiah the prophet prophesied this:
"He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:3-6
Muslims deny these very Scriptures (which prophesy of the suffering of the Messiah) by claiming that they have been "corrupted" by the Jews. But how? Why? Muslims are simply not able to explain why in the world the Jews (who deny that Jesus was even the Messiah) would "corrupt" their own Scriptures by adding such clear foretellings of the crucifixion of Jesus. The Muslim position simply does not make sense.
Muslims also cannot explain the reason, for instance, why God would have commanded the Jews to celebrate the "Passover" feast - sacrificing a "spotless, blemish-free lamb" in order that its blood would be wiped on the door posts of the Hebrew people, thus effectively causing the angel of death to "pass over" these particular houses. Instead of even trying to explain what were God's reasons for commanding this, Muslims will usually either deny that this ever happened (yet will never give a single reason why anyone would simply make-up such a thing) or simply shrug their shoulders and admit that they have no idea what this was all about. Once again, the Islamic position doesn't make sense.
True Christians however understand this clearly as a prophetic foreshadowing (an essential aspect of any "progressive revelation") of the "final" revelation - which of course was the eventual crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Messiah for sins, in order that whosoever has applied the blood of Jesus to their hearts (spiritually, by believing God's message) will be passed over on the Final Judgment, that is, spared eternal death.
This leads us to another very obvious example of historical revisionism on behalf of Islam: The denial of the crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Messiah.
Despite the enormous amount of evidence to the effect that Jesus was indeed a historical figure who was crucified, thus fulfilling scores of Old Testament prophecies and symbols, without one small speck of solid support - simply because the Quran says so - Muslims deny the single most important and central event in the history of God's dealings with mankind: the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.
While on the subject of the Messiah's death on a Roman cross, let me ask you, which Islamic "theory" do you personally hold to regarding Jesus' crucifixion? You do realize that there are several different theories, don't you? If you claim to believe in one story, there are lengthy arguments from classical Muslim scholars which will disagree with your version of the story. Was Jesus replaced by one of his disciples? Or was it Simon the Cyrene? Was it Judas? Or was it that no one was crucified at all? Or was it that Jesus was the one crucified but was revived later? These are a few of the different theories offered by Muslim scholars. While Muslims are consistent in their denial of this event, they cannot even agree as to what really happened on that day. For truly, it is "only conjecture that they follow." Ironic isn't it?
I would very seriously encourage you to purchase and read a book called, The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. If you are not able to do so, I would be happy to buy one for you and send it to you.
While there are numerous evidences to support the historicity of the resurrection, one of the simpler reasons to believe in this event is because the disciples who followed Jesus - the eyewitnesses - obviously believed it. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that every one of Jesus' disciples - except possibly John - dedicated and eventually gave their very lives as martyrs while preaching the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (the Gospel message). So ----, let me ask you, why would the disciples give their lives for a lie? Unless they were 100% sure of the fact that Jesus was crucified and resurrected, why would they dedicate the remainder of their lives preaching such a lie? Muslims deny that the crucifixion and resurrection, but they are unable to answer some of the basic questions that explain why the disciples would have lived this way to preach that it happened. The only explanation that I have heard yet from a Muslim is that God tricked or deceived the disciples and allowed them to preach a total and complete lie. Talk about not making any sense! Either Jesus' disciples proclaimed the truth, or Jesus was the biggest failure of all of the prophets. For if Jesus' message never even got past his immediate twelve disciples, and when He left, they were all deceived, then indeed, Jesus was the greatest failure of all prophets. Yet even Islam claims that Jesus is second only to Muhammad in terms of the greatest prophets. Again, the Islamic worldview, when compared to the simple facts of History, simply does not make sense. Not for the person who actually thinks through any of the issues. Jesus - the historical facts surrounding His life and the life of His disciples - is the thorn in the side of Islam, not its vindicator as we would expect if indeed Islam was only a continuation of the religion which Jesus preached.
Another clear problem for Islam is the endless accusation that the Bible as a whole was corrupted. Muslims are quick to declare that the Bible is corrupt yet they are simply unable to explain when, where or how this occurred. Was the Bible corrupted prior to Muhammad? If so, then why did Muhammd make comments urging Christians and Jews to consult their own books to see if indeed Muhammad was a true prophet or not? For instance:
"Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers." Surah 5:47
So should we consult our Scriptures or not? If they are corrupt then why would Allah ask us to consult corrupted Scriptures? Again, it just doesn't make sense.
Some suggest that the Bible was corrupted prior to Muhammad. Yet, even the Quran shows that at least the Torah was still around and uncorrupt at the time of Jesus. The Quran says clearly that God taught Jesus the Torah:
"And God will teach him (Jesus) the Scripture and wisdom, and the Torah and the Gospel" Surah 3:48
So if Jesus was taught the Torah by God, it could not have been corrupt prior to Jesus' day. For if it had, then certainly Jesus would have attempted to correct the corrupt Torahs that existed in his day. Surely Jesus would have taught the correct Torah to His disciples. Yet what do we find? We find instead that Jesus' disciples - and their disciples (the Church Fathers) used the very same Torah as the Jews of their day. Or did Allah teach Jesus a corrupt Torah? That certainly wouldn't make any sense either. Clearly, the Torah was still intact in the days of Jesus.
But here's the problem for the Islamic position. Here is where the facts are again a problem for Islam. The Torah that we posses today is the exact same as the Torahs of Jesus' day. In fact, it is based on manuscripts that existed nearly two hundred years before the birth of Jesus. The Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls clearly predate Jesus' era. So on one hand, the Quran confirms that the Torah was alive and uncorrupted in Jesus' day and on the other hand, you have Jews and Christians reading the very same Torah today. But because this Torah does not correlate to the teachings of the Quran (despite the complete logical inconsistency here), Muslims are forced to claim that the Torah is corrupt. Once again, it simply doesn't make sense!
The list of problems with the Islamic worldview simply roll on and on and on. Islam cannot be reconciled to the clear facts of History.
And yet despite the facts, you seem to see it the other way. Perhaps this is because of the way that you were raised. Perhaps you have never explored some of the issues that I have raised. You point out that the Bible claims that the former "prophets" of the Bible were not perfect men. The Bible actually contains stories of them committing sins. Yet you say that this impossible. God must have protected them from sinning. Again, let me ask you ----, did God give them the freedom of choice? Or were they incapable of sin? Did they even possess free will? Again, this is another clear reason why Islam does not make sense. In fact, the Quran even makes it clear that Muhammad himself sinned:
Surah 48:2 says: "That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favor unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path."
"So forgive the sins which I have done in the past or will do in the future, and also those (sins) which I did in secret or in public, and that which You know better than I. None has the right to be worshipped but you". (Hadith al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, p. 403)
Clearly, not only did Muhammad sin in the past, both he and God knew that he would sin in the future. If Muhammad - supposedly the greatest of all prophets - sinned, then why is it strange that other great men of the Bible also had shortcomings? The Biblical stories are far more realistic and encouraging than the Islamic dogma. It says to me that God can - and does - use weak men who nevertheless have a clear "yes" in their hearts toward God.
----, I thank you again for your e-mail. I hope that our discussion has at least been slightly enlightening to you. I pray that you will at least consider some of the things that I have discussed and some of the questions that I have posed to you. I pray that someday soon, you will find the truth. Until then, I encourage you to pray earnestly that God would open your eyes to the truth. I also encourage you to download and read a free book which explains the consistent message of all of God's prophets down through history as to how a man might be righteous before God:
For free download: http://goodseed.com/theprophetsenglish.aspx
For purchase: http://www.goodseed.com/usa/store.aspx
This book will give you the Bible's answers to many more basic questions. Be sure to read the whole book since it shows how all the basic teachings of Scripture fit together like pieces to a puzzle.
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