Islamic view of the Christian Bible

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The Islamic view of the Christian Bible, which Christians hold to be revelations from God, is based on the belief that the Qur'an says that parts of Bible are a revelation from Allah (God), but believe that some of it has become distorted or corrupted (tahrif), and that a lot of text has been added which was not part of the revelation.[1] Muslims believe the Qur'an, which Muslims hold to be a revelation to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, was given as a remedy and that it identifies three sets of books from the Bible as genuine divine revelation given to trusted messengers: the Tawrat (Torah) given to Musa (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) given to Daud (David) and the Injil (Gospel) given to Isa (Jesus). They believe that the Qur'an, these books, and the Suhuf Ibrahim ("Scrolls of Abraham", which they believe is currently lost)[citation needed] together constitute Islam's scripture. Belief that this scripture is divinely inspired is one of Islam's fundamental tenets, and traditional Muslim teaching stresses those passages in the Qur'an which affirm the Christian Gospel and the Hebrew Torah as valid revelations of God and paths to salvation.

Early Muslims have historically held multiple perspectives in regard to the Bible.

Islamic view of the Torah (Tawrat)[edit]

The Qur'an mentions the word Torah eighteen times and confirms that it was The Word Of God. However, they believe that there have been additions and subtractions made to the Torah. The early Qu'ran exeget Tabari referred to the Torah from the Jewish as "the Torah that they possess today".[2]

Islamic view of the Book of Psalms (Zabur)[edit]

Sura An-Nisa 4:163 of the Qur'an states "and to David We gave the Psalms".[3] Therefore, Islam claims the Psalms as being inspired of God. The Qur'an mentions the word Zabur three times.[4]

Islamic view of the Gospel (Injil)[edit]

When the Qur'an speaks of the Gospel, it is believed to refer to an original divine revelation from Jesus Christ. The canonical Gospels from the bible are commonly assumed not to be the original teachings of Jesus or were corrupted over time. Some scholars suggested the original Gospel may be the Gospel of Barnabas.[5]

Muhammad and the Bible[edit]

Certain passages in the Bible have been interpreted by some Islamic scholars as prophetic references to Muhammad,[6] such as Deuteronomy 18:15–22.[7] Verse 15 says: "...a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me;..."

Though Muhammad was not an Israelite, according to Islamic tradition, he was a descendant of Ishmael and therefore traced his descent back to Abraham, like the Israelites.

Mention of Parakletos (English translation commonly "Comforter") in John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7 and 18:36 have been taken to be prophetic references to Muhammad by Muslims.[8] Christian scholars, on the other hand, interpret Parakletos as the Holy Spirit.[6]

Similarly, the Spirit of truth mentioned in John 16:12–14 has been claimed by some Muslims as a prophetic reference to Muhammad,[6][9] though Christians consider it another reference to the Holy Spirit.

Qur'anic references to other persons in the Bible[edit]

Some of the people found in both the Qur'an and the Bible include: Aaron, Abel, Abraham, Adam, Cain, David, the disciples of Jesus, Elias, Elisha, Enoch, Eve, Ezra, Goliath, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Jesus, John the Baptist, Jonah, Joseph, Lot, Mary, Moses, Noah, the Pharaohs of Egypt, Samuel, Saul, Solomon, and Zacharias.[10]

Christian apologetics[edit]

John Wijngaards and other Christian apologists reject Qur'anic arguments that imply the typical Muslim view of "at-tahrif al-lahzi" (corruption of the text). They argue that early Muslim commentators held a more positive view of the Christian Bible and believe that the idea that the original text of the Bible was irrecoverable originated with Ibn Hazm, often written "Ibn Khazem".[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (1998-05-26). "Corruption of the Tawraat (Torah) and Injeel (Gospel)".
  2. ^ Camilla Adang. Muslim Writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: From Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm. BRILL, 1996. ISBN 978-9-004-10034-3. page 231.
  3. ^ Quran 4:163
  4. ^ Quran 17:55, Quran 21:105
  5. ^ Oliver Leaman The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia Taylor & Francis 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-32639-1 page 298
  6. ^ a b c Abdus Sattar Ghauri (September 2006). "Muhammad foretold in the Bible: An Introduction" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Renaissance 16 (9). ISSN 1606-9382.
  7. ^ Deuteronomy 18:15-22
  8. ^ John 14:16, 15:26, 16:7, 15:12
  9. ^ John 16:12–14
  10. ^ The Koran, N. J. Dawood, Penguin Classics, London, 1999 Index ISBN 0-14-044558-7.
  11. ^ Wijngaards, Hans (1985). Can we trust the Gospels?. 192 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1: Catholic Truth Society. ISBN 0-85183-614-3. Retrieved 10 May 2015.