The Islamic holy book known as the Koran (or Qur’an) claims to be the final word from God. When reading the Koran, one constantly is reminded that it is not a human product, but (supposedly) is “wholly” inspired of God. In Sura (chapter) 39:1 we read: “This Book is revealed by God, the Mighty, the Wise One.” Sura 55:1 says, “It is the Merciful [God] who has taught the Koran” (parenthetical comment added). Other Suras that use different words to convey a similar idea include 3:7, 41:23, 12:1-2, and 25:6. After reviewing the Koran, however, it becomes clear that it is anything but a “Book revealed by God.”
First, because the Koran is based solely upon what one person (Muhammad) allegedly saw and heard, one cannot help but question its claims of divine origin. [Interestingly, the second Sura in the Koran begins by saying, “This Book is not to be doubted.” Thus, I suppose we are violating one of the first commands in the Koran by asserting that it should be doubted (cf. 1 John 4:1; Matthew 24:24).] According to Islamic tradition, Mohammed, the founder of Islam, received revelations from the angel Gabriel on various occasions over a period of twenty-three years (Geisler and Saleeb, 1993, p. 90; cf. Sura 25:32; 17:106). After each personal encounter with Gabriel, Mohammed allegedly recited the words to scribes (cf. Sura 73:1-7). The Islamic scripture is based entirely upon these private “experiences.” As Kippy Myers noted: “Only one person allegedly saw the angel. Only one person allegedly heard a voice. Only one person allegedly saw the visions. The only way to become a Moslem, then, is to take this one man’s word for it” (1994, p. 11, emp. added).
On the other hand, the Bible is based in history, not in the subjective experience of one individual. About forty different men from various backgrounds wrote the Bible over a period of 1,600 years. It is backed by objective, historical events experienced by thousands of individuals. And many of its places, events, and people can be verified by history. Many biblical places and persons, which for centuries were unknown to secular history (such as the great Hittite nation), now have been discovered. Archaeology, literature, science, and geography confirm its details, and tie it to a reality outside the mind of any single person or any group of people. Indeed, unlike the Koran, the Bible alone rings of authenticity!
Another major problem with the Koran is that it presents the Bible as being ordained and revealed by God (see Suras 5:72; 19:29-30; 21:7; 29:46-47). Normally, someone or something (in the case of the Koran) claiming that the Bible is the inspired Word of God would not be a problem. But, in the Koran’s case, it is a significant problem. Why so? Because the Koran also claims to be from God, and yet it consistently disagrees with the Bible. Notice just three instances where the Koran contradicts the Bible:
* In Sura 20:87, 96 the Koran states that the golden calf that the Israelites worshipped at the foot of Mount Sinai in the days of Moses was made by “the Samaritan.” The city of Samaria, however, was not built until hundreds of years after the death of Moses (see 1 Kings 16:24).
* The Bible indicates that drunkenness is a sinful work of the flesh that will keep a person out of heaven (Galatians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:10). In contrast, the Koran teaches that drunkenness is all right, unless you are praying (see Moffitt, 1992, pp. 6-7).
* Finally, whereas the Koran denies that Jesus ever was crucified (Sura 4:157), the Bible emphatically states numerous times that He was (Matthew 27:34,50; Luke 23:33,46).
Even though the Koran states that it contains no contradictions (Sura 18:1-2), any person seeking the Truth easily can see that it does. In contrast, the Bible is accurate in every way. After 2,000 years of attacks by infidelic scoffers, not one legitimate mistake has been found.
Geisler, Normon L. and Abdul Saleeb (1993), Answering Islam (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books).
Moffitt, Jerry (1992), “The Koran and the Bible—A Striking Contrast,” Firm Foundation, 107:6-7, June.
Myers, Kippy (1994), “Why Christianity? Why the Bible?,” Reason & Revelation, 14:9-14, February.
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