198 The CORÂN
CXXII.—SURA V., v. 14-16[13-15].

سورة المائدة

فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِم مِّيثَاقَهُمْ لَعنَّاهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا قُلُوبَهُمْ قَاسِيَةً يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ وَنَسُواْ حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ وَلاَ تَزَالُ تَطَّلِعُ عَلَىَ خَآئِنَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّنْهُمُ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَ اصْفَحْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
وَمِنَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَهُمْ فَنَسُواْ حَظًّا مِّمَّا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَأَغْرَيْنَا بَيْنَهُمُ الْعَدَاوَةَ وَالْبَغْضَاء إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَسَوْفَ يُنَبِّئُهُمُ اللّهُ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ
يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ قَدْ جَاءكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا كُنتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ قَدْ جَاءكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ نُورٌ وَكِتَابٌ مُّبِينٌ

And for that they have broken their covenant, We have cursed them, and We have made their hearts hard; they dislocate the word from its place, and they have forgotten a part of that whereby they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover deceit in them, excepting a few of them. But pardon them, and forgive, for God loveth the beneficent. 
And of those that say, We are Christians, we have taken a covenant from them, and they have forgotten a part of that whereby they were admonished. Wherefore We have placed enmity and hatred between them, until the day of judgment; and God will surely then declare unto them that which they have wrought.
Oh people of the Book! verily our apostle hath come unto you; he shall make manifest unto you much of that which ye have hidden of the book, and he shall pass over much.

We have here precisely the same accusation brought against the Jews as in Art. XCVI., that they dislocated


the word from its place. I observe first, that, both here and elsewhere, the accusation is specifically confined to the Jews; such an offence is never even hinted against the Christians. These are, indeed, accused of " forgetting a part of that whereby they were admonished"; and it must be confessed that there was in that age, as there has been in every age, too much ground for the imputation. Just so, it might be said to many Mussulmans of the present day that, in making Tâzeeahs, praying to Peers and Murshids, paying vows to them, &c., "they have forgotten a part of that whereby they were admonished" in the Corân. But there is neither here, nor elsewhere, any imputation against Christians, of "dislocating words from their places," or even of misinterpreting Scripture and perverting its sense. It does not therefore (for our present object) much concern us to justify the Jews from such reproaches; because it is notorious that, from the earliest times, the entire Jewish Scriptures were possessed by the Christians as well as by the Jews, and were held by them to be inspired equally with the New Testament, and like it were regularly read in their Churches. Whatever liberties, therefore, the Jews might have been inclined to take with their own sacred books, such attempts could not extend to the copies carefully preserved by the Christians throughout the world.

Again, the Jews had nothing whatever to do with the New Testament. The "misinterpretations," "perversions," and "dislocations," therefore, whatever they may have been, which are attributed to the Jews, can have no possible reference to the Gospel.