A discussion about the version of the Bible available to Muhammad
Stoker, Hendrik G.
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It is a mandate that all Muslims believe in all previous revelations given by God along with the Qur'an (Surah 2:4). Relative to discussions with Christians, Muslims are required to believe the Bible. Some Muslim apologists today contend that the Bible has been 'corrupted' or tainted through the infusion of faulty doctrines and the exclusion of valuable texts that support Islamic ideas by dubious scribes and malicious copyists. According to them there is no way of knowing what was in the 'original text' of the Bible. This article offers both a response to the Muslim apologist arguments regarding biblical integrity and trustworthiness as well as explains that what Muhammad knew as the Bible through the Syriac Peshitta is essentially the same in biblical content as what most reputable Bible versions contain today. Through the efforts of labour intensive manuscript discovery and exhaustive textual criticism, both Christians and Muslims can know with precision what the early writers of both the Old and New Testament wrote as 'inspired' Scripture. In order for the Muslim to be consistent in following the mandate to believe all the books previously given by God as well as the Qur'an, he must believe the Syriac Peshitta, or a Bible version that is a comparable translation, in order for the Muslim mandate to make sense. Such a concession, however, places the Muslim in an extremely difficult position that needs to be discussed between Christians and Muslims if they both wish and desire to be thought of as worshiping the one true God.
- Faculty of Theology