CHAPTER XXVI: THE TRUE GOD LEFT A COMPLETE WITNESS
No Need To ‘Defend’ What We Possess - Complete Records
It must be clearly understood that the present writer, having seen Islam as it is, feels no compulsion to ‘defend’ true Christianity or the Gospel records in any way. They are far above all that men think!
Instead, what we present is solely so that the followers of Islam may have an opportunity to view some balanced perspectives on them.
For this purpose we will first present the Gospel Message clearly. Then we will present some discussion of aspects related to the evidence and the clear testimony of the early writings of the Tabi'un and Tab Tabi'un. Finally we will note the Character and Faithful Love of the True God in Covenants.
All of this, on top of the fact that we know that the True God has reconciled us to Himself and is at work in our lives, causes us to have trust in the Gospel records.
We understand that mere evidence alone cannot convict anyone of the Truth of the Gospel. We believe as Jesus said:
"No-one can come to me except the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Whoever listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me." (Injil John 6:44-45)Only Those Who Seek Truth will find it. It is up to the followers of Islam to pray (Duah) and ask the True God of Abraham to give them Light so they can comprehend the Only Way and escape the Judgement.
We remember some abrupt words from Jesus to Bani Israel. He said concerning their inability to understand his teachings:
"Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell you the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." (Injil John 8:43-47)The followers of Islam are aware that before Muhammad appeared claiming to be bringing a ‘new Book’ there was something known as ‘the Injil’ (the Gospel) which was accepted as being the most recent Scripture. This is historical fact.
Anyone who, having seen the Qur’an in a clearer perspective now
seeks the truth about the God of Abraham, must examine the existing Injil records (Gospels) with new eyes and find out whether they can be the Scripture of that very Message.
This is very difficult for a people who, till now, have considered the Qur’an’s content to be the measure of how to assess ‘Books’ and their content.
Notably, it means that the fact that the Injil records (Gospels) are a complete witness, composed not simply of "the Words of God" but also of what Islam would consider as Hadith (Traditions), Sirah (Biography) and Tarikh (History) is not a reason for its content to be rejected without careful examination at all.
Islam’s entire perspective on ‘Books’ will be seen to be a distortion which began in the Arabian desert, and, as the followers of Islam know, it denies ALL historical evidence on the face of the earth. It is a stand which has no ‘Proof’ to uphold it, but only blind faith.
If, on the other hand, there is evidence that each Gospel record is indeed the personal record of a Companion of Jesus, or of a Tabi’un relating from a Companion with whom he travelled and preached, we can understand that the entire body of evidence for relaying the Revelation (Message) has come from the very best sources, and as several complete witnesses.
The result, of course, is that later generations did not
have to read a confusing text, and then search for the Revelation (Message)
from other unreliable materials. Everything was clear.
Can Such Gospels Be ‘The Word Of God’ (The Revelation Of His Will)?
We maintain that the True God would never leave a people with an incomplete Witness (like the Qur’an), and so, it is quite natural for us to find that the True God inspired the preservation of the Words of God, the Hadith, Tarikh, etc, ALL TOGETHER.
Anything less than this is quite useless, as Islam itself testifies!
Furthermore, it is necessary only to recall that while refusing the Injil records for claiming to be "the Word of God" (the revelation of His Will) because they contain content similar to that of Islam’s ‘extra-Qur’anic’ materials, Islam has kept out of sight not only the fact that the Qur’an alone was confused and useless, but that Islam believed it had a revelation of the Divine Will ("Word of Allah") which was contained not just in the Qur’an, but also in the Hadith, Sirah and Tarikh (material much in disagreement as
well as disagreed over) - and all this is found in scattered writings from various periods of Islam’s history - and accepted at such times!
Thus it admits that the "Word of God" (the revelation of His Will) is not obtainable without all such materials, not just ‘the Words of God’.
Since the Gospel records are claimed to be "the Word of God" written (the revelation of God’s Will in written form), it should not really be startling to find these very same types of material are what is embodied in each Gospel record (Injil).
Everyone admits that ‘the revelation of God’s Will’ (a Message) requires the presence of everything in order to be ‘transmitted’ and understood.
In fact, to find less than this would mean that God did
not leave a Witness.
But, Can Such Records Be Accepted As ‘Divinely Inspired’?
Again, the followers of Islam must recall that in the case of Islam, not only the Qur’an, but even the content of the Sunnah, is accepted not only as the result of ‘some form of inspiration’, but as part of the ‘Word of God’.
In spite of all the evidence of the human hand and corruption, Islam has still considered the Qur’an and Sunnah to be ‘inspired’ - the purveyors of confused parts of ‘the Will of God’.
This being the case, we need not think that the claim of "inspiration" for the Gospels (no confusion when you read them!) needs any defending from the attacks of Islam, nor that we should feel the need to evaluate it in terms of Islam’s claims for the Sunnah and Qur’an. Far from it.
Rather we are able to assert something far greater. That Jesus, in leaving his Companions (apostles) in authority among the Believers to transmit and propagate the Message, promised them that though he was leaving them and going to Heaven, the Holy Spirit (distinct in the Gospel records from the angel Gabriel) would come and be his ‘replacement’ in the earth. He (the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God) would not only dwell in them, but would remind them of all that Jesus had taught, as well as teach them more. As the Companion John recorded from Jesus:
"I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him for he lives with you and will be in you.... All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said." (Injil John 14: 16, 17, 25, 26)It should not, having analysed Islam, be an affront to any follower of
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Islam to find that the personal records of these Companions, and their followers (the Tabi'un), deserve to be considered "inspired".
Indeed, there is every reason to believe that it was the Divine Will that the Holy Spirit was overshadowing the making of these Gospel records in order to maintain His revealed Religion in them.
We can see how Jesus’ promise was necessary to the protection of the Religion. Divine Protection had to be over, not just the bringer of the Message, but over those who would need to recall it clearly to both record it clearly, and teach others who could record it!
All of this being so, there is no reason for the followers of Islam to reject the doctrinal content which is found transmitted from the Companions and Tabi'un of Jesus.