We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching
the Bible and understanding our time in
the light of Bible prophecy
Bible or Koran?
Which has the authentic record?
‘Why should I believe that someone who lived 600 years after the event and hundreds
of miles away from where it happened had the authentic record rather than those who
were eye witnesses?’ This was a question I posed to a Muslim who claimed that the
Koran not the New Testament is the accurate account of what happened in the life
of Jesus. His response was that the Christians (and the Jews) have ‘changed the books’
of the Bible. So I asked him, ‘Did they change the books before Mohammed or after
Mohammed?’ He was reluctant to answer this question because either way it raises
big problems for Muslims.
Obviously they could not have been changed after Mohammed since there are around
5,300 manuscripts of the whole or part of the Greek text of the New Testament pre-dating
Mohammed still in existence, including the Codex Vaticanus (325-350 AD) located in
the Vatican library and the Codex Siniaticus (350 AD) located in the British Museum.
There are also quotations in the works of early Christian writers which are ‘so extensive
that the New Testament could virtually be reconstructed from them without the New
Testament documents’ (Josh McDowell ‘Evidence that demands a Verdict’). The Dead
Sea Scrolls dated around 125 BC have bought to light manuscripts of the Old Testament
books including the complete text of Isaiah. The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew
text into Greek in around 165 BC also confirms the fact that there has been no change
to the text of the Old Testament since that time.
So if the books were changed they had to be changed before Mohammed. This also presents
a major problem for Muslims. If the Koran really is the accurate record of events
communicated by Allah to Mohammed via the Angel Gabriel, surely this vital piece
of information would have been communicated to Mohammed – i.e. somewhere in the Koran
it would be written that the Jews and the Christians have a false record of events
but this is the true one. In fact there is nothing in the Koran saying this but there
are verses saying the opposite, speaking highly of the Bible and advising Muslims
to learn from Jews and Christians:
‘And if thou (Mohammed) art in doubt concerning that which we reveal unto thee, then
question those who read the scripture that was before thee’ (i.e. the Bible). Sura
(chapter) 10.95. ‘O ye people of the book! Ye are not grounded on anything until
ye observe the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel) and that which has been revealed
unto you from your Lord.’ Sura 5.68.
When one reads the Bible and the Koran side by side it is clear that both cannot
be true since they contradict each other on vital issues concerning the faith. On
a superficial level there are some similarities in the portrait of Jesus in the Koran
and the New Testament – both say he was born to a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed
miracles. Muslims also believe that Jesus will come again to the earth. But on close
examination it is clear that the Koran is speaking of ‘another Jesus’ who in essence
is entirely different from the Lord Jesus revealed in the New Testament.
The Islamic Jesus is a created being: ‘The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that
of Adam: he created him from dust, then said to him, ‘Be’: and he was.’ Koran: Sura
3:59. In the Bible Jesus is revealed as an eternal being who said of himself, ‘Before
Abraham was I am’ (John 8.58). He is the creator not a created being: ‘All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’. John 1:3.
The Islamic Jesus was never crucified and therefore did not rise from the dead: ‘And
because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Jesus, son of Maryam (Mary),
the Messenger of Allah,’ — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared
so to them the resemblance of Jesus was put over another man (and they killed that
man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge,
they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not: But Allah raised
him up unto Himself (and he is in the heavens). And Allah is ever all powerful, all
wise’ (al-Nisaa’ 4:157-158).
This rips out the very heart of the message of the Gospel and contradicts everything
that the New Testament teaches about Jesus. ‘For I delivered to you first of all
that which I also received; that Christ (Messiah) died for our sins according to
the scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again on the third day according
to the scriptures. … And if Messiah is not risen, then is our preaching vain, and
your faith is also vain’. I Corinthians 15:3-4,14.
The Islamic Jesus is not God in the flesh, in fact anyone who believes that God is
three in one will be thrown into hell according to the Koran. ‘Surely, disbelievers
are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).’ But there is
no AIlah (god) but One AIlah. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a
painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them’. [al-Maa’idah 5:73].
Other verses in the Koran – Maryam 19.34-38 and 88-93 – speak of judgement coming
on those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Yet the Bible clearly reveals Jesus as the Son of God in whose name we have eternal
salvation and life: ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth’.
John 1;14 ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. John 3:16
The Islamic Jesus is simply another prophet: ‘Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets
from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them’: Surah 2.136,
2.84. The New Testament teaches that Jesus is entirely different from the prophets
and is above them all: ‘Therefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name
which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow … and
that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the
Father.’ Philippians 2.9-11
Muslims have a number of beliefs about the second coming of Jesus based on the Hadith
(traditions) rather than the Koran. They believe he will come back as ‘a man of medium
height, reddish hair, wearing two light yellow garments’ (Sunan Abu Dawud Book 37,
Number 4310); that he will land on the minaret of the mosque in Damascus when he
will invite the whole world, including Jews and Christians, to become Muslims (Hadith
814). He will then destroy the Dajjal (Antichrist) and ‘kill all pigs and break all
crosses’, confirming Islam as the only true religion. He will then live for 40 years,
marry and have children and perform the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca. Then he will
die and be buried beside the grave of Mohammed.
All of this entirely contradicts what the Bible tells us about the second coming
of Jesus, when he returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all the power of
God at his disposal to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem in order to set up his
1000 year reign of peace and justice on the earth prior to the eternal state in which
he is glorified and worshipped for eternity (see Zechariah 12-14, Revelation 19-21).
(Information on the Islamic Jesus from an article by James Sundquist, ‘Islamic Jesus
versus Biblical Jesus’).
Where did Mohammed get his inspiration from?
All of the differences pointed to above show that behind the Koran is a spirit which
denies the identity of the Lord Jesus as revealed in the New Testament. Within the
New Testament this spirit is defined for us as the spirit of antichrist. In 1 John
2.19 we read concerning the spirit of antichrist: ‘They went out from us, but they
were not of us; for if they had been of us they would have continued with us; but
they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.’ Islam
came out of a form of corrupted Christianity but did not continue in the teachings
of the Apostles and therefore created an antichristian religion.
1 John 2.22-23 says: ‘Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah)?
He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not
have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.’ So denial
of the Son means you do not have the Father either.
It is interesting to note that in the Koran there are references which suggest that
Mohammed had contact with corrupted forms of Christianity. In Sura Al-Maida 116-117
Allah questions Jesus, saying, ‘Did you say unto men, Take me and my mother as gods
apart from God?’ Of course nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus or any of the
Apostles say that Mary should be taken as a goddess or worshipped as the ‘mother
of God’, but by the time of Mohammed corrupted Christianity had done just that. The
Koran also contains the story of Jesus as a child making clay birds and imparting
life to them. This is nowhere in the New Testament, but it is in the ‘Infancy Gospel
of Thomas’. This is one of many writings rejected by the early church, but believed
by a number of heretical Gnostic groups. The fact that this story is contained in
the Koran suggests Mohammed had contact with such groups.
Interestingly the Koran also contains material relating to the Old Testament which
is not found in the Bible, but which is found in the Jewish Talmud, including the
story that the Golden Calf made a roaring sound when it was completed and that Solomon
knew the language of birds. This suggests that he had contact with Jewish groups
who familiarised him with parts of the Talmud.
Of course Muslims deny that there was any human influence on the writing of the Koran
and that it came entirely by revelation of the Angel Gabriel to a man who could neither
read nor write. If this is so they have a problem because Gabriel revealed things
which are clearly wrong. For example in Sura 19.28-29 Mary the mother of Jesus is
designated as ‘sister of Aaron’ and in Sura 66.12 as ‘daughter of Imran’. Imran is
an Arabic form of the Hebrew Amram, who was the father of ‘Aaron, Moses and Miriam’
(Numbers 26.59). The title sister of Aaron is given to Miriam in Exodus 15.20. Therefore
not only was the mother of Jesus a virgin, she was also about 1500 years old! Some
Muslim writers have attempted to explain this by saying that Miriam was miraculously
preserved alive, purposely to become the mother of Jesus, quoting a Jewish tradition
that the angel of death did not have power over Miriam (sister of Moses and Aaron).
A more likely explanation is that Mohammed simply confused the identity of these
two women whose names in Hebrew (Miriam) and Arabic (Maryam) are the same. If so
this puts into question the divine inspiration of his writing.
Concerning the inspiration of the Koran and Mohammed’s supposed encounter with the
Angel Gabriel, there is an interesting record in the Koran itself of how the people
of Mecca responded to Mohammed before they believed in him. This is a quotation from
a booklet entitled ‘The Occult in Islam’ by Abd al-Masih (Light of Life, PO Box 13,
A-9503 Villach, Austria):
‘They considered him to be a disturbed man and called him ‘madjnun’ (‘a possessed
one’) who behaved very unnaturally when he received his revelations (Suras ‘The Rangers
37.35, Smoke 44.13, The Mount 52.29, The Pen 68.2, The Darkening 81.22). Some of
his neighbours feared him and whispered that he was a ‘sahir’ (magician) dealing
with witchcraft and influencing people to follow him by his fascinating lies (Suras
Jonah 10.2, El-Hijr 15.16, Sad 38.3).’
‘Ibn Hisham one of the early biographers of Mohammed confirms in his book that these
accusations were continually used by the people of Mecca before they surrendered
to Islam when forced to do so. Mohammed, when asked by his followers about his meetings
with the Angel Gabriel, answered several times: ‘When he approaches me, I hear the
sound of a ringing bell or banging metal. Then I step quickly down from my horse
or camel and cover my head. He then presses so hard on me that I think I will die.
When he speaks I can never forget his words which I reveal unto you.’ During the
revelations his followers witnessed that his face became pale or red, his lips moved
silently and he sometimes became unconscious.’
This testimony from within Islam itself puts into question the source of Mohammed’s
inspiration. While there are accusations of madness made by the opposition against
Jesus and against Paul in the New Testament (Mark 3.21, John 10.20, Acts 26.24) in
each case this is because of the claims they made, not because of strange or unnatural
behaviour. In 2 Timothy 1.7 we read, ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but
of power and of love and of a sound mind’.
The conclusion which the writer of the pamphlet ‘The Occult in Islam’ comes to is
this: ‘Even though Muslims insist that Mohammed received revelations from God, we
must state that the voices which Mohammed claimed to have heard were not real inspiration.
The Father of our Lord Jesus would never have sent the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed
in Mecca 600 years after the birth of Christ to prove to him that he, God has no
Son. It is written in the Koran more than twenty times that God has no Son. As long
as Muslims claim that these verses were divinely inspired we must say, ‘No!’ These
voices did not come from the true God, but originated from an evil spirit who misused
the Arabic name of God. As long as Muslims insist that Jesus was not crucified and
did not really die on the cross, we must again affirm that it was not God who revealed
these verses to Mohammed.’
The true God loves all human beings including Muslims and is calling us all to repent
and believe the Gospel, that Jesus is the Messiah, God manifested in the flesh, who
died for our sins and rose again from the dead and is coming again in power and glory
to judge the whole world according to our response to his message.