imagine an agreement between them to falsify the Old Testament. Had any one sect of Christians or Jews, or those living in any country, for instance in Arabia, all agreed to corrupt their Scriptures, then the other sects and all those in other parts of the world would have raised a great outcry against them for such a terrible sin. We have histories written by Jews, others by Muslims, others by Christians, and yet in none of these do we find any account of it ever being proved that such an attempt was made whether during Muhammad's time or after it.

Moreover, had any sect ever thought of the commission of this crime, its accomplishment would have been found absolutely impossible. For before the Hijrah the Christian faith had spread so widely that the greater portion of the population of Asia Minor, Syria, Greece, Egypt, Abyssinia, North Africa, Italy, all professed belief in Christ. Besides this, very many had accepted Christianity in Arabia, Persia, Armenia, Georgia, India, France, Spain, Portugal, England, and Germany. In all these lands different languages were spoken, and into many of these tongues translations of the Bible had been made before Muhammad's time; viz. into Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Æthiopic, Gothic, Georgian. Besides this, the Old Testament existed in the original Hebrew, and the New Testament in the original Greek. The Old Testament had also been translated into Greek, and much of it into Aramaic.

The Jews also were to be found in all the countries we have mentioned. They were divided into more or less opposed parties, and the Christians into many sects hostile to one another. Had any Jewish or Christian sect therefore attempted to corrupt any one of the Sacred Books, the others would at once have detected and mercilessly exposed the crime. Hence no madman is mad enough to be able to imagine all Jews and Christians agreeing to corrupt the Bible. But, if this had taken place, the crime would have


been detected long since, because of the existence of so many MSS. written long before Muhammad's time. The many ancient Versions and the numerous quotations from the Bible found in authors who wrote before Muhammad's time absolutely disprove the charge that the Bible was corrupted in or after his time.

Those Muslims who assert that the Jews and Christians have corrupted their Scriptures say that this was done in order to strike out all the prophecies about Muhammad which those Books contained. We have already seen that the "People of the Book" had no object in doing this, and that the temptation must have rather been to interpolate such passages than to expunge them. But Muhammadan commentators themselves answer the charge by stating that many prophecies of Muhammad are still to be found in the Bible. If so, then the Jews and Christians are evidently not guilty of striking them out. If the attempt was made to commit such a crime, and if it succeeded so far as to expunge some such prophecies, how are we to account for the retention of others which the Qur'an itself 1 asserts to exist in the Holy Scriptures? If these passages really do refer to Muhammad, then it is clear that the Bible has not been corrupted in the manner and with the object stated by Muslims. For example, the Qur'an states 2 that Muhammad is mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ. Commentators say that the reference is to Christ's promise of the coming of the Paraclete, and refer to John xvi. 7. Christians do not think that the promise there given did refer to Muhammad. But the fact that the verse still stands in the New Testament shows that it has not been omitted. If Christians had desired to omit any passage relating to Muhammad, surely on no account would they have left this verse in the Bible, for it is the only one distinctly appealed to in the Qur'an as proving Muhammad's claims. Moreover, everyone of learning among

1 Surah vii. 156. But see Part III, ch. ii, of this Treatise.
2 Surah lxi. 6.