December 18, 2017

The Qur’an: Another Gospel

John C. Vaughn

The Christian doctrines of inspiration and preservation explain the reverence that Bible believers have for the Word of God, but there are also Islamic doctrines of inspiration and preservation that explain the Muslims’ loyalty to the Qur’an. Some unbelievers are quick to argue that the “holy books” of various religions have only subjective value to the adherents of those religions, or even that they are alike. We even hear the claim that the Qur’an is the “Bible” of Islam. The Muslims consider it to be the revealed “Word of Allah” preserved without error in perfect Arabic, but it is so different from the Bible that the only thing they really have in common is that they are both books.

A recent news article reflects the widespread notion that the two are similar.

Like freewheeling fundamentalists of every religious stripe, any Muslim with an agenda now feels free to cite the Qur’an in his support. Osama bin Laden is the most dangerous and obvious example. … It is precisely here that the Bible and the Qur’an find their real kinship. As divine revelation, each book says much more than what a literal reading can possibly capture. To say that God is one, as both the Qur’an and the Bible insist, is also to say that God’s wisdom is unfathomable. As the Prophet himself insisted, God reveals himself through signs whose meanings need to be deciphered. Here it would seem, lie the promising seeds of religious reconciliation. Humility, not bravado, is the universal posture of anyone who dares to plumb the mind of God and seek to do His will.[1]

This position not only is politically correct but reflects the view of the “Muslim as peacemaker” so popular in the media today. Free thinkers welcome the “search for reconciliation” between men of diametrically opposed religions so long as no one brings up the tacky subject of reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ alone. The truth is that the Bible is the direct revelation of the One True God; the Qur’an is the fabrication of a deluded lost man. The story of the Qur’an’s so-called inspiration and preservation is tragic fantasy at best and a Satanic deception at worst. In fact, the so-called “Satanic Verses” make this point precisely.[2]

“The orthodox believe that the original text exists from all eternity, or at least was the earliest creation and is inscribed in the highest heaven upon the ‘well guarded tablet.’”[3] On rare occasions Mohammed said he was actually allowed to see this huge “table” as it was lowered to earth for his inspection.[4] Mohammed, it is claimed, was “divinely inspired” through mechanical dictation[5] from Gabriel during and immediately after his many epileptic seizures or during dreams, or even as he was just thinking about them later. As he variously spoke authoritatively or muttered almost incoherently, scribes would try to capture the prophet’s words on anything handy including “pieces of papyrus, flat stones, palm leaves, shoulder blades and ribs of animals, pieces of leather, wooden boards, and the hearts of men.”[6]

The organizational structure of the Qur’an is as confusing as its content. Arranged in 114 “surahs” according to length, with the longest surahs at the beginning and the shortest at the end, it requires extreme diligence just to read it.[7] Many western scholars who have studied it as literature or for doctrinal analysis comment on the great difficulty they had in reading it. This is explained by the Islamic claim that the perfect Arabic of the Qur’an cannot be translated.[8] But, structure and language alone are not the only problems with this book. It makes claims for itself that are easily shown to be false or inconsistent with its own view of God.[9]

The Qur’an is not a revelation of God’s Person, nor does it claim to be. It is rather the recording of a system of law whereby believers hope to earn paradise. There is no security in this hope since the law is seen as difficult and strict. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam and fatherin- law of Mohammed, said, “If I should have one foot in paradise, I have no assurance that Allah would let me in.”[10] The Muslim does not know much about Allah, except that Allah makes severe demands on him about prayers, cleanliness, pilgrimage, and jihad (holy war). Attorney General John Ashcroft summed it up well when he reportedly said, “In Christianity, God sends His Son to die for you; in Islam, God asks you to send your son to die for Him.”[11]

The preservation of the Qur’an is as incredible as its inspiration. Robert Morey provides a concise summary of the documented examples of problems of preservation, quoting Muslim scholars who admit that “the bark crumbled and the stones were lost,” that camels and goats actually ate some of the leaves on which the prophet’s revelations were written, that reciters who were the only persons capable of remembering certain surahs were killed in battle before their portions could be written down, and that whole sections (some reports say up to one-fourth of the text)[12] were deleted.[13]

The collecting of Mohammed’s writings into a “canon” posed additional problems; with so many conflicting and embarrassing variations in circulation and with the loss of the reciters in battle, Omar ordered Caliph Abu-Bakr to appoint one “Zied” to collect the various artifacts on which the revelation was recorded and to compile a single copy. Later, in the time of Caliph Othman, with so many variant readings in circulation, Zied’s copy, which had been committed to Hafza, the daughter of Omar, was called (seriously) the “authorized version” and was sent to the principal cities with orders that all other copies were to be burned. Thus began the claim that the originally inspired Qur’an as revealed to Mohammed is still in existence, without error, to this day.[14] Further, the Muslims shamelessly defend the glaring contradictions of the Qur’an with the “doctrine of abrogation,” which claims that passages revealed later “abrogate” (cancel or “cast down”) previous revelation, a doctrine not inconsistent with “the expediency [a veiled reference to the sword] which appears to be the salient feature in Mohammed’s prophetical career.”[15]

Muslims claim that the Qur’an is the final revelation of God[16] and is completely consistent with the Old and New Testaments,[17] which it not only is not now, but never has been. The convenient argument of Islam that the Qur’anic quotation of the Testaments is the true and the Jewish and Christian versions have been corrupted[18] flies in the face of the historical and geographical absurdities in the Qur’an[19] and the historical consistency of the text of the Bible and archeology—not to mention the well-documented parallels between the Qur’an’s quotations and the Jewish and Christian heresies known to be widespread in Mohammed’s region and time.[20] Among his wives were one heretical Christian and one heretical Jewish woman. Combined with the demonstration that the Qur’an is written not in a perfect, “heavenly” Arabic,[21] but in the Koresh dialect, from the very tribe of Mohammed’s family, these facts speak for themselves.

What then are we to make of this “Bible of Islam?” Paul said it under true inspiration, preserved for our admonition: “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Cor. 11:4). The book may be revered by millions, but it was not revealed by God.

John Vaughn is the President of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International.

(Originally published in FrontLine • March/April 2002. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)

  1. Kenneth L. Woodward, “The Bible and the Qur’an, Searching the Holy Books for Roots of Conflict and Seeds of Reconciliation,” Newsweek (February 11, 2002), 57. []
  2. In some of his ecstatic revelations, Mohammed was at times self-serving, as in his claim that Allah had expressed his will that Mohammed’s wives stop bickering among themselves, and at other times was so offensive to the Arabians that he was forced to withdraw his revelation. The “Satanic Verses” called for the worship of the three goddesses, daughters of Allah, and were stricken from the revelation. []
  3. Henry Otis Dwight, “Mohammedanism,” The Encyclopedia of Missions, Descriptive, Historical, Biographical, Statistical, ed. Henry Otis Dwight, et al. (New York and London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1904), 489. []
  4. This, among other things, may help to explain why the Black Muslims, a cultic branch of Islam, have succeeded in the use of literature from the Mormon Church to undermine previously held Christian views. []
  5. “The Missionary Message in Relation to Non-Christian Religions,” a report of the World Missionary Conference, 1910, published by Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier (London) and Fleming H. Revell (New York), 145. []
  6. Robert Morey, The Islamic Invasion, Confronting the World’s Fastest Growing Religion (Las Vegas: Christian Scholars Press, 1992), 110; quoting Guillame, Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 57. Morey has a vast array of helpful resources on Islam and the Qur’an (although he is at times somewhat caustic) available from Faith Defenders, P.O. Box 7447, Orange, CA 92863, Ph: 1-800-41- TRUTH or online at []
  7. Thomas Carlyle said, “It is a toilsome reading as I ever undertook, a wearisome, confused jumble, crude, incondite. Nothing but a sense of duty could carry any European through the Koran.” Quoted by H.A.R. Gibb, Mohammedanism, An Historical Survey (London: Oxford University Press, 1953), 57. []
  8. ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali argues that there cannot be a perfect rendition of the meaning of the Qur’an and that it cannot even be translated—in the preface to his English translation of the Qur’an! []
  9. In spite of popular claims to the contrary, Allah is not God; i.e., although Allah is claimed to be the One True God, and the Qur’an is the third and final, therefore explanatory and fulfilling, of three chief revelations (which include the Jewish revelation [the Old Testament], the Christian revelation [the New Testament], and the Muslim revelation [the Qur’an]), neither Allah nor the Qur’an bear any resemblance to Jehovah or His direct revelation to man. Mohammed claimed that the Qur’an was delivered through the mediation of the angel Gabriel since Allah is unknowable and cannot demean himself to make contact with mere man. []
  10. Dave Hunt, “A Moment for Truth,” The Berean Call, October 2001. []
  11. The Courage to Tell the Truth,” Posted: February 18, 2002, 1:00 a.m. Eastern, ©2002 []
  12. The Shiites claim that “Othman struck out ten sections, or one-fourth part of the whole.” John M’Clintock and James Strong, “Koran,” Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, ed. John M’Clintock and James Strong (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1894), V:152. []
  13. Morey, pp. 111ff. []
  14. For further study, see M’Clintock and Strong, 152; Dwight, et al., 489; Gibb, 50; and Thomas Patrick Hughes, “Inspiration,” Dictionary of Islam, particularly the 1999 reprint of the 1885 edition. []
  15. Hughes, “The Abrogation of Passages in the Qur’an,” 519. []
  16. M’Clintock and Strong, 153. []
  17. Hughes, “Holy Scripture,” 566. []
  18. “The Missionary Message in Relation to Non-Christian Religions,” a report of the World Missionary Conference, 1910, published by Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier (London) and Fleming H. Revell (New York), 145, exposes claims that discrepancies represent “falsification of the original text.” For a revealing discussion of this claim, see E. M. Wherry, Islam and Christianity in India and the Far East: The Student Lectures on Missions at Princeton Theological Seminary for 1906-1907 (New York: The Young People’s Missionary Movement), 195-97. []
  19. Samuel Marinus Zwemer, “The Battle of the Books,” The Cross Above the Crescent (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1941), 218. []
  20. Samuel Macauley Jackson, et al., “Mohammed,” The New Schaff- Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, ed. Samuel Macauley Jackson, Carles Colebrook Sherman, and George William Gilmore (New York: Funk and Wagnalls Company), VII: 438-39. []
  21. Hughes, “The Reputed Excellence of the Qur’an, and Its Miraculous Character,” 521. Also, consider the frequent use of non-Arabic words and borrowed proverbial sayings in other languages. []

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