The People of the Book

 

Jews, Christians and Muslims.

According to Mohammad, Jews and Christians are the people of the Book: the Bible. This book, Mohammad uses but changes out of all recognition, doing so on the basis of his revelations and the belief that these scriptures became corrupted. Mohammad’s later revelations found fault with scriptures he had previously endorsed; not what would have been expected from a prophet of God. They did not go about saying I got it wrong, misheard God, but now by further revelation have got it right, so forget what I said and wrote earlier. Its what I am saying now that matters. The objective of those who corrupted the scriptures was presumably to write Allah and Islam’s prophet out of the script. A conspiracy theory without motive or evidence. Mohammad, the Quran and Allah as the God found in the Bible were unknown to the writers of any of these scriptures, and for a very good reason: Islam’s prophet had not been born. The questions therefore arise, when was this corruption done, by whom, and for what purpose, and where is the evidence? Of all the ancient writings of history none have had such a constant history of verification. Archaeologists and scriptural scholars have proved these ancient writings have been passed down through the generations unchanged. If they are in error, it is not because they were corrupted in their written transmission. Jewish scribes are and always have been meticulous in the care and accuracy of copying their sacred texts. Any errors found in the huge quantity of ancient documents available are tiny and insignificant and change nothing of the meaning or narrative.

The Bible is the most validated document in the history of written documents. There can be no doubt concerning the faithful transcription of Scripture. The Jewish scribes were scrupulously meticulous about the copying of their scriptures. Of just the known 6000 Greek New Testament manuscripts, there are at least 2.5 million pages! If you were to include both the Old and New Testaments there are more than 66,000 manuscripts and scrolls. Each of these testify to the historical accuracy and the validity of Scripture!. The method proves the assertion that nothing was more important to scribes than the faithful transmission of the manuscripts being copied.

The procedures were as follows. They could only use clean animal skins as parchment. This both to write on and bind the manuscripts. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines. They must speak out each word aloud as it was written. They must wipe the pen and cleanse their bodies before writing the word Jehovah ( God’s name).They went through this ritual every time they wrote God’s sacred name. Each work was reviewed within a month. The manuscript if it required corrections on three pages was discontinued. The scribe would have to rewrite the entire manuscript. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be all counted. The document was invalidated if two letters touched each other. Even more demanding was that the middle paragraph, word and letter must all correspond to those of the original document. The documents could be stored only in sacred places. As no document containing God’s Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried, in a safe “hiding place.” Synagogues or sometimes in a Jewish cemetery. Or as in the Dead Sea Scrolls, perhaps in extremis, when under threat felt compelled to hide important documents and records including scripture, in dry, remote and hard to access caves.

For scriptures to have been corrupted, as Muhammad claims, there must have been a catastrophic breakdown in the copying procedures: the entire methodology lost. And that, had it happened would have been a story in itself; one almost impossible to have kept secret. And yet for Muhammad’s story to have credibility this must have happened. In which case it was so well kept a secret that the loss of accurate scribal transmission for between hundreds and thousands of years went undiscovered until the advent of the prophet of Islam. A man who according to Islamic teaching could not read, somehow came to read, understand it and expose the errors written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek. Muhammad spoke and wrote, if he did write at all, in Arabic. How then was he able to discern errors written in languages about which he knew little or nothing about? Once again the only answer is by miracles. When you consider he had motive to alter the biblical accounts relating to Abraham and his children and also to Jesus, then cynicism is well justified.

All this is weird enough, but the question why Muhammad would go to such lengths is itself intriguing. I think finding the answer is simple enough. If the Bible remained as it was it could never be any use to him. The problem was he desperately needed it in order to provide a solid  historical foundation for his new religion. Giving it roots as deeply embedded in history as that of the Jews and Christians; making his message and revelations credible those he desired to convert: Jews, Christians and of course pagan Arabs. As a consequence one man rewrites history and enthrones himself under a god seemingly of his own invention. Allah was a name well known to Arabs before Muhammad was born. It being not a special or personal name, but the commonly accepted word used in that region when referring to God. Both Jews and Christians living in Arabia at that time would have have spoken of God as Allah. Christians would have believed Allah was Jesus incarnate, the one true God, and Jews would have called on Allah when speaking of their God. They would have been doing this long before Muhammad was born.

For all these reasons the Quran must be open to serious doubt, particularly in the crucial example concerning the promises of God made to Abraham’s son Isaac. In the Bible emphasis is put on the fact that Isaac’s children inherited the promises of God made to Abraham. Mohammed, on his own authority transfers these blessings and promises made to the Jews, onto the shoulders of the supposed ancestral elder of the Arab nations, Ishmael. This is tantamount to transferring an election result in a democratic country like Britain and donating the position of prime minister to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who at the time of writing is Ali Khamene. And this done on the word of a self-proclaimed prophet of the same tribe as Ali Khamene. Would such a claim be ratified today, and if not, why should it have become so convincing to so many in our day.

The Jews, without whom their priceless book would not have reached the wider world have suffered persecution throughout much of their history. And mostly from Christians and Muslims who claim large parts of their inspiration from the God given Testament put into the hands of the Jewish people. They are the most amazing people on the face of the earth. They have endured and survived through a history unlike any other nation, scattered and hated for no good cause before returning to the land taken from them. May God bless them and keep them safe in these terribly dangerous times. May the Holocaust never be forgotten and the Jews enter into to all the promises written in their Holy Book. May Muslims come to see within their own book, the Quran, the many references within it drawn from the Bible. And may this testimony lead them to the Truth. For as Jesus said, the truth will set you free.

It may be of interest to you to know that historians and biblical scholars have no doubts as to the real events that brought Jesus to his crucifixion. This is not a fiction. Those who vehemently disagree are Muslim clerics and scholars, but they have a good reason for their scepticism. The Quran written over six hundred after these events has Jesus as a central figure. He is the most mentioned person in the Quran by reference; 25 times by the name, as Isa,  48 times, in the first-person 35 times. He is therefore an integral part of Mohammad’s revelation, but not as a crucified and later risen from the dead Lord. That occurrence, if admitted would validate so much of the New Testament and confirm the accuracy and truth of those who wrote the gospels and letters to the churches. Consequently none of this part of the scriptures can be permitted since it would place Jesus so much higher than Muhammad. The testimony of many eye witnesses and accounts written astonishingly close to the actual events proclaimed Jesus as resurrected from the dead and Lord of all, the mighty risen Saviour. Inconceivable if they knew him to be dead and buried.

 

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