The Bible is a compilation of 66 separate written works penned by men over a period of approximately 1550 years. While the Bible itself states that men wrote the books of the Bible, each writer did so under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“…no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:17
From the third chapter of Genesis through the final chapter of Revelation, the Bible presents a seamless plan of redemption from the power of sin to the satisfaction of the righteousness required of a Holy and just God.
The Bible is very clear that such redemption is a gift offered by God. To attain the required righteousness of God can only be accomplished by an act of God Himself.
The initial books of the Bible were written approximately 1450 BC and the final book was written approximately 95 AD. From the early books of the Bible to the final book, warnings are given not to add to or subtract from God’s inspired word.
“Every word of God is pure…Do not add to His words, Lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6
And then Jesus Himself confirmed the warning in the final verses of the Revelation.
“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…” Revelation 22:18-19
Christians and Jews alike accepted the scriptures as the true, complete, inerrant word of God. When it is said that the Bible is the complete word of God, it means everything a man needs to know about attaining God’s righteousness is contained therein. Recall from the first verse cited above “…that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped…”
Imagine the surprise to the Christian and Jewish communities when more than 500 years after the Bible was completed Mohammed announced he had received a revised word from Allah through the angel Gabriel. Much of the surprise was due to Mohammed’s ancestry because he was a descendant of Ishmael. History reveals that while much of the Koran was based on Biblical teachings, much of it was not. Differences between the Bible and Koran were required to accommodate the new revelations that Mohammed said he received from Allah. Mohammed stated that because the Bible had been corrupted it needed to be replaced with the real truth that Allah chose to share with him at the appointed time in history. Islamists say the contents of the Koran were given to Mohammed during the last 23 years of his life.
Mohammed said the Koran was the last word from Allah to man before the judgment and that he was the last and greatest of the six Major Prophets namely Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and himself.
There are six major religious articles, called Pillars of Iman that summarize the religious aspects of Islam.
1) Belief in God. That God (Allah) is one is stressed throughout Islamic teachings to the extent that the Trinity is rejected. Much more will be said about this in future columns.
2) Belief in angels. Islam recognizes Michael and Gabriel and many more that are not mentioned in the Bible.
3) Belief in Books. The books referred to include, for example, the Pentateuch, Psalms, and the Gospels but as stated above these books are believed by Islam to have been highly corrupted by Jews and Christians.
4) Belief in prophets. As stated above Mohammed is said to be the final prophet of Allah.
5) Belief in the resurrection (this does not refer to the resurrection of Jesus) and the Day of Judgment. Islam teaches that all men will be raised on judgment day to give an account of their life. Their actions during their life determine their eternal destiny.
6) Belief in predestination of both good and evil.
In summary, Muslims believe the Bible had been corrupted, was no longer reliable, and thus superseded by the Koran. Just as Muslims have the right to believe the Bible has been corrupted by Christians and Jews, Christians and Jews have the right to question the claims of Islam that demean the Bible. An argument offered by Christians and Jews is that the Bible was completed 500 years before Mohammed said he received the Koran. The Bible hadn’t changed, how could it have become corrupted? Could it be that Mohammed’s ‘revelations’ from Allah through Gabriel were actually different than the well established Bible? We’ll also examine that issue in future columns in this series.
For additional enlightenment, Google ‘Islam’s Pillars of Iman.’