Between Allah & Jesus: What Christians Can Learn from Muslims
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Old Password. New Password. Second, the Peshitta version not only consisted of all the books common to the Hebrew Old Testament canon along with several apocryphal works ; it also contained 22 books from the New Testament canon. Due to the faithfulness of those who translated it from Greek into Syriac, anyone familiar with the former would have a good idea of what went into the latter. Such fidelity leads to the important third reason, namely the natural rebuttal of some modern-day Muslim apologists who argue that what can be known about the Torah and the gospel is something wholly other than what Muhammad knew about them in his day.
If it is true that the Peshitta is as well attested and preserved as is contended, then what the Syrian Christian Church knew about the gospel in the 6th and 7th centuries of Muhammad's earthly existence is exactly what biblical Christians know about it today. It is not something wholly other that the Muslim apologist wishes everyone to believe. Ramifications for acknowledging Muhammad's available 'Revelation'.
Since the Syriac Peshitta was most likely the Bible version that Muhammad alluded to in Surahs , , ; , ; , et cetera, then there are several ramifications for acknowledging it as such. We know its content and that content has not been 'corrupted'.
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Any prophecies projected about the 'prophet' Muhammad would be dubious at best. The requirement that Muslims must read the Bible would be faulty. Finally, knowledge about the persons of Jesus and God would be absent. Each of these effects will now be investigated one-by-one to judge their validity and gravity. The claim for corrupt versions of the Bible.
The Bible has not been changed, nor has it been 'corrupted', in other words, if the Peshitta is the highlighted 'revelation' behind Muhammad's assertion. Many of the later Muslim apologists repeatedly assert just how corrupted or tainted any current revelation is by comparing it with the 'original text'. Nevertheless, the Syriac Peshitta is nothing more than a copy, written in another language and handed down with 'remarkable fidelity' Metzger to Syriac-speaking Christians in the proclamation of their messages.
What can be known from the contents of both the Old and New Testament is the same information as that which was known by both the Jews and Christians for hundreds of years leading up to the development of the Peshitta. Arguments raised by Muslim spokesmen such as Ajijola who speak of believing in the Torah, Psalms of David and the gospel, but yet denigrate them, because they supposedly do not share the 'original form', is misleading if not untrue.
Even though Muhammad could not read the Peshitta himself, its contents is essentially the same as that found in the LXX and the Greek text from which the Peshitta was translated. Again, please note Sir Frederick Kenyon's comments above in respect to biblical and textual integrity and credibility see above under the heading titled 'A brief history of the biblical canon'.
As long as the Muslims choose to exalt any other non-biblical revelation or to align themselves with the 'People of the Book', there must be a consistency in those revelations and Muslim behaviour that honours and not demeans both the Jews and Christians. The Peshitta was 'the Book' those people were using at the time they made progress in Arabia - both prior to and during Muhammad's reign.
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No longer can the Muslims accuse the Jews of changing Surah or perverting Surah God's revelation, or speciously writing it with their own hands Surah , and not further accuse God of impotence over what he has revealed. Muslims cannot call the Jews or Christians 'losers' Surah or encourage others not to befriend them Surah ; They certainly must end their campaign of jihad against them so as to oppress them until they are either killed or 'feel subdued' Surah , 73, ; In other words, the Muslims must 'believe the Revelation', as Muhammad claimed he did that would involve any reputable version after the order of the Peshitta or the texts upon which it was based, if they are to be consistent in their claim of following the one true religion.
Prophesying the coming of Muhammad. A second ramification of accepting the Syriac Peshitta as the Bible version available to Muhammad, alluded to as a previous 'Revelation' leading up to the Qur'an, is the disavowal that Muhammad was forecasted as the successor to Jesus as a 'prophet of God'.
It is not uncommon that non-Christian religious followers, and even many who claim to be Christian, wish to exalt their religious leaders to a special status in God's economy. Typically, this status takes the form of some kind of prophet, seer or revelator. The basis for such exaltation is usually the product of biblical manipulation through poor exegesis of the biblical text coupled with a misapplication based on faulty hermeneutical principles. When the exegesis more properly eisogesis and interpretation are found to be wanting, the critic is either attacked personally - the biblical text is demeaned as somehow missing a plain and precious truth - or the Bible is assumed to have been tampered with somehow.
All of that must be denounced when it becomes clear that what Muhammad accepted as the Bible version of his day is the same one used by the Jews and Christians prior to their entrance into the Hijaz. Khurshid Ahmad serves as a classic example of a Muslim who believes that the Bible has something to say about Muhammad's revelation that is exegetically untenable.
In his explanation on how the Qur'an influenced human history, he wrote:. In Islam religion has been perfected. That is another way of saying that with Islam the age of new revelation has come to a close, and that the age of realization of the principles revealed religion has been inaugurated.
That is why in all the earlier scriptures references are to be found to the advent of the Prophet of Islam. Students of the Bible, for instance, know that Jesus had said: 'I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now … He will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but of whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak' Jn A careful examination of the reference Ahmad provides as his proof text to validate Muhammad's prophethood, reveals that not only is Muhammad not being spoken about by Jesus, but the modus operandi Ahmad used to mislead the reader.
Nobody should unjustly cite the Bible to his or her own advantage - especially, if his or her own prophet has such a high esteem for the Bible. Ahmad simply excised the passage to exclude any mention of 'the Spirit of truth' in John that Jesus mentioned previously in John's Gospel as the one whom both he and the Father would send as another Paraclete John , Anyone practicing careful exegesis and proper hermeneutical skill would not only see Muhammad's absence, but upon examining the world of Islamic history and doctrine would note that whatever prophetic status he might have, it is different from those who are recognised as biblical prophets.
What do Muslims think of Jesus?
Inconsistency in the Muslim's acceptance of divine revelation. Given that the Syriac Peshitta was the biblical version that Muhammad sanctioned while he was alive, it follows that this version or any one of a number of other similar versions, should be 'required' reading for earlier and present day Muslims. Accordingly, the Bible should form the basis for Muslim belief and doctrine, which would include that found in the book Muslims believe, came straight from heaven, namely the Qur'an.
There should be no variance, because God would be the author of both. Any progressive revelation would dovetail with previous revelations with the ultimate object of all revelation being the person of Jesus Christ Lk ; Jn ; 2 Tm ; Heb ; Rv That is not the case for the Muslims, however, as they reject, except piecemeal, anything the Bible has to say, especially when it contradicts their own presuppositions.
Therefore, the conclusion can be made that today's Muslims are at variance with what Muhammad thought about the Bible in Surah , , , et cetera. If the Muslims reject the Peshitta, as well as any other textual revelation that serves as the basis upon which various Bible translations and versions are created, the mandate that stipulates belief in the Bible is without any authority to enforce it.
To state as much as M. Ali did, namely that the Muslims are 'required to believe' in all the books of God, would be basically meaningless. If it is assumed the Qur'an serves as a corrector or surrogate for the Bible,it once again implies that God is impotent in preserving his previously transmitted revelation s. Fallen humanity is capable of doing in the reverse what God is incapable of doing initially. Man's sinful will is more decisive than God's holy will. Furthermore, it assumes that God is mutable.
In the Qur'an's case, it would project that God somehow garnered more power, will and control over that revelation than over previous revelations. That, however, would contradict Qur'anic revelation that God was immutable , which would, in turn, negate that he was self-sufficient ; and unified see Hakim as the one being representative of deity. The only possible way for the requirement to believe in previous revelations to mean anything is for those revelations currently to exist and that there is access to those revelations to be read.
Because, according to the Muslims those revelations do not exist except in alleged corrupted or tainted forms, the mandate to believe means nothing in modern-day parlance that also nullifies the words found in the Qur'an - Allah's most perfect book.
The best and only historical document that speaks of the life of Jesus is found in the Bible and that in an extremely abbreviated account. Aside from a short birth narrative, coupled with the last three and a half years of his life that is mainly focused on the Passion Week, what we know about the person of Jesus is found in the New Testament and nowhere else. The Qur'an's recollection is highly polemical and proffers nothing of biographical value regarding the historical Jesus. In fact, in the instance of the Qur'an, Muhammad's 'revelation' seems more interested in arguing with those with whom Muhammad is contending, and that with a 'distinctive prophetology' in mind, than providing any kind of real historical recollection.
In other words, in the Qur'an, Jesus ends up being nothing more than an ordinary man Surah ; , 8 who only came to seek and save one faction of the human race Surah ; Ali and never dies for anyone Surah ; , while Muhammad is viewed as Jesus' superior, who came to comfort all humans Surah ; cf. Ali , n. Without God's revelation, there can be no knowledge of him either. It is why the followers of Muhammad would record him saying that:. It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills: for He is most high, most wise.
Unfortunately, the Muslims deny the continuing existence of previous revelation in the form of the Bible.