Corruption of Bible and Qur'an?

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Jochen Katz

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Feb 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/25/96
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Answering to sfar...@nyx.cs.du.edu (Suhail Farooqui)
Subject: Re: Is Muhammad predicted in the Bible?
Date: Fri Jan 26 21:50:59 EST 1996

who wrote:

In article <4dbovr$s...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>, rga...@quapaw.astate.edu
(RayBoy) wrote:

]Statements to the effect that the Injeel has been corruped should
]be accompanied by proof.

I agree.

] When was it corrupted ?

However, one does not have to know when it was corrupted
in order to prove that it was corrupted.

Jochen:

That is true. But you have to give at least some credible evidence for it.
If not for the time, then for the place, or for the change of content or for
something of the corruption.

The Muslim theory of the corruption of the Bible is lacking all of that.

It is similar to the procedure if I were to accuse you of adultery.

I am not going to tell you when, where, with whom, why, who observed you,
or anything that would substantiate my claim. I just say, you have
committed adultery and you are definitely guilty until proven innocent.

Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need
for us to substantiate this accusation. You have to proof that you didn't
do it. But how can we prove we did not if you don't even give us any
evidence to disprove? Do you need witnesses and evidence in an Islamic
court case? Or are people judged guilty just because a Muslim says the
other one has done this and that though he is not giving any evidence?

If I don't tell you where and when you committed your adultary you have
no chance to clear yourself from the charges. If I nail down the time,
place and person, you could come back and show evidence that at this time
you were somewhere else doing this and that. But as long as I don't give
details you cannot defend yourself at all. Therefore no court in the world
based on any law will judge you guilty just because I accuse you.

Why do Muslims think there needs to be no evidence for the corruption of
the scriptures but they can slander God's word and those who follow it
with the charges of adulteration?

] Mohammed(pbuh) was referring to the
]Ingeel of his time (600 A.D round figure). But copies exist from before
]600 that are the same as copies today. So when could it have been
]corrupted ?


The Qur'an alleges that the scriptures that the People of the
Book had were seriously flawed. In the second Surah it says

"Woe be unto those who write the book with their
own hands and then claim that it is from God ..."

First, IF the Qur'an would say it, that is not an argument for non-Muslims,
since they don't believe the Qur'an to be the truth anyway. If you want to
argue on this basis then you may just as well forget it.

You say the Bible is false because the Qur'an says so, I say the Qur'an
is false because it contradicts the Bible. So let's go home and not
bother arguing since we won't get anywhere with such an approach.

BUT: Your argument isn't even correct.
The Qur'an does NOT say that the Christian scriptures are corrupted.
Please read the above reference in context. And read what you can find
to this very topic at

http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/Campbell/section_2_chap_I.html

which list ALL Qur'anic verses mentioning the Jewish and Christian
scriptures and NONE of them speaks of textual corruption. I gave this
challenge already a number of times on this newsgroup to find me even
one verse in the Qur'an that clearly says our scriptures are TEXTUALLY
corrupted. I never got a response to that.

Second, I can write you a corrupted Qur'an if you want. Believe me,
that is easy. And as to your opinion [probably] there even exists a
corrupted/changed Qur'an today. The translation of Rashid Khalifa does
not contain those contended two verses. So it is a changed Qur'an [from
what most other Muslims believe to be the Qur'an] and it is not even
only one who wrote it with his hands, but it is printed and distributed
in thousands of copies.

You definitely will say
"So what? We still have the authentic Qur'an and someone changing it
does not affect the community of true Muslims, and the true Muslims
don't let them get away with their changes. The true Muslim will protest
and expose the fraud."

And you are exactly right to say so. But do you see that the same will
hold for the Christians? Let's for the sake of argument assume, that
there were some people in Arabia at the time of Muhammad who did pass
of as scripture which they have invented themselves.
So what? Why should any of the Churches in Rome, Antioch, Alexandria,
Spain, Greece etc even care that some Arab people try to make personal
gain by selling some self invented scripture? Have their manuscripts been
affected by it? Not the least bit. Yes, it is known that in Church history
many people have tried to fiddle with the Scriptures and try it make say
what they wanted, but the true Christian has always checked it against
the authoritative word he was taught and has exposed the fraud.

And from all the [thousands of] manuscripts from different parts of the
world we know that our Bible today is the same Bible that was originally.

It is established by the science of textual criticism that our Bible
today is authentic. There can be no doubt about it.

Whether it is authentic truth or authentic falsehood is a separate
question. [And one you will have to ask about the Qur'an too!]
But the Qur'an says that the Torah and Injil are from God, so the Qur'an
itself authenticates the Bible. How dare you then charge it with corruption
without presenting the least evidence that there ever was a different one?

Besides, there is no complete continuity of the texts
even from 7th century of the Christian Era.

What do you mean? Anything else besides your next sentence?

I think it is
sufficient proof that there are seven books that are considered
as "Apocrypha" by the Protestants whereas the Catholic Church
regards it Word of God.

Regards,

--Suhail

It is true that the Catholic Bibles include 7 more books than the Protestant
ones. But so what? The 66 books we have in common are all textually identical.
In a way this thing is similar to the Muslims who squabble about the acceptance
of the Hadiths. Some say you have to accept them [or most of them] as binding
rules of behaviour, others say "trash them all". In a similar way, the
Catholics and Protestants are not of the same opinion on the validity these
7 books and if they should be considered part of the binding canon of scripture.

But there is no difference in TEXT between any Bibles. And that is what the
corruption theory is about. The 'extra books' do not apply as argument since
this is not about textual differences of original and corruption. Even the
extra books are "uncorrupted" if you want. But they are not universally
"accepted" as scripture. But no Protestant charges the Catholics of corruption
on the basis of that, or vice versa

The closest parallel might be the hadith qudsi [spelling?] 'words of God'
which didn't make it in the Qur'an. Some say they are "word of God"
nevertheless others say 'forget them'.

I hope that clears up some misunderstandings in this respect.

Warm regards

Jochen Katz Email: jk...@math.gatech.edu
Webpage "Christian Answers to Islam":
http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/

P.S. Muslims aren't even only fighting about whether to accept the
Hadiths or not, there is a vocal group which you might call the
"Qur'an only minus two verses"-ites who even question that the Qur'an
used by the other Muslims is the correct one. According to them, the
Qur'an is too big. [Like what Protestants may say about the too big
Catholic Bible.] And I hope you agree that this is a qualitative question.
Whether one vers, or one long Surah is immaterial. The question is, whether
it is corrupted or not. And if you give it a verse of corruption how do you
know it isn't a book of corruption?

Then some though not many Shia, say the Qur'an is only less than
half of what it originally was. We had postings on this newsgroup about
hadiths saying the Qur'an had 17,000 verses originally, and now it is only
around 6-7000. Though the dissenters aren't as big a group as the Christians
who disagree about what is part of the Bible and what not, the argument is
similar and the validity of an argument is not decided by the number of people
who adhere to it or not.

I guess,

"Throwing stones is a bad idea when you are are sitting in a glass house"

is the appropriate saying to be used here. :)


----- End Included Message -----

Shane Nickolson

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Feb 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/26/96
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Jochen Katz (jk...@math.gatech.edu) wrote:

: The Muslim theory of the corruption of the Bible is lacking all of that.

Where then is the much discussed "Q" gospel that Christian theologians
discuss widely? Where are the gospels written in a language that Jesus
could have even understood?


: Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need


: for us to substantiate this accusation.

What?!? I have never heard a Muslim say this........it sure is easy to
win a debate when you can invent the other sides position.

Peace,
Shane Nickolson
U of A Engineering


<>

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Feb 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/26/96
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I urge my Muslim brothers and sisters to ignore Jochen Katz.
Any arguments will not benefit us. He wastes his time to study
Islam with the purpose of twisting the basic concepts of Islam.
First, he tried to question the validity of the Quran. Second, he
tried to spread his dogma of Trinity. Let us send him a strong
message that we believe and worship none but Allah and Muhammad is
one of His messengers. We firmly believe Islam is the only true religion.

--
My Turn


Jochen Katz

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Feb 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/26/96
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In article <4gstm3$1...@shellx.best.com>, snic...@gpu3.srv.ualberta.ca
(Shane Nickolson) writes:
Jochen Katz (jk...@math.gatech.edu) wrote:

: The Muslim theory of the corruption of the Bible is lacking all of that.

Where then is the much discussed "Q" gospel that Christian theologians
discuss widely?

You hit the nail on the head! WHERE in fact is it? This "Q" is a hypothesis
of liberal scholars but there is no factual evidence whatsoever to its actual
existence.
Not only do we not have a manuscript of it. There no mentioning of any such
gospel in any of the Church fathers or any other source. It is a great figment
of imagination, a "more or less" educated guess.

Where are the gospels written in a language that Jesus
could have even understood?

You may rest assured that Jesus most definitely understood and spoke Greek
[as did his disciples].
Though with his disciples he usually would have spoken Hebrew or Aramaic.
The Gospels are written in Greek because like English today, the
"world language" of that time was Greek and it was a message for the whole
world.

: Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need
: for us to substantiate this accusation.

What?!? I have never heard a Muslim say this........it sure is easy to
win a debate when you can invent the other sides position.

Wasn't the quote in the posting you are replying to pretty near to that?
I have heard it often enough. Not in those literal terms, but in effect.
Or how would you interpret it when I ask Muslims for the evidence and they
can't present it but insist on "knowing that it is corrupted" anyway?

Regards,

Jochen




Jochen Katz

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Feb 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/26/96
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In article <arielDn...@netcom.com>, mf...@expert.cc.purdue.edu (<>) writes:
I urge my Muslim brothers and sisters to ignore Jochen Katz.

You are personally most welcome to place my name in a kill file and you won't
ever see anything from me again.

Any arguments will not benefit us. He wastes his time to study
Islam with the purpose of twisting the basic concepts of Islam.
First, he tried to question the validity of the Quran. Second, he
tried to spread his dogma of Trinity. Let us send him a strong
message that we believe and worship none but Allah and Muhammad is
one of His messengers. We firmly believe Islam is the only true religion.

--
My Turn

Closing the eyes to hard questions and blindly repeat that you believe
in Islam and don't need to give answers as to the basis of your faith
is definitely going to send a strong message. But I am not sure it is
the one you would like to send.

What do you think it is giving your belief in Islam "firmness" and
strength?

I do state that I believe strongly in God and worship God only. We agree
on the fact that there is only one God. We do disagree on who this one
and only God really is and how He has revealed Himself. And I believe
that God has given me also a brain and reasoning ability to find out what
the truth is.

And only that is what I am after. In interaction with others to learn from
their good insights and to share my insights and see if they stand the test
of intelligent debate. You do have the choice:
Ignore me, or try to convince me. But why do you encourage others to
collectively give me the impression that Islam does not have answers
to my questions?

Your turn,

Jochen Katz Email: jk...@math.gatech.edu
Web Site "Christian Answers to Islam":
http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/


Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf

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Feb 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/27/96
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Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> wrote:
>Answering to sfar...@nyx.cs.du.edu (Suhail Farooqui)
> Subject: Re: Is Muhammad predicted in the Bible?
> Date: Fri Jan 26 21:50:59 EST 1996
>
>who wrote:
>
> In article <4dbovr$s...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>, rga...@quapaw.astate.edu
> (RayBoy) wrote:
>
> ]Statements to the effect that the Injeel has been corruped should
> ]be accompanied by proof.
>
> I agree.
>
> ] When was it corrupted ?
>
> However, one does not have to know when it was corrupted
> in order to prove that it was corrupted.
>
>Jochen:
>
>That is true. But you have to give at least some credible evidence for it.
>If not for the time, then for the place, or for the change of content or for
>something of the corruption.
>
>The Muslim theory of the corruption of the Bible is lacking all of that.

Okay let us give you some credible proof. I have a Holy Bible which is
called "The Holy Bible, New International Version, Published by
International Bible Society. First Published in Great Britain 1979 , This
edition 1982, entirely reset 1986" Publisher's name Hodder and Stoughton
Ltd. I have given this in detail so that you can find it and check it for
yourself if you don't follow the same bible.

In its preface it says, "The Dead Sea Scrolls contain material bearing on
an earlier stages of the Hebrew text. They were consulted, as were the
Samaritan Pentateuch and the ancient scribal traditions relating to
***textual changes***. Some-times a varient Hebrew reading in the margin
of the Masoretic Text was followed instead of the text itsef...... The
translators also consulted the more important early versions -the
Septuagint; Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion ........ Readings from these
versions were ocassionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed
doubtful and where accepted principles of textual criticism showed that
one or more of these textual witnesses appear to provide the correct
reading" (asterics added by me).

Then further on it says about the new testament, "Where existing
manuscripts differ, the translators made their choice of readings
according to accepted principles of New Testament textual criticism.
Footnotes call attention to places where there was ***uncertainity about
what the original text was ****.

So from the above two paragraphs we can see that there had been textual
changes of the Bilble, and not one or two but more versions of the old as
well as new testament exist. This not the words of any Muslim but those
of the International Bible Society and hence should be credible.

Now coming to the point where? Any christian as well any beleiver in the
Almighty would agree that He is the Most Compassionate, Loving and
Forgiving. Is He not? According to Christian theology, He is so loving
and compassionate that He sent down His own Begotten Son (NaoozuBillah)
to be ashamed and sacrificed to take away the original sin of humman
beings and through believing in him the Human beings be saved. Am I right
so far? Now let us see what it says in the Bible. Now addressing Eve and
Adam, accroding to Bible God (The Compassionate and Lovings and
Forgiving) says,

"To whom he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your
husband and he will rule over you'.
To adam He said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree
about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it' Cursed is ground
because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of
your life. It will produce throne and thistles for you, and you will eat
the plants of the field. By sweat of your brow you will eat your food
untill you return to the ground, since from it were you taken; for dust
you are and to dust you will return' (Genesis 3: 16-19)

Now is it the Compassionate God talking? He sounds horrible rather than
being compassionate and forgiving. He could not forgive one mistake of
person whome he love so much that to save his generations God sent his
own son to be offered as sacrifice. It was only one mistake committed by
Adam and Eve could'nt The Forgiving and Compassionate God just forgive
that mistake. That's even worse than me. We have been created in God's
image implying that we reflect in our person God's attribute, most of the
human beings are more forgiving than that. And what was the sin anyway,
mere eating of a fruit? (according to Bible), and that action of eating
annoyed God so much that He cursed all the generation of Adam. It was
Adam and Eve who committed sin (if any, as I don't believe it was sin it
was a mere mistake on part of Adam and Eve) not me or my wife or all the
human beings living today. What kind of justice is that? All the women of
the world today are suffering for what Eve did and all the men for what
Adam did. Can I kill someone and make you suffer for it? Would that be
justice? Would you take punishment for my sins? no, and if I have any
sense of justice I myself would like you or any for that matter to suffer
for my mistakes. So for that matter the above two verses, do not reflect
the image of a Compasionate, Loving, Forgiving, and Just God so I can't
believe them to be word of God. This is just one example, there are more.
However, I like to take things step by step. Let's consider the above and
then we can talk about others.

>Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need

>for us to substantiate this accusation.You have to proof that you didn't
>do it.

No Muslims are not saying that, It is Christians themselves saying that,
and any ordinary christian, the international Bible society is saying
that see what I have quoted from the preface of the Bible I have.

>But how can we prove we did not if you don't even give us any
>evidence to disprove? Do you need witnesses and evidence in an Islamic
>court case? Or are people judged guilty just because a Muslim says the
>other one has done this and that though he is not giving any evidence?

I have given you two evidences above, I hope as a start that is
sufficient evidence for you to disprove.

>Why do Muslims think there needs to be no evidence for the corruption of
>the scriptures but they can slander God's word and those who follow it
>with the charges of adulteration?

None of the Muslims think that and nor they slander God's word, they
indded acknowledge that in its original form it was God's word, it is the
International Bible Society, which openly says what you have alleged
Muslims to have said.

>First, IF the Qur'an would say it, that is not an argument for non-Muslims,
>since they don't believe the Qur'an to be the truth anyway. If you want to
>argue on this basis then you may just as well forget it.

>Second, I can write you a corrupted Qur'an if you want. Believe me,

>that is easy. And as to your opinion [probably] there even exists a
>corrupted/changed Qur'an today.

Probably is no evidence, and there does not exist any.

> The translation of Rashid Khalifa does
>not contain those contended two verses. So it is a changed Qur'an [from
>what most other Muslims believe to be the Qur'an] and it is not even
>only one who wrote it with his hands, but it is printed and distributed
>in thousands of copies.

I doubt that first of all as we have to see that translation with our own
eyes and compare it with others. Such kind of slanders have always been
generated by hatemongers agains many, So we have to believe what
follwoers of Rashd Khalifa say about this allegation. In any case, it is
only in translation the original arabic text of the Quran is preserved
and is there to be referred to. So anyone wishing to can go back an look
at the original. This was the promise of God with Muhammad (PBUH) that he
will be Watcher over this Book. And it has been preserved in its original
form from the time of Muhammad (pbuh). Famous historians, Sir William
Muir, in his book Life of Muhammad published by AMS press New York
(1975), and W. Montgomery Watt, in his books "Muhammad in Mecca and
Muhammad in Medina, published by Oxford University press (1960), both
acknowledge the fact that Quran was preserved in its original for from
the time of Muhammad (pbuh). Not only in written form but also in the
Memory of many companions. Sir William Muir, even gives name of the
persons who wrote Quran when dictated by Muhammad (pbuh) in Mecca as well
as Medina and refers to different lists of ascribers published in the
historical accords. He also acknowledges tha fact that the order of the
Quran we see today is the one revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) by God and
provides historical evidence for this conclusion as opposed to having
suggested by Umar (RA) during the Khilafa of Uthman (RA) as many
westerners alleg.

Mind you none of these Historians are Muslim and were ever Muslim, in
fact both of them were Christians.

>It is established by the science of textual criticism that our Bible
>today is authentic. There can be no doubt about it.

No it is not. Read the above Quotation from the preface of a Bible I have
given. If it was authentic then why the translators had to deviate from
the original text in some cases?

>Whether it is authentic truth or authentic falsehood is a separate
>question. [And one you will have to ask about the Qur'an too!]
>But the Qur'an says that the Torah and Injil are from God, so the Qur'an
>itself authenticates the Bible. How dare you then charge it with corruption

How convenient, previously you said "First, IF the Qur'an would say it,

that is not an argument for non-Muslims, since they don't believe the

Qur'an to be the truth anyway." Then above you say, "Quran says Torah and
Injeel are from God". So, if Quran support a Muslim argument, then you
don't believe in it but if it testifies that Torah and Injeel are from
God then it is truth from Quran. If you don't want to consider Quran as
an authority then leave it out and don't use it for your arguments as you
don't believe it to be truth anyway. In any case then you draw a
conclusion above, "so the Quran itself authenticates the Bible"

Where does it? Am I at loss? It does not at all authenticates Bible. All
it testifies that Injeel, the book which was revealed to Jesus was from
God. Is Bible that book revealed to Jesus by God? No, it is the
collection of accounts and narration of the events surrounded Jesus
Christ. Not the Word of God. No doubt, it may include some portions of
the revelations bestowed upon Jesus by God. But it is not the word of God
(100 %). It cannot contain the whole truth as it was recorded 200 years
after the alleged death of Jesus by saint Paul and was not dictated by
Jesus himself. I am sure you know that. This is long topic altogather and
could use a lot of space so I shall leave it for now and if you are
interested we can discuss it saparately.

>It is true that the Catholic Bibles include 7 more books than the Protestant
>ones. But so what? The 66 books we have in common are all textually identical.
>In a way this thing is similar to the Muslims who squabble about the acceptance
>of the Hadiths. Some say you have to accept them [or most of them] as binding
>rules of behaviour, others say "trash them all". In a similar way, the
>Catholics and Protestants are not of the same opinion on the validity these
>7 books and if they should be considered part of the binding canon of scripture.
>
>But there is no difference in TEXT between any Bibles. And that is what the
>corruption theory is about.

No not at all. Corruption theory is not about different TEXTS, it is
about the Alteration of the Text and changes which human hands made to
the word of God for satisfying their own needs and desires. Like the
Church of England, who found verses in the Bible which allowed him to
practice polygamy. Is'nt it true. I am sure you are aware of that.

>The 'extra books' do not apply as argument since
>this is not about textual differences of original and corruption. Even the
>extra books are "uncorrupted" if you want. But they are not universally
>"accepted" as scripture. But no Protestant charges the Catholics of corruption
>on the basis of that, or vice versa
>
>The closest parallel might be the hadith qudsi [spelling?] 'words of God'
>which didn't make it in the Qur'an. Some say they are "word of God"
>nevertheless others say 'forget them'.
>
>I hope that clears up some misunderstandings in this respect.
>
>Warm regards
>
>Jochen Katz Email: jk...@math.gatech.edu
> Webpage "Christian Answers to Islam":
> http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/

Best regards

--
Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf, Department of Physics, Queen's University, Kingston,
Ontario, CANADA, K7L 3N6. Ph: (613)545-6000 ext.7264, Fax: (613)545-6463
E-mail: Ra...@QUCDN.QueensU.Ca, Ra...@jeff-lab.QueensU.ca
**** Love For All ** Hatred For None **** I Express My Opinions Only ***
************************************************************************
* Ahmadiyyat, in fact, is the true Islam revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) *
* You can watch for yourself on settallite TV, for details about time *
* and channels in your region visit URL http://ahmadiyya.org/mta/ *
************************************************************************

GSimp95605

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Feb 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/28/96
to

Asalam-alaikum,

One reason why, Mr. Katz, you might be confused about "the" Islamic theory
of how the Bible was corrupted, is because, as far as I know, there is no
single theory.

What is clear to me is that the Quran (read in a straightforward manner)
and the modern Bible (read in a straightforward manner) are not consistent
and so if you are a Muslim, you will take the side of the Quran. But
something else which is clear is that the Quran affirms that the
"Torah" the "Gospel" and the "Psalms" are revelations from God. What seems
to be the logically necessary conclusion is that at some point, the
original revelations were replaced or changed in some way. The question of
how is open ended.

One approach would be to borrow the conclusions of modern Biblical
scholarship. For example, according to the Jesus Seminar (the group which
recently put out a translation called "the Five Gospels"; consistin of the
Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Thomas) many of the
words attributed to Jesus in the Bible were not actually spoken by him.
Instead, they were put into his mouth by latter-day Christians. (a common
practice at the time).

Another similar example is the documentary hypothesis; the theory that the
penteteuch (the modern Torah) was pieced together from the words of
several different authors. A necessary result of this hypothesis is that
various portions of the Torah do not actually originate with Moses but are
later additions to the text.

And more generally, as scholars look through various manuscripts of
Biblical texts, variations are abundant and it is clear that some changes
have taken place over the years. For example, the earliest versions of the
gospel according to John do not contain the famous story of the woman
caught in adultery where Jesus says "Let he who is without sin cast the
first stone". If you are able to get your hands on a good Bible with alot
of
footnotes about the original texts, this claim should be uncontraversial.

Another interesting suggestion is the fact that out of the Hebrew Bible,
only the Torah and the Psalms are mentioned by the Quran as being
Revelation. As far as I can tell, Islam is more or less silent about the
other 33 books of the Hebrew Bible. Wouldn't it be an example of
corruption if Jews or Christians added a bunch of man-made writings to
revelation and tried to pass it all off as being from God? Perhaps the
authentic scripture is actually that of the Samaritans (a group descended
from the children of Israel (allahu alim) who believe in a version of the
Torah but not in the extra books which the Jews regard as scripture.) The
Samaritans have their own Torah which is different from the modern
Bible's. Couldn't theirs be the original?

A more serious objection has to do with the language of revelation. In
Jesus' day, the common language of the people was Aramaic. And so if we
expect the Gospel of Jesus to be analagous to the Quran of Muhammad (peace
be upon both of them) then the original Gospel would have been in Aramaic.
But unfortunately, the earliest manuscripts are in classical Greek. So
from this point of view, the original Gospel has basically disappeared
from view.

A final suggestion about how a corruption might have taken place centers
on Paul. I believe that if you look at the Biblical and focus on the words
attributed to Jesus, one can find a core set where Jesus affirms his
humanity, shows himself to be subordinate to God (e.g. Why do you call me
good when the only one who is good is God?), and makes claims inconsistent
with the notion of vicarious atonement. (e.g. Take up your own cross).
Even when he seems to make bizzare claims like being the son of God, he
makes comments which contexualize and limit the meanings of
his words (e.g. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the
sons of God). I believe that if you read the gospels and the book of James
on one hand, and Paul's epistles on the other, one can discern a split
which suggests that Paul (who never physically met Jesus) had changed
Christianity and had introduced teachings which can't be traced to the
words of Christ.

Mr. Katz, I hope the above helps you to see how one *might* go about
talking about the corruption of the Bible. Do you (or anyone else) have
any
questions or comments which might make the discussion progress?

Peace

Gilberto

Gilberto


Jochen Katz

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Feb 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/28/96
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In article <4h1s8v$f...@shellx.best.com>, gsimp...@aol.com (GSimp95605)
writes:

Asalam-alaikum,

and with you.

One reason why, Mr. Katz, you might be confused about "the" Islamic theory
of how the Bible was corrupted, is because, as far as I know, there is no
single theory.

That is for sure a stumbling block. Why hasn't God made this most important
topic a bit clearer? How come He forgot about it and leaves us alone in all
this confusion? Especially if there are regulations about dress code,
what sort of food you can eat etc etc which in level of importance can't
really compare to this fundamental question.

What is clear to me is that the Quran (read in a straightforward manner)
and the modern Bible (read in a straightforward manner) are not consistent

I completely agree - and it is not just minor disagreements, they are
irreconcilable as far as I can see it. Both, on historical details, as
well as on major theological concepts of the character of God, the
character of revelation, the concept of sin and salvation and nearly
all topics of religious importance. They do to a great extend agree on
the fact that there is only one God, that God gives revelation through
prophets [though not on the content of this revelation] and largely on
topics of morality.

and so if you are a Muslim, you will take the side of the Quran. But

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


something else which is clear is that the Quran affirms that the
"Torah" the "Gospel" and the "Psalms" are revelations from God. What seems
to be the logically necessary conclusion is that at some point, the

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


original revelations were replaced or changed in some way. The question of
how is open ended.

Well, as far as I remember you are a mathematician and should know about
correct conclusions according to the rules of logic. I completely agree
with you in your reasoning. "Mathematically" the statement
"A implies B" is a correct one, even if A is false.

To bring it down to earth [for those of our readers, for which the
word "math" is a curse word and brings back nightmarish memories]:

Based on wrong assumptions your whole chain of conclusions might follow
the rules of logic, and every conclusion be correct, but the result is
still wrong, because the axiom, foundation (or prejudice) you started
from was false.

As I see the situation, if you start out reasoning on the foundation
that the Qur'an is the word of God, then there is no other way than
that you will have to come to the conclusion that the Bible is corrupted
[given you have enough interest to even read in it and think it is an
important topic, many would just say, we have the Qur'an and why even
bother to interact with the Bible. But I know you are not one who would
take this approach]. And you will HAVE TO come to this conclusion just
to save the truth of the Qur'an, even if it is against reason and against
evidence for the trustworthiness of the Bible. In consequence, Muslims
will busily search for anything that might support this corruption
theory however weak any particular argument is. Any criticism of the
Bible is welcome, (and all criticism of the Qur'an is forbidden -
according to many Muslims).

The above paragraph is what I call "an extremely biased approach".

What I am hoping for, maybe maybe one day in the future, that we get
to the point that we step out of our pre-decided categories and take a
step back and lay out in front of us the evidence for and against the
trustworthiness of the Bible and for and against the trustworthiness
of the Qur'an. There are strong points and weak points for both. But
one of the things we would have to do is to define why we would con-
sider certain characteristics 'strong' and others 'weak'!

And after we have discussed our standards of evaluation, then let us
see what our investigation of Bible and Qur'an in respect to these
standards really turns up as evidence. As of now, I am convinced that
the case for the Bible is much stronger than the case for the Qur'an.

I expect you are convinced of the opposite.
So, let us chart the ground and see what we can show as we proceed.

Best regards,

Jochen Katz Email: jk...@math.gatech.edu
Web Site "Christian Answers to Islam":
http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/


Misha'al Al-Kadhi

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Feb 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/28/96
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In article <4gqclj$4...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu> Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> writes:
>From: Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu>
>Subject: Corruption of Bible and Qur'an?
>Date: 25 Feb 1996 19:18:11 GMT

>Answering to sfar...@nyx.cs.du.edu (Suhail Farooqui)
> Subject: Re: Is Muhammad predicted in the Bible?
> Date: Fri Jan 26 21:50:59 EST 1996

>who wrote:

> In article <4dbovr$s...@usenet.srv.cis.pitt.edu>, rga...@quapaw.astate.edu
> (RayBoy) wrote:
>
> ]Statements to the effect that the Injeel has been corruped should
> ]be accompanied by proof.
>
> I agree.
>
> ] When was it corrupted ?
>
> However, one does not have to know when it was corrupted
> in order to prove that it was corrupted.

>Jochen:
>
>That is true. But you have to give at least some credible evidence for it.
>If not for the time, then for the place, or for the change of content or for
>something of the corruption.

>The Muslim theory of the corruption of the Bible is lacking all of that.

>It is similar to the procedure if I were to accuse you of adultery.

>I am not going to tell you when, where, with whom, why, who observed you,
>or anything that would substantiate my claim. I just say, you have
>committed adultery and you are definitely guilty until proven innocent.

>Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need
>for us to substantiate this accusation. You have to proof that you didn't
>do it. But how can we prove we did not if you don't even give us any

>evidence to disprove? Do you need witnesses and evidence in an Islamic
>court case? Or are people judged guilty just because a Muslim says the
>other one has done this and that though he is not giving any evidence?

[more similar comments deleted]

Hello once again Jochen

Ok, you present a fair request. I too would not like random unsubstantiated accusations to be
tossed out against the Qur'an without verification (although in this country such claims are
indeed rampant, however, that is a topic for another day). For this reason I shall comply with
your request for proof. I shall by the will of Allah/God attempt to restrict myself to the
discoveries of the most eminent of your own scholars and references. I shall also quote the
words of one of your most highly respected scholars, Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von
Tischendorf, who was one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity
for all time but who himself uncovered over *14,800* "corrections" to *JUST ONE* ancient
Christian manuscript by *NINE* separate "correctors"


"It is well known that the primitive Christian Gospel was initially transmitted by word of mouth
and that this oral tradition resulted in variant reporting of word and deed. It is equally true that
when the Christian record was committed to writing it continued to be the subject of verbal
variation. Involuntary and intentional, at the hands of scribes and editors" (Peake's
Commentary on the Bible, p. 633)

"Yet, as a matter of fact, every book of the New Testament with the exception of the four
great Epistles of St. Paul is at present more or less the subject of controversy, and
interpolations are asserted even in these." (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 12th Ed. Vol. 3, p. 643)

Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative
Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that the New Testament had "in
many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful
uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written" (Secrets of Mount Sinai, James
Bentley, p. 117)

After listing many examples of contradictory statements in the Bible, Dr. Frederic Kenyon
says: "Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is
not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible
has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are
matters of mere indifference" (Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, Dr. Frederic Kenyon,
Eyre and Spottiswoode, p. 3)

All biblical "versions" of the Bible prior to the revised version of 1881 were dependent upon
the "Ancient Copies" (those dating between five to six hundred years after Jesus). The revisers
of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952 were the first biblical scholars to have access to
the "MOST ancient copies" which date fully three to four hundred years after Christ. It is only
logical for us to concur that the closer a document is to the source the more authentic it is. Let
us see what is the opinion of Christendom with regard to the most revised version of the Bible
(revised in 1952 and then again in 1971):

"The finest version which has been produced in the present century" - (Church of England
newspaper)

"A completely fresh translation by scholars of the highest eminence" - (Times literary
supplement)

"The well loved characteristics of the authorized version combined with a new accuracy of
translation" - (Life and Work)

"The most accurate and close rendering of the original" - (The Times)

The publishers themselves (Collins) mention on page 10 of their notes : "This Bible (RSV) is
the product of thirty two scholars assisted by an advisory committee representing fifty
cooperating denominations"

Let us see what these thirty two Christian scholars of the highest eminence backed by fifty
cooperating Christian denominations have to say about the Authorized Version (AV), or as it
is better known, the King James Version (KJV). In the preface of the RSV 1971 we find the
following: "...Yet the King James Version has GRAVE DEFECTS.." They go on to note:
"...That these defects are SO MANY AND SO SERIOUS as to call for revision"

In 1st Epistle of John 5:7 AV we find: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the
Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." This verse is the closest
approximation to what the Christians call the holy Trinity. However, as seen in section 1.2.2.5
of the book "What Did Jesus Really Say?", this cornerstone of the Christian faith has also been
scrapped from the RSV by the same thirty two Christian scholars of the highest eminence
backed by fifty cooperating Christian denominations, once again all according to the "most
ancient manuscripts." And once again, we find that the holy Qur'an revealed this truth over
fourteen hundred years ago: "O people of the book! commit no excesses in your religion: nor
say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger
of Allah, and his word, which he bestowed upon Mary, and a spirit preceding from him so
believe in Allah and his messengers. Say not "Three" desist It will be better for you for Allah is
one God Glory be to him Far exalted is he above having a son. To him belong all things in the
heavens and the earth. And enough is Allah as a disposer of affairs." Al-Nissa(4):171

Note: The book mentioned above can be downloaded from the world wide web at:
"http://mothra.syr.edu:8080/~msa/docs/jesussay.html"
It contains quotation upon quotation showing how Christianity discovered 1 John 5:7 to be a
forgery and why they found it necissary to discard it as the forgery that it was, however, it shall
be left up to the interested reader to doenload the book for more on this topic.
In History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, p.338, Rev. Charles Anderson
Scott has the following to say: "It is highly probable that not one of the Synoptic Gospels
(Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was in existence in the form which we have it, prior to the death
of Paul. And were the documents to be taken in strict order of chronology, the Pauline
Epistles would come before the synoptic Gospels."

This statement is further confirmed by Prof. Brandon: "The earliest Christian writings that have
been preserved for us are the letters of the apostle Paul" S.G.F. Brandon, "Religions in Ancient
History" p. 228.

In the latter part of the second century, Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth says: "As the brethren
desired me to write epistles(letters), I did so, and these the apostles of the devil have filled with
tares (undesirable elements), exchanging some things and adding others, for whom there is a
woe reserved. It is not therefore, a matter of wonder if some have also attempted to adulterate
the sacred writings of the Lord, since they have attempted the same in other works that are not
to be compared with these."

The Qur'an confirms this with the words: "Then woe to those who write the book (of
Allah/God) with their own hands and then say: 'This is from Allah', to traffic with it for a
miserable price. Woe to them for what their hands do write and for the gain they make
thereby" The holy Qur'an Al-Bakarah(2):79

These "corrections" were by no means confined to the first centuries after Christ. In History of
Christianity in the light of Modern knowledge, p.318, Sir Higgins says: "It is impossible to
deny that the Bendictine Monks of St. Maur, as far as Latin and Greek language went, were
very learned and talented, as well as numerous body of men. In Cleland's 'Life of Lanfranc,
Archbishop of Canterbury', is the following passage: 'Lanfranc, a Benedictine Monk,
Archbishop of Canterbury, having found the Scriptures much corrupted by copyists, applied
himself to correct them, as also the writings of the fathers, agreeably to the orthodox faith,
secundum fidem orthodoxam."

In other words, the Christian scriptures were re-written in order to conform to the doctrines of
the eleventh and twelfth centuries and even the writings of the early church fathers were
"corrected" so that the changes would not be discovered. Sir Higgins goes on to say: "The
same Protestant divine has this remarkable passage: 'Impartiality exacts from me the
confession, that the orthodox have in some places altered the Gospels'." The author then goes
on to demonstrate how a massive effort was undertaken in Costantinople, Rome, Canterbury,
and the Christian world in general in order to "correct" the Gospels and destroy all manuscripts
before this period.

Theodore Zahan, illustrated the bitter conflicts within the established churches in Articles of
the Apostolic Creed. He points out that the Roman Catholics accuse the Greek Orthodox
Church of remodeling the text of the holy scriptures by additions and subtractions with both
good as well as evil intentions. The Greek Orthodox, on the other hand, accuse the Roman
Catholics of straying in many places very far away from the original text. In spite of their
differences, they both join forces to condemn the non-conformist Christians of deviating from
"the true way" and condemn them as heretics. The heretics in turn condemn the Catholics for
having "recoined the truth like forgers". The author concludes "Do not facts support these
accusations?"

"And from those who said: "We are Christians," We took their covenant, but they forgot a
good part of the message which was sent to them. Therefore We have stirred up enmity and
hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will inform them of what they used
to do. O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad) come to you,
explaining to you much of that which you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much.
Indeed, there has come to you a light from Allah and a plain Scripture. Wherewith Allah guides
him who seeks His good pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness by His
will into light, and guides them to a straight path. They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo!
Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then has the least power against Allah, if He had
willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? And to
Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He
creates what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things. The Jews and Christians say: We are
sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say; Why then does He punish you for your sins? No, you
are but mortals of His creating. He forgives whom He will, and punishes whom He will. And to
Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto
Him is the return (of all). O people of the Scripture! Now has Our messenger (Muhammad)
come unto you to make things plain after a break in (the series of) the messengers, lest you
should say: There came not unto us a messenger of cheer nor any Warner. Now has a
messenger of cheer and a Warner come unto you. And Allah is Able to do all things." Al-
Maidah(5):14-19

Well, where do all of these Bibles come from and why the difficulty in defining what is a truly
"inspired" word of God? They come from the "ancient manuscripts." The Christian world
today boasts of an excess of 24,000 "ancient manuscripts" of the Bible dating all the way back
to the fourth century after Christ (But not back to Christ or the apostles themselves). In other
words, we have with us gospels which date back to the century when the Trinitarians took
over the Christian Church. All manuscripts from before this period have strangely perished.
All Bibles in existence today are compiled from these "ancient manuscripts." Any scholar of
the Bible will tell us that no two ancient manuscripts are exactly identical.

People today generally believe that there is only ONE Bible, and ONE version of any given
verse of the Bible. This is far from true. All Bibles in our possession today (Such as the KJV,
the NRSV, the NAB, NIV,...etc.) are the result of extensive cutting and pasting from these
various manuscripts with no single one being the definitive reference. There are countless
cases where a paragraph shows up in one "ancient manuscript" but is totally missing from
many others. For instance, Mark 16:8-20 (twelve whole verses) is completely missing from the
most ancient manuscripts available today (such as the Sinaitic Manuscript, the Vatican #1209
and the Armenian version) but shows up in more recent "ancient manuscripts." There are also
many documented cases where even geographical locations are completely different from one
ancient manuscript to the next. For instance, in the "Samaritan Pentateuch manuscript,"
Deuteronomy 27:4 speaks of "mount Gerizim," while in the "Hebrew manuscript" the exact
same verse speaks of "mount Ebal." From Deuteronomy 27:12-13 we can see that these are
two distinctly different locations. Similarly, Luke 4:44 in some "ancient manuscripts" mentions
"Synagogues of Judea," others mention "Synagogues of Galilee." This is only a sampling, a
comprehensive listing would require a book of it's own.

There are countless examples in the Bible where verses of a questionable nature are included in
the text without any disclaimer telling the reader that many scholars and translators have
serious reservations as to their authenticity. The King James Version of the Bible (Also known
as the "Authorized Version"), the one in the hands of the majority of Christendom today, is
one of the most notorious Bibles in this regard. It gives the reader absolutely no clue as to the
questionable nature of such verses. However, more recent translations of the Bible are now
beginning to be a little more honest and forthcoming in this regard. For example, the New
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, by Oxford Press, has adopted an extremely subtle
system of bracketing the most glaring examples of such questionable verses with double square
brackets ([[ ]]). The casual reader will never in a million years realize what use these brackets
serve. They are there to tell the informed reader that the enclosed verses are of a highly
questionable nature. Examples of this are the story of the "woman taken in adultery" in John
8:1-11, as well as Mark 16:9-20 (Jesus' resurrection and return), and Luke 23:34 (which,
interestingly enough, is there to confirm the prophesy of Isaiah 53:12).....and so forth.

For example, with regard to John 8:1-11, the commentators of this Bible say in very small print
at the bottom of the page: "The most ancient authorities lack 7.53-8.11; other authorities add
the passage here or after 7.36 or after 21.25 or after Luke 21.38 with variations of text; some
mark the text as doubtful."(emphasis added).

With regard to Mark 16:9-20, we are, strangely enough, given a choice of how we would like
the Gospel of Mark to end. The commentators have supplied both a "short ending" and a
"long ending." Thus, we are given a choice of what we would prefer to be the "inspired word
of God". Once again, at the end of this Gospel in very small text, the commentators say:
"Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One
authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and
then continue with verses 9-20. In most authorities, verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse
8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful."

Peake's Commentary on the Bible records; "It is now generally agreed that 9-20 are not an
original part of Mk. They are not found in the oldest MSS, and indeed were apparently not in
the copies used by Mt. and Lk. A 10th-cent. Armenian MS ascribes the passage to Aristion,
the presbyter mentioned by Papias (ap.Eus.HE III, xxxix, 15)."

"Indeed an Armenian translation of St. Mark has quite recently been discovered, in which the
last twelve verses of St. Mark are ascribed to Ariston, who is otherwise known as one of the
earliest of the Christian Fathers; and it is quite possible that this tradition is correct" (Our Bible
and the Ancient Manuscripts, F. Kenyon, Eyre and Spottiswoode, pp. 7-8)

Even at that, these verses are noted as having been narrated differently in different
"authorities." For example, verse 14 is claimed by the commentators to have the following
words added on to them in some "ancient authorities": "and they excused themselves saying
'This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power
of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits. Therefore, reveal your righteousness
now' - thus they spoke to Christ and Christ replied to them 'The term of years of Satan's power
has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was
handed over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, that they may inherit
the spiritual and imperishable glory of the righteousness that is in heaven'.".


(...continued in part two where, by the will of Allah/God, it shall be
demonstrated through quotations from the most eminent Christian
scholar, Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, how he
discovered in one ancient manuscript alone over *14,800* "corrections"
by *NINE* seperate "correctors." For those who would like to see the
evidence of this from the discoveries of one of Christendom's staunchest
defenders of the Trinity, please read part two of this message)


Misha'al Al-Kadhi

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Feb 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/28/96
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...continued
(Part 2/2)

Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf was one of the most eminent biblical
scholars of the nineteenth century. He was also one of the staunchest most adamant defenders
of the "Trinity" history has known. One of his greatest lifelong achievements was the
discovery of one of the oldest known Biblical manuscript know to mankind, the "Codex
Sinaiticus," from Saint Catherine's Monastery in Mount Sinai. One of the most devastating
discoveries made from the study of this fifth century manuscript was that the gospel of Mark
originally ended at verses 16:8 and not at verse 16:20 as it does today. In other words, the last
12 verses (Mark 16:9 through Mark 16:20) were "injected" by the church into the Bible
sometime after the 5th century. Clement of Alexandria and Origen never quoted these verses.
Later on, it was also discovered that the said 12 verses, wherein lies the various accounts of
"the resurrection of Jesus," do not appear in codices Syriacus, Vaticanus and Bobiensis.
Originally, the "Gospel of Mark" contained no mention of the "resurrection of Jesus" (Mark
16:9-20). At least five hundred years (if not more) after the departure of Jesus, the Church
received divine "inspiration" to add the story of the resurrection to the end of this Gospel.

The author of "Codex Sinaiticus" had no doubt that the Gospel of Mark came to an end at
Mark 16:8, to emphasize this point we find that immediately following this verse he brings the
text to a close with a fine artistic squiggle and the words "The Gospel according to Mark."
Tischendorf was a staunch conservative Christian and as such he managed to casually brush
this discrepancy aside since in his estimation the fact that Mark was not an apostle nor an eye
witness to the ministry of Jesus made his account secondary to those of the apostles such as
Matthew and John. However, as seen elsewhere in this book, the majority of Christian
scholars today recognize the writings of Paul to be the oldest of the writings of the Bible.
These are closely followed by the "Gospel of Mark" and the "Gospels of Matthew and Luke"
are almost universally recognized to have been based upon the "Gospel of Mark." This
discovery was the result of centuries of detailed and painstaking studies by these Christian
scholars and the details can not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that most reputable
Christian scholars today recognize this as a basic indisputable fact.

Today, the translators and publishers of our modern Bibles are beginning to be a little more
forthright and honest with their readers. Although they may not simply openly admit that these
twelve verses were forgeries of the Church and not the word of God, still, at least they are
beginning to draw the reader's attention to the fact that there are two "versions" of the "Gospel
of Mark" and then leave the reader to decide what to make of these two "versions." In any
case, there is cause for hope.

Now the question becomes "if the Church has tampered with the Gospel of Mark, then did
they stop there or is there more to this story?. As it happens, Tischendorf also discovered that
the "Gospel of John" has been heavily reworked by the Church over the ages. For example, the
verses starting from John 7:53 to 8:11 (the story of the woman taken in adultery) are not to be
found in the most ancient copies of the Bible available to Christianity today, specifically,
codices Sinaiticus or Vaticanus. He also found that John 21:25 was a later insertion, and that a
verse from the gospel of Luke (24:12) that speaks of Peter discovering an empty tomb of Jesus
is not to be found in the ancient manuscripts. (For more on this topic please read 'Secrets of
Mount Sinai' by James Bentley, Doubleday, NY, 1985).

Much of the discoveries of Dr. Tischendorf regarding the continuous and unrelenting
tampering with the text of the Bible over the ages has been verified by twentieth century
science. For example, a study of the Codex Sinaiticus under ultraviolet light has revealed that
the "Gospel of John" originally ended at verse 21:24 and was followed by a small tail piece and
then the words "The Gospel according to John." However, some time later, a completely
different "inspired" individual took pen in hand, erased the text following verse 24, and then
added in the "inspired" text of John 21:25 which we find in our Bibles today.

The evidence of tampering goes on and on. For example, in the Codex Sinaiticus the "lord's
prayer" of Luke 11:2-4 differs substantially from the version which has reached us through the
agency of centuries of "inspired" correction. Luke 11:2-4 in this most ancient of all Christian
manuscripts reads:

"Father, Hallowed by thy name, Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon
earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, as we ourselves also
forgive everyone that is indebted to us. And bring us not into temptation."

Further, the "Codex Vaticanus," is another ancient manuscript held by the scholars of
Christianity in the same reverent standing as the Codex Sinaiticus. In this ancient manuscript
we can find a version of the Luke 11:2-4 even shorter than that of Codex Sinaiticus. In this
version even the words "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth." are not to be found.

Well, what has been the official Church position regarding these "discrepancies"? How did the
Church decide to handle this situation? Did they call upon all of the foremost scholars of
Christian literature to come together in a mass conference in order to jointly study the most
ancient Christian manuscripts available to the Church and come to a common agreement as to
what was the true original word of God? No!

Well then, did they immediately expend every effort to make mass copies of the original
manuscripts and send them out to the Christian world so that they could make their own
decisions as to what truly was the original unchanged word of God? Once again, No!

So what did they do? Let us ask Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. In his book "Where did we
get our Bible? he writes: "Of the MSS. of Holy Scripture in Greek still existing there are said
to be several thousand of varying worth ... Three or four in particular of these old, faded out,
and unattractive documents constitute the most ancient and the most precious treasures of the
Christian Church, and are therefore of special interest." First in Rev. Richardson's list is the
"Codex Vaticanus" of which he says: "This is probably the most ancient of all Greek MSS.
now known to exist. It is designated as Codex 'B.' In 1448, Pope Nicholas V brought it to
Rome where it has lain practically ever since, being guarded assiduously by papal officials in
the Vatican Library. It's history is brief: Erasmus in 1533 knew of its existence, but neither he
nor any of his successors were permitted to study it... becoming quite inaccessible to scholars,
till Tischendorf in 1843, after months of delay, was finally allowed to see it for six hours.
Another specialist, named de Muralt in 1844 was likewise given an aggravating glimpse of it
for nine hours. The story of how Dr. Tregelles in 1845 was allowed by the authorities (all
unconscious to themselves) to secure it page by page through memorizing the text, is a
fascinating one. Dr. Tregelles did it. He was permitted to study the MS. continuously for a
long time, but not to touch it or to take notes. Indeed, every day as he entered the room where
the precious document was guarded, his pockets were searched and pen, paper and ink were
taken from him, if he carried such accessories with him. The permission to enter, however,
was repeated, until he finally had carried away with him and annotated in his room most of the
principle variant readings of this most ancient text. Often, however, in the process, if the papal
authorities observed he was becoming too much absorbed in any one section, they would
snatch the MS. away from him and direct his attention to another leaf. Eventually they
discovered that Tregelles had practically stolen the text, and that the Biblical world knew the
secrets of their historic MS. Accordingly, Pope Pius IX ordered that it should be
photographed and published; and it was, in five volumes which appeared in 1857. But the
work was very unsatisfactorily done. About that time Tischendorf made a third attempt to
gain access to and examine it. He succeeded, and later issued the text of the first twenty
pages. Finally in 1889-90, with papal permission, the entire text was photographed and issued
in facsimile, and published so that a copy of the expensive quartos was obtainable by, and is
now in the possession of all the principle libraries in the biblical world." ("Where did we get
our Bible?", Rev. Dr. George L. Robertson. Harper and Brothers Publishers, pp.110-112)

What were all of the Popes afraid of? What was the Vatican as a whole afraid of? Why was
the concept of releasing the text of their most ancient copy of the Bible to the general public so
terrifying to them? Why did they feel it necessary to bury the most ancient copies of the
inspired word of God in a dark corner of the Vatican never to be seen by outside eyes? Why?
What about all of the thousands upon thousands of other manuscripts which to this day remain
buried in the darkest depths of the Vatican vaults never to be seen or studied by the general
masses of Christendom?

"[And remember] When God took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture: You
shall make it known and clear to mankind, and you shall not to hide it; but they flung it behind
their backs, and purchased with it a miserable gain! How evil was that which they purchased!"
The holy Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):187

"Say: 'O people of the Book! exceed not in your religion the bounds [of what is proper],
trespassing beyond the truth, nor follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times
gone by, who misled many, and strayed [themselves] from the straight path.'" The holy Qur'an,
Al-Maida(5):77

Returning to our study of some of the "discrepancies" to be found between our modern Bibles
and between the most ancient copies of the Bible available to the chosen few, we find that the
verse of Luke 24:51 contains Luke's alleged account of the final parting of Jesus (pbuh) and
how he was "raised up into heaven." However, in the Codex Sinaiticus the words "and was
carried up into heaven" are missing. The verse only says: "And it came to pass, while he
blessed them, he was parted from them." C.S.C. Williams observed, if this omission were
correct, "there is no reference at all to the Ascension in the original text of the Gospel."

Some other "inspired" modification of the Church to Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles:
* Matthew 17:21 is missing in Codex Sinaiticus.
* In our modern Bibles, Mark 1:1 reads "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God;" however, in this most ancient of all Christian manuscripts, this verse only reads "The
beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ" Strangely, the very words which are most grating to
the Muslim's Qur'an, "the Son of God," are completely missing. Isn't that interesting?
* The words of Jesus in Luke 9:55-56 are missing.
* The original text of Matthew 8:2 as found in Codex Sinaiticus tells us that a leper asked
Jesus to heal him and Jesus "angrily put forth [his] hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be
thou clean." In our modern Bibles, the word "angrily" is strangely absent.
* Luke 22:44 in Codex Sinaiticus and our modern Bibles claim that an angel appeared before
Jesus, strengthening him. In Codex Vaticanus, this angel is strangely absent. If Jesus was the
"Son of God" then obviously it would be highly inappropriate for him to need an angel to
strengthen him. This verse, then, must have been a scribal mistake. Right?
* The alleged words of Jesus on the cross "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do" (Luke 23:34) was originally present in the Codex Sinaiticus but was later erased from the
text by another editor. Bearing in mind how the Church regarded and treated the Jews in the
middle ages, can we think of any reason why this verse might have stood in the way of official
Church policy?
* John 5:4 is missing from Codex Sinaiticus.
* In Mark chapter 9, the words "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." are
again missing.

In all, Tischendorf uncovered over 14,800 "corrections" to the manuscript by nine separate
"correctors" (see Fig. 1). Although he was well known to be quite ruthless and unscrupulous
in his dealings with his fellow Christian, still, he strove in his dealings with his holy texts
themselves to be as honest and sincere as humanly possible. For this reason he could not
understand how the scribes could have so continuously and so callously "allow themselves to
bring in here and there changes, which were not simple verbal ones, but materially affected the
meaning" or why they "did not shrink from cutting out a passage or inserting one."

"O People of the Book! Why do you reject the Signs of God, when you
[yourselves] bear witness [to their truth] ?. O People of the Book! Why do
you clothe Truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, while you have
knowledge?" The holy Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):70-71

"Say: 'O People of the Book! Why do you reject the Signs of God, when God is Himself
witness to all you do?' Say: 'O People of the Book! Why do you obstruct those who believe
from the path of God, Seeking to make it crooked, while you were yourselves witnesses? But
God is not unaware of what you do'" The holy Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):98-99

"Truly, the Religion in the Sight of God is Islam (literally: "the submission"). Nor did those
who were given the scripture dissent therefrom except after knowledge had come to them,
through envy of each other. But whosoever disbelieves in the Signs of God, [then surely,] God
is swift in calling to account." The holy Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):19

"They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a party who stand [for that
which is right], they recite the revelations of Allah throughout the night, falling prostrate
[before Him]." The holy Qur'an, A'al-Umran(3):113

"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, and in that
which was sent down unto you, and in that which was sent down unto them, humbling
themselves before God: They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a
reward with their Lord, and God is swift to take account." The holy Qur'an,
A'al-Umran(3):199

"O people of the Book! Now has come unto you Our messenger, revealing to you much of
what you used to hide in the Book, and passing over much. Indeed, there has come to you
from God a light and a plain Scripture" The holy Qur'an, Al-Maida(5):15


AbdulraHman Lomax

unread,
Feb 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/29/96
to
Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> wrote:

> (Shane Nickolson) writes:
> Where then is the much discussed "Q" gospel that Christian theologians
> discuss widely?

>You hit the nail on the head! WHERE in fact is it? This "Q" is a hypothesis
>of liberal scholars but there is no factual evidence whatsoever to its actual
>existence.

Jochen overstates his conservative position. It is quite obvious that
the Gospel accounts are not independent testimonies. I have never
heard anyone familiar with them claim that they are. The coincidences
of language in the Gospels is the evidence: that coincidence is far
more than would be found in independent accounts of the same event.
Whether or not there was an actual document (called "Q") is a matter
of some speculation, but the inference is pretty strong.

>Not only do we not have a manuscript of it. There no mentioning of any such
>gospel in any of the Church fathers or any other source. It is a great figment
>of imagination, a "more or less" educated guess.

> Where are the gospels written in a language that Jesus
> could have even understood?
>
>You may rest assured that Jesus most definitely understood and spoke Greek
>[as did his disciples].

And now Jochen makes this assertion without a shred of evidence. But
the point is not whether or not Jesus (AS) knew Greek, but whether or
not he would have used it in making speeches to the common people, as
well as the non-scholars among his disciples. Would Jochen claim that
he would have done this?

>Though with his disciples he usually would have spoken Hebrew or Aramaic.
>The Gospels are written in Greek because like English today, the
>"world language" of that time was Greek and it was a message for the whole
>world.

This idea is not much found in the Gospels themselves; rather, it
developed and became more important later. Certainly this does explain
why the Gospels were written in Greek, but it completely ignores the
main point here. Unlike Islam, which has preserved its revealed
scripture in its original language, Christianity lost the actual words
of Jesus, AS, or at least nearly all of them, in the original
language; thus Christians must depend solely on the translation made
into Greek. Jochen does not really claim that Jesus spoke all these
things in Greek. So Shane's point still stands.

Jochen is generally defending the Christian scriptures against the
charge of "corruption" sometimes leveled without sufficient evidence
by intemperate Muslims.

Technically, a translated text has been corrupted to a certain degree.
If I understand correctly, Christians have long understood this, and
developed the idea that the translations were themselves inspired to
get around the problem.

Really, though, the big problem with scripture of all kinds is
interpretation. A Muslim who mistranslates or misinterprets the Qur'an
in order to make it appear that his opinion is true is just as guilty
as a Christian or Jew who does the same with his scripture: for all of
them the Qur'anic condemnation which is the basis of most charges of
"corruption" applies, even if the text itself is unchanged.

AbdulraHman Lomax
mar...@gate.ioa.com
P.O. Box 25133
Asheville, NC 28813


Serigne F. Diop

unread,
Feb 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM2/29/96
to
Jochen

Would you please write a corrupted Qur'an, from scratch (Do not use the
present text and alter it)? I dare you, for the Qur'an is the Word of
God, protected by Him. Many like you have attempted before and failed.
The Bible are corrupted because they were written and checked during the
time of Prophet Jesus (Peace and blessing upon him). After his time, Paul
faught with James the brother of Jesus (Peace and blessing upon him) about
the direction of Jesus 's (Peace and blessing upon him) teachings. Paul
is the one who established Christianlity as we know it. The persons who
wrote the pospels (luke, Matthew, John, ?) were not contemporaries of
Jesus (Peace and blessing upon him). They based their writing on Paul
early letters in his attempts to establish a new religion. Later on when
the hebrew bible was translated in Greek (under Constantinople?) books,
passages were omitted to incorporate the pagan beliefs of the romans. As
Christinity evolved into multiple sects because of the misinterpretation
of the Bible, so-called "saints" (King James) commissioned their revised
Bible, and wrote whatever they wanted. A new class of clergy imposed
themselves as agents between the common people and their Creator,
interpreting the Bible to strengthen their social and material position.
Some used it as justification to slavery, the Inquisition, colonization,
and the multitude of apocalyptic messages.
The same can be said about the Torah. The rabbis and pharisees
transformed the Law into an intellectual and esoteric practice. That is
why the Prophet Jesus (Peace and blessing upon him) told them:
"Think not that I have come to (alter or) destroy the law, or the
(warnings of the) Prophets, I come not to destroy, but to fulfil"
They were applying the Law to the letter and not to the spirit of God.

That is why God says in the Qur'an that the Injil and Torah are corrupted.

I hope this will help you in your search.

May God enlighten you path and guide you to the Truth. Ameen


AbdulraHman Lomax

unread,
Mar 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/1/96
to
as-salamu 'alaykum.

"Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf" <Ra...@qucdn.queensU.Ca> wrote:
[about a Christian acknowledgement of uncertainty about some of the
New Testament text:]


>Then further on it says about the new testament, "Where existing
>manuscripts differ, the translators made their choice of readings
>according to accepted principles of New Testament textual criticism.
>Footnotes call attention to places where there was ***uncertainity about
>what the original text was ****.

Dr. Rauf cites this, thinking that it is sufficient proof that
Christian scholars accept that the text of the New Testament is
corrupt. But it only shows that they acknowledge textual variations.
It would be unclear as to whether or not any of these variations reach
to the level that we would call corruption of text, unless we studied
them individually and in detail. Many textual variations really have
little effect on meaning.

>>Muslims are saying: You adulterated the scriptures and there is no need

>>for us to substantiate this accusation.You have to proof that you didn't
>>do it.

>No Muslims are not saying that, It is Christians themselves saying that,

>and any ordinary christian, the international Bible society is saying
>that see what I have quoted from the preface of the Bible I have.

First of all, there are Muslims saying that. We read them all the time
in this newsgroup. Further, it is a big step from acknowledging
uncertainty about textual variations to "adulterating the scriptures."
In fact, to deny textual variations would be the real sin. And, I must
say, there are textual variations in the Qur'an, though they are
apparently not as severe as those found in the biblical texts.

We should be very careful about arguments like this. Dr. Rauf shows
his ignorance of the subject later on, more severely.

>>Second, I can write you a corrupted Qur'an if you want. Believe me,
>>that is easy. And as to your opinion [probably] there even exists a
>>corrupted/changed Qur'an today.

>Probably is no evidence, and there does not exist any.

I have it on my desk right now. It is called "Qur'an the Final
Testament, Authorized English Version, with the Arabic Text,"
translated from the Original by Rashad Khalifa. Has Dr. Rauf only been
reading postings in this group about the Ahmediyya?

>> The translation of Rashid Khalifa does
>>not contain those contended two verses. So it is a changed Qur'an [from
>>what most other Muslims believe to be the Qur'an] and it is not even
>>only one who wrote it with his hands, but it is printed and distributed
>>in thousands of copies.

>I doubt that first of all as we have to see that translation with our own
>eyes and compare it with others.

Actually, the Khalifites claim that their Qur'an is the only authentic
one since, they allege, the two verses at the end of Sura 9 were
inserted when the Abu Bakr Qur'an was compiled. They are very open
about the change. They also make two other minor changes that affect
letter counts but do not affect pronunciation.

> Such kind of slanders have always been
>generated by hatemongers agains many, So we have to believe what
>follwoers of Rashd Khalifa say about this allegation. In any case, it is
>only in translation the original arabic text of the Quran is preserved
>and is there to be referred to.

They have changed the actual Arabic text. Mr. Katz was exactly right
about this.

>So anyone wishing to can go back an look
>at the original.

I wish. It is not easy to look at an 'Uthmanic Qur'an. The Tashkent
text, which is, more or less, available, is probably not 'Uthmanic.
Once again, Dr Rauf has not been paying attention to recent discussion
here. He might stop and think for a moment before he speaks up with
such self-confidence.

As far as I can tell, there is no clear evidence that any of the
'Uthmanic Qur'ans still exist. I have heard of one in Egypt that
remains as a possibility. There is also little published description
of the Topkapi Qur'an. Mohamed Zakariya, the calligrapher, told me
that he was able to see it from a distance, and that the aspect ratio
was right for an 'Uthamic Qur'an, but he was not allowed any closer.

As far as the Tashkent text is concerned, it is full of textual
variations. Why are we so surprised? It was, like all these copies,
made by hand, and copying by hand is imperfect. (By the way, none of
the variations I have found have a significant effect on meaning. For
example, in one place an "inna llaha" is missing. Since the following
verb is still understood as referring to Allah, only an emphasis
changes slightly. I have cited this verse elsewhere, but it is not in
front of me right now.

>>It is established by the science of textual criticism that our Bible
>>today is authentic. There can be no doubt about it.

>No it is not. Read the above Quotation from the preface of a Bible I have
>given. If it was authentic then why the translators had to deviate from
>the original text in some cases?

Dr. Rauf is only establishing that he is capable of reading into the
evidence more than it actually establishes. The translators mentioned
did not "deviate" from the original text; rather, they said that they
were uncertain, to a degree, as to what the original text was, and
that they followed accepted principles in deciding what was, in fact,
authentic.

We have less of a problem with the Qur'an, but it is an exaggeration
to say that we have no problem at all. The real fact is that there
have always been variations in the written text, but the variations
were kept from becoming great by the very powerful aid of the memory
of the reciters. The Gospel texts were never recited and memorized as
extensively as was the Qur'an.

We do have a report, normally considered reliable, that there were
errors in the Abu Bakr copy of the Qur'an: one of them was corrected
when the 'Uthmanic copies were prepared (this is mentioned in Sahih
Muslim); others were corrected later, by Hajjaj, of all people. There
is really only one book that could have claimed to be the "original
Qur'an," and that would be the Abu Bakr copy, which was burned by
Marwan b. Hakam. All this is according to reports in 'Ulum al-Qur'an,
by Ahmad von Dennfer.

So, I am sorry, it is not so easy to look at the "original" Qur'an,
unless we believe, as I do, that the memory of the reciters was more
effective in preservation than the written text.

>No not at all. Corruption theory is not about different TEXTS, it is
>about the Alteration of the Text and changes which human hands made to
>the word of God for satisfying their own needs and desires. Like the
>Church of England, who found verses in the Bible which allowed him to
>practice polygamy. Is'nt it true. I am sure you are aware of that.

This is really amazing. First of all, there was no king called
"England." Dr. Rauf is getting carried away. It is easy to find verses
in the Bible allowing polygamy (which was not exactly the issue:
actually the issue was divorce), without changing it at all. If the
question is about interpretation, that is, if variation in
interpretations are to be considered "corruption," then certainly one
could allege corruption of the Bible. But also of the Qur'an, since
there are plenty of passages on which we do not agree as to meaning.

Actually, it is my opinion that most of the "changing words from their
places" mentioned in the Qur'an has to do with fast and loose
interpretation, something that Dr. Rauf is no stranger to, not with
actual textual changes. There is no mention of textual changes in the
Qur'an that cannot be understood as deliberate concealment or
distortion of what is in the text, in explaining it, rather than in
actually modifying it so that the original is lost.

Even the verse about "woe to those who write the book with their hands
and then say, this is from God" can easily be understood as referring
to what we see very commonly on this group: someone says that "God
says:" and then proceeds to write what is really his own opinion about
how the Qur'an should be translated.

A little taqwa could go a long way....

Gilberto Daniel Simpson

unread,
Mar 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/1/96
to
Asalam-alaikum,

Jochen Katz (jk...@math.gatech.edu) wrote:
: Gilberto wrote:

: One reason why, Mr. Katz, you might be confused about "the" Islamic theory


: of how the Bible was corrupted, is because, as far as I know, there is no
: single theory.
:
: That is for sure a stumbling block. Why hasn't God made this most important
: topic a bit clearer? How come He forgot about it and leaves us alone in all
: this confusion?

I'm not sure the question of how the Bible became altered is fundamentally
important. From an Islamic point of view, the Quran and Sunnah provide
sufficient guidance for how one ought to live and order one's life.
Discussion the Bible's history is not a central concern.

Knowing and understanding the correct answer is more important than
figuring out exactly where you made a mistake. Although, the latter
information may be useful, it is ultimately not essential.

: What is clear to me is that the Quran (read in a straightforward manner)


: and the modern Bible (read in a straightforward manner) are not consistent

: I completely agree - and it is not just minor disagreements, they are
: irreconcilable as far as I can see it.

But things are not so simple. There is a core of the Bible, both
in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, which is more consistent
with the spirit of Islam than modern Christianity. The Hebrew Bible
presents us with a God who tells who followers to abstain from
certain foods, to fast at certains times of the year, to pray regularly,
to offer sacrifices, and to hold certain places sacred. Ultimately,
Christianity is saying that God changed his mind and does not require
any of this stuff anymore.

: and so if you are a Muslim, you will take the side of the Quran. But


: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: something else which is clear is that the Quran affirms that the
: "Torah" the "Gospel" and the "Psalms" are revelations from God. What seems
: to be the logically necessary conclusion is that at some point, the
: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
: original revelations were replaced or changed in some way. The question of
: how is open ended.

: Well, as far as I remembe
r you are a mathematician and should know about: correct conclusions according to the rules of logic. I completely agree
: with you in your reasoning. "Mathematically" the statement
: "A implies B" is a correct one, even if A is false.

Right. I simply intended to address the claim made by some Christians
that the Quran somehow requires Muslims to believe in the Bible which is
silly. The conclusion we derive from the Quran is that somehow the
original revelations were altered. (Unless we want to look into how the
Bahais or certain mystics try to reconcile the Bible and the Quran.)

: As I see the situation, if you start out reasoning on the foundation


: that the Qur'an is the word of God, then there is no other way than
: that you will have to come to the conclusion that the Bible is corrupted
: [given you have enough interest to even read in it and think it is an
: important topic, many would just say, we have the Qur'an and why even
: bother to interact with the Bible. But I know you are not one who would
: take this approach]. And you will HAVE TO come to this conclusion just
: to save the truth of the Qur'an, even if it is against reason and against
: evidence for the trustworthiness of the Bible.

Similarly, if you start with the assumption that the Bible is true (when
read in a straightforward way) then one can conclude that the Quran is
false. And as you should know, this statement is true even if the premise
(and the conclusion) is false.

: What I am hoping for, maybe maybe one day in the future, that we get


: to the point that we step out of our pre-decided categories and take a
: step back and lay out in front of us the evidence for and against the
: trustworthiness of the Bible and for and against the trustworthiness
: of the Qur'an.

I thought that I started to do a little bit of that with my post. I wish
that had not chosen to just skip most of the objections I had made since
I thought they were the substance of my post.

There are strong points and weak points for both. But
: one of the things we would have to do is to define why we would con-
: sider certain characteristics 'strong' and others 'weak'!

a rough start would be to say that the ultimate criteria is simply the
truth of each book. But then that would lead to the question of how can
you determine what truth is.

One thing you might look for in a true book is consistency. So if you
found several clear, irreconcilable contradictions in a text then that
would be bad (understatement). But since God is arguably beyond human
comprehension one might argue that certain 'contradictions' are really
just signs of the Mystery of God.

You might also see to what degree the claims made by each text are
confirmed by external sources; historical evidence, psychological
reserach, cosmology, biology etc.

One might also appeal to some sort of "common sense" but such an approach
might be less objective. For example, my "common sense" might tell me that
a God who would punish an innocent person in order to set millions of
guilty people free is neither just nor merciful. But obviously, over a
billion Christians would disagree with me. Similarly, you might find some
Islamic doctrine equally nonsensical.

And finally we might also look at the documentary evidence. How many
different versions exist for each book? How different are they? Is it
clear that the current version of the book can be traced to its
presumed authors/reciters?

Any other suggestions?

Salam

Gilberto


Jochen Katz

unread,
Mar 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/2/96
to
Dear reader, if you don't want to make your way through all of the long article,
please jump to the very end, where one of the most important and troublesome
questions is posed. I believe, after seeing that you might actually want to come
back and read the rest of the article. :)

In article <4h66q2$4...@shellx.best.com>, mar...@gate.ioa.com
(AbdulraHman Lomax) writes:

Dear Mr. Lomax especially [and all those who have been involved in this topic]

first of all I am glad that you took the time to write a detailed response
to Dr. Rauf in this thread and put some issues in perspective as to his gross
overstatements in regard to both the "corruptedness" of the Bible and the
"purity" of the Qur'an [each of which is not as simple as Dr. Rauf would
like to have it.]

I greatly appreciate your desire for truth and fairness even if it
means making statements that will be VERY unpopular among most Muslims.

Second, I should have been wiser and wait with this post [responding to Sohail
Farooqi] until I really have the time to deal with all this, but I didn't
really expect the "flood" of long responses. I am finishing up currently my big
article on the Trinity, which has been on hold and in the making for too long
already. After that I will hopefully be free to respond to Dr. Rauf, Misha'al
Al-Kadhi and Gilberto Simpson in more detail [or maybe some more Christians
lurking here will speak up and answer this instead].

So, I am not ignoring the questions, but allow me to finish my trinity project
first [i.e. the Biblical evidence for the Trinity].
I will come back to all substantial questions posed.

Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> wrote:
> (Shane Nickolson) writes:
> Where then is the much discussed "Q" gospel that Christian theologians
> discuss widely?

>You hit the nail on the head! WHERE in fact is it? This "Q" is a hypothesis
>of liberal scholars but there is no factual evidence whatsoever to its actual
>existence.

Jochen overstates his conservative position. It is quite obvious that
the Gospel accounts are not independent testimonies.

How independent should they be when they are based on the reports of the
disciples who lived with Jesus for three years? And much of teaching by the
Rabbis to their disciples was done by memorization. There is no good reason
that this was different with Jesus disciples. And when the disciples memorized
much of the same teaching, some substantial similarity can be expected.

I have never
heard anyone familiar with them claim that they are. The coincidences
of language in the Gospels is the evidence: that coincidence is far
more than would be found in independent accounts of the same event.
Whether or not there was an actual document (called "Q") is a matter
of some speculation, but the inference is pretty strong.

"Q" has never been of great interest to me, but let me just share a few
thoughts on this. Very much a layman's perspective. Most of this theory is
proposed by scholars who assume [we might talk about the reasons some time
else] that the Gospels are NOT written by the disciples but much later
[no real sound reasons for that]. And after they fix that assumption then
they can go on and observe the "strange" similarities and have to propose
common sources etc. But if we believe as the Church always believed [until
this sort of theology sprang up around 1800], namely that the Gospels were
written by the Apostle Matthew and John, by Mark, the translator/secretary
of Peter [i.e. it is basically Peter's account], and Luke, the companion of
Paul, who was with him in Israel during much of Paul's 2 year (?) imprisonment
there [before his appeal to Ceasar and journey to Rome] and was interviewing
the Apostles and other eyewitnesses living there at this time, then these
coincidences aren't all that surprising anymore.

Yes, there is a common source, the teaching of Jesus as memorized and taught
by the disciples. The "Q" document is completely unnecessary a hypothesis,
and that we have no trace of it at all and it only is invented recently
without any mentioning in 1800 years of church history might give a clue as
to the value of the theory.

>Not only do we not have a manuscript of it. There no mentioning of any such
>gospel in any of the Church fathers or any other source. It is a great figment
>of imagination, a "more or less" educated guess.

Though the case is different, but nevertheless, many of the Hadith collections
contain similar hadiths [as you would hope if they should go back to the same
real events - would be kind of bad if they were completely disconnected], but
does that mean that there has to be a source document "H" from which all
the collectors copied those hadiths that are common to the different collectors?

> Where are the gospels written in a language that Jesus
> could have even understood?
>
>You may rest assured that Jesus most definitely understood and spoke Greek
>[as did his disciples].

And now Jochen makes this assertion without a shred of evidence. But
the point is not whether or not Jesus (AS) knew Greek, but whether or
not he would have used it in making speeches to the common people, as
well as the non-scholars among his disciples. Would Jochen claim that
he would have done this?

No, usually he would have spoken/preached in Hebrew/Aramaic.
But at least John and Peter [two of the inner circle of Jesus' disciples]
wrote in Greek [The two epistles by Peter, the three epistles by John,
the Gospel by John, the revelation by John], and it is pretty save to
assume that they understood the language they wrote it in.

Israel was the "hub" of the world in a certain [though not political] sense.
The connection between Europe, Africa and Asia and many of the trade routes
connecting the continents led through it. Greek was the world language in
the centuries following Alexander the Great, who had conquered most of
countries from Southern Europe to borders of India. Many of the people in
Israel would be trilingual, in Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew [the latter is in
debate on how much it was spoken in daily life or only the sacral language
of worship, but there are good evidence that it was actually used in this
time in everyday life, too]

For much of the Gospels, people who know the Hebrew can "see the Hebrew behind
the Greek" as many semitisms are carried over in the "more or less literal
translation". But there are passages of Jesus talking which are very hard to
tranlate back into Hebrew/Aramaic and most probably might have been spoken
in Greek. [And Jesus did have quite some contact with non-Jews, which is clear
if you read the New Testament carefully] I am not a language expert, I can only
report of what I have read from those who are. I have the impression those books
were good scholarship, but you are free to disagree. It is not a major point
really.

I think we have to concentrate more on discussing content than "form", in which
I get caught up just as much as others at times.

>Though with his disciples he usually would have spoken Hebrew or Aramaic.
>The Gospels are written in Greek because like English today, the
>"world language" of that time was Greek and it was a message for the whole
>world.

This idea is not much found in the Gospels themselves; rather, it
developed and became more important later. Certainly this does explain
why the Gospels were written in Greek, but it completely ignores the
main point here. Unlike Islam, which has preserved its revealed
scripture in its original language, Christianity lost the actual words
of Jesus, AS, or at least nearly all of them, in the original
language; thus Christians must depend solely on the translation made
into Greek. Jochen does not really claim that Jesus spoke all these
things in Greek. So Shane's point still stands.

There are many fundamental differences in our understanding of what
revelation is. In Islam it only seems to be "direct spoken word of God".
In Christian understanding, God is revealing much by his way of working
in the historical events of this world. And believing that Jesus is God
incarnate, his whole life and action IS selfrevelation of God. This was
not actual spoken revelation which had to be preserved in the language
spoken, because it wasn't even spoken at all. The words and the life of
Jesus belong together as one message. And this message was written down
by the Apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Greek
language. It was not a translation of a fixed book in Hebrew [or Aramaic].

Jochen is generally defending the Christian scriptures against the
charge of "corruption" sometimes leveled without sufficient evidence
by intemperate Muslims.

I think you [Mr. Lomax] undestand what I am talking about but it seems
that with most readers here we are talking about very different kinds of
corruption. I readily admit that there are many different variants of
readings in the different manuscripts, 95% of which are copying errors
[and Mr. Lomax has pointed out that those even exist in Qur'an manuscripts,
THANK YOU!] mispellings, missing a line or doubling a line while copying
etc. I am not denying any of this. And I believe that with the basis of
many thousands of manuscripts for comparison we can be very confident that
the text is today faithfully restored and the researchers in textual criticism
assert that the actual literal text is restored to 99.8% leaving only a very
few uncertainties. But as I said, that isn't even my concern. My concern is
that Muslims accuse the Christians of corruption in content which is something
completely different. And not in minor things, but in the center of the
faith and the Gospel. Did Jesus die on the cross? Is Jesus God? and
questions like this. And there is NO evidence that the text has been
changed anywhere as to meaning and content. Yes, there have been some well-
meaning scribes who wanted to correct some bad Greek grammar in a sentence
and things like that, but there is no evidence for intentional corruption
of CONTENT and that is what this debate is all about.

There is NO evidence that Jesus didn't get crucified and that the disciples
didn't preach his crucifixion and resurrection and lordship from day one
of the Christian church and there is lots of evidence that they did.

The question is what are Muslims going to do with all the evidence for the
crucifixion and resurrection when they then see that the Qur'an just denies
it? How serious are historical facts contradicting Islamic belief? And because
it contradicts, you say it is corrupted but there is NO evidence for any SUCH
corruption. I am not talking about whether one text is leaving out a partikel
and another text has a different word ending somewhere etc. I am talking
about content.

Technically, a translated text has been corrupted to a certain degree.
If I understand correctly, Christians have long understood this, and
developed the idea that the translations were themselves inspired to
get around the problem.

God willing, there might come a time for an explanation of the very
different understanding of inspiration in the Bible/Christianity in
comparison to that in Islam.

But that is a topic for itself. Maybe I can delegate that to more able
people. We will see.

Really, though, the big problem with scripture of all kinds is
interpretation. A Muslim who mistranslates or misinterprets the Qur'an
in order to make it appear that his opinion is true is just as guilty
as a Christian or Jew who does the same with his scripture: for all of
them the Qur'anic condemnation which is the basis of most charges of
"corruption" applies, even if the text itself is unchanged.

AbdulraHman Lomax

Yes, interpretation is the issue, I believe that the Bible [as the Qur'an]
is faithfully preserved in content and extremely well [though not completely]
in the actual literal renderings word by word. And I agree that back then
in Muhammad's time, as well as today people are twisting the Bible as it
suits them best [and we have seen quite some BIBLE twisting by the Ahmadiyyans
recently as to make Jesus prophecies of his second coming to fit for Mr. Ahmad
- interesting enough, an Ahhmadiyya now brings the longest postings of charges
of corruption of the Bible text]. But praise be to God, that we have our Bible
and also our brain, to check these interpretations against the faithfully
preserved text.

I maintain that there is no evidence for successful [intentional] corruption of
the Biblical text IN CONTENT. But then, if that is indeed so, there is the
big problem of inconsistency of Bible and Qur'an - the Qur'an confirming that
Torah and Gospel are from God, while they utterly contradict the Qur'an in
content.

Philospically the trouble of Islam is the following:

If Jesus [Bible] is right [and we have no other source on Jesus' teaching than
the Bible] then Muhammad [Qur'an] is wrong because they utterly contradict each
other.

But if Jesus [the Bible] is wrong, then Muhammad [the Qur'an] is still wrong
at least in Muhammad's [the Qur'an's] affirmation that Jesus [Torah, Injil]
is right.

The only escape from the dilemma is, that "the Bible is changed", for which
there is no evidence. So, Muslims are forced [at least in this issue] to
blindly believe against all evidence. And it is not a belief in a non-
evidential but reasonable theory, it is a theory defying all reason, because
there is neither a motive for doing so, nor is there an opportunity to
practically do so without it leaving any trace at all.

olai...@tigger.cc.uic.edu

unread,
Mar 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/2/96
to

Why is/are god(s) silent on this matter and you are talking? How does anyone
of you KNOW that he/she speaks god's mind of the matter?


peace,
Mohammad


Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf

unread,
Mar 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/3/96
to
Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> wrote:

> In article <4h66q2$4...@shellx.best.com>, mar...@gate.ioa.com
> (AbdulraHman Lomax) writes:
>
>Dear Mr. Lomax especially [and all those who have been involved in this topic]
>first of all I am glad that you took the time to write a detailed response
>to Dr. Rauf in this thread and put some issues in perspective as to his gross
>overstatements in regard to both the "corruptedness" of the Bible and the
>"purity" of the Qur'an [each of which is not as simple as Dr. Rauf would
>like to have it.]

First of All, Mr. Lomax's response did not put any issue in perspective. All it
helped is to clear my misconception about no alteration of Quran and also about
Khalifites exclusion of two verse, I did see a post by one of them (Edip)
saying that they don't consider these two verses to be the part of Quran, But
that by no means prove that Bible was not tempered with and in my openion
that's what the issue was and still is and has not been put into perspective.
In my followup post under this thread, I did make some comment about the
authenticity of the Quran because those ware intended to be response to some of
your earlier assertion as to the corruption of the Quran.

In anycase, counterattacking Quran by no means will prove that Bible was not
corrupted. Even if you prove that Quran was changed, that's all what will be
proven and by no means it can be taken as a proof to the purity of Bible (as
99.8% you have quoted in the following, I don't know how did you get that
figure and what mathematics did you perform to reach that conclusion.) Anyhow,
the issue is still that Bible is corrupted and tempered with by human hands.
You asked for where and I did provide you with four verses and then detailed
reasoning, and nowhere in that reasoning I quoted Quran or Bible (so that I do
not leave any room for you to come out by saying "it is not an argument for
non-Muslims as they don't beleive in it" and in case of Bible by saying "so
what, you don't beleive in it". And I requested you to do the same for me
(which you don't have to honour if you don't want to). However in my openion
the issue which needs to be put in perspective is that Bible is tempered with
Human hands and you have some questions to answer raised in my two posts in
this thread.

>I greatly appreciate your desire for truth and fairness even if it
>means making statements that will be VERY unpopular among most Muslims.

Yes, I have always respected Mr. Lomax for his fairness. However, I don't think
he has been very just and fair towards Ahmadi Muslims at least in the eclipse
issue and the topic we are discussing. In this case, I am not sure if the
motive is mere fairness. If you look at the objections raised by me, they are
all attacking the original sin which forms the base for the sacrifice on the
cross and thus saving of the human beings by death on the cross. So if my
arguments go unchallenged and proven to be the right ones, they do break the
cross in many hearts and hence support the Ahmadiyya Muslim arguments that the
metaphorical meanings, of one of the tasks of the Promised Messiah (AS) to
break the cross, is that mysteries of the cross which have been set in the
hearts will be broken by the power of the arguments. Seeing the debate going on
for a while and no strong arguments from any other Muslim and then suddenly
very strong arguments from a known Ahmadi Muslim shattering the very basis of
the mystery of cross, Lomax had to respond one way or the other by simply
pointing out a few mere mistakes and misconceptions in an effort to break the
strength of the argument so as to overshadow the reflection of the breaking of
cross. At least that's what my intuition is, which of course could be wrong, at
least I don't consider it to be the ultimate truth.

>So, I am not ignoring the questions, but allow me to finish my trinity project
>first [i.e. the Biblical evidence for the Trinity].

What good a Biblical evidence for Trinity would do for Muslims, You are already
trying to prove to Muslims that Bible (which exists today) is credible. Muslims
consider Bible to be corrupted and what will evidence from a corrupted book do
for Muslims. If you want to address Muslims give some logical arguments about
trinity to Mulsims not Biblical argument. For a complete logical refutation of
the doctrine of trinity read the book, "Christainity: A Journey from Facts to
Fictions" by Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad (may Allah strengthen his hand), which
is available on the URL
http://ahmadiyya.org/imam/ftof/ftof.html



>There is NO evidence that Jesus didn't get crucified and that the disciples
>didn't preach his crucifixion and resurrection and lordship from day one
>of the Christian church and there is lots of evidence that they did.

There is ample proof that Jesus (AS) did not die on the Cross and you shall be
given that proof when the time comes but first things first, you have to
support the concept of the original and inhereted sin from the historical and
scientific standpoint. Once we establish that that's just a hoax, there will
not remain any need for Jesus (AS) to die on the cross as the sacrifice was to
clean the original sin which we inhereted is'nt it?

>The question is what are Muslims going to do with all the evidence for the
>crucifixion and resurrection when they then see that the Qur'an just denies
>it? How serious are historical facts contradicting Islamic belief? And because
>it contradicts, you say it is corrupted but there is NO evidence for any SUCH
>corruption. I am not talking about whether one text is leaving out a partikel
>and another text has a different word ending somewhere etc. I am talking
>about content.

I don't know about other Muslims but I do know for sure that my theory of
corruption is based on historical facts and I did present to you ample amount
of these facts (a refutation of which, I am still waiting for). And thus
historical facts by no means contradict Islamic beliefs, in fact they support
the Islamic belief that Jesus (AS) did not die on the cross. I am sure you have
heard about historians who travelled on the route supposedly taken by Jesus
(AS) after the alleged resurrection (coming back to conciousness, according to
Ahmadi Muslims) to come to India to save the lost sheeps of Israel, to whome he
was also sent. So by the same token what will you do when proven historically
that Jesus (AS) was not son of God but a simple humble human being who did not
die on the cross but was unconcious and came back to conciousness after three
days and travelled to India. These are also historical facts and were
established by many western (christian by birth) historians way before Hadhrat
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (AS) claimed to be Messiah for Muslims.

>And I agree that back then
>in Muhammad's time, as well as today people are twisting the Bible as it
>suits them best [and we have seen quite some BIBLE twisting by the Ahmadiyyans
>recently as to make Jesus prophecies of his second coming to fit for Mr. Ahmad
>- interesting enough, an Ahhmadiyya now brings the longest postings of charges
>of corruption of the Bible text]. But praise be to God, that we have our Bible
>and also our brain, to check these interpretations against the faithfully
>preserved text.

Yes, I agree too, that back then some people did try to twist the Bible to
suite their purpose and some do that with the Quran as well. Back during
Muhammad (PBUH)'s time, who twisted it, from a Muslim's perspective it were the
christians themselves. However, those who had even a little bit faith left in
their hearts recognised the truth of Muhammad (PBUH). Waraqa bin Naufal was one
of them a cousin of Khudaija (RA) a christian by faith himself, when visited by
Khudaija (RA) after the very first experience of revelation by Muhammad (PBUH),
said that indeed Muhammad (PBUH) is the Holy Spirit christian ahd been waiting
for for the last six centuries. The wrods are mostly contained in Islamic
records, however, the testimony to the truth of Muhammad (PBUH) right after
hearing about the first revelation by Waraqa bin Naufel has been recorded by
many western historian. Muir and Watt as I quoted in my previous posts are two
of them. So this does reflect that till then the concept of Holy Ghost in terms
of its misticism as we see it today affecting the christian thought, if
initiated, was not that popular among christians and some did interpret it to
mean the appearance of a new prophet not some mysterious entity to inspire some
people. Who was right is totally different questions. Definitely, being a
Muslim, Waraqa and King Negus were right in their interpretation and I can
provide ample proof for that from the Bible itself. But first, we have to get
over with the concept of the original sin.

>But then, if that is indeed so, there is the
>big problem of inconsistency of Bible and Qur'an - the Qur'an confirming that
>Torah and Gospel are from God, while they utterly contradict the Qur'an in
>content.

I did point out in my previous that Quran nowhere confirms that Torah and
Gospels are from God. All it confirms is that Torah and Injeel were from God.
It does not even mention Gospels. You must get this right, Injeel, according to
Quran is not Gospels, but the book revealed to Jesus (AS). Gospels or the New
testament is not that book. According to christians, Gospels were not revealed
by God to Jesus but the word of Jesus, the god (NaoozuBillah). So do you see
the fundamental difference here. Quran actually condemns such thoughts rather
than confirming such thought. So Quran confirms Injeel which in no way
contradicted it. It wholly negates the concept of Gospels and thus the above
argument does not stand at all.

>Philospically the trouble of Islam is the following:
>
>If Jesus [Bible] is right [and we have no other source on Jesus' teaching than
>the Bible] then Muhammad [Qur'an] is wrong because they utterly contradict each
>other.

No not at all. Which philosophy are you using, self made? or are there any
established principles applied to the concept. May be in christianity
Jesus(AS)=Bible, but in Islam Jesus(AS) is not equal to Bible. So if Jesus (AS)
is right that does not by default mean Bible is right. Don't say Quran
testifies it as I have shown above it does not testify Bible and according to
Muslim thought Gospel and Injeel are two different things. And because human
hand tempered with Injeel in creating Gospels, the whole teaching got distorted
and was impracticle so direct guidance from God the Almighty was needed to put
things into perspective and tell human beings the Will of God on how to spend
their lives in this world. So, God chose Muhammad (PBUH) to reveal this will
and law. Hence, Muhammad (pbuh) is right and so is Quran as it removed the
misconceptions and contradictions among the Gospels. Hence, Jesus is right and
so is Injeel, but Gospels (Bible) is corrupted and thus Muhammad (pbuh) and
Quran is right. Quran and Bible are surely going to contradict eachother as
Quran was meant to remove the contradictions of the Bible. There is sufficient
proof for that and I have started an effort to show you that. One contradiction
which Quran removed, is about the sacrifice of his son by Ibrahim (AS).
Accroding to Bible, first God asked Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his only son,
then tells that the sacrifice was made of Issac, while it is proven
historically that Ishmail was the elder son of Ibrahim. So Quran puts this
contradiction into perspective. There are many other which I would love to
discuss but first we have to clear the concept of origianl sin. One thing at a
time, I guess.

>But if Jesus [the Bible] is wrong, then Muhammad [the Qur'an] is still wrong
>at least in Muhammad's [the Qur'an's] affirmation that Jesus [Torah, Injil]
>is right.
>
>The only escape from the dilemma is, that "the Bible is changed", for which
>there is no evidence. So, Muslims are forced [at least in this issue] to
>blindly believe against all evidence. And it is not a belief in a non-
>evidential but reasonable theory, it is a theory defying all reason, because
>there is neither a motive for doing so, nor is there an opportunity to
>practically do so without it leaving any trace at all.

There is no blind belief, though some may do, but at least I provided you with
sufficient evidence in this issue to prove beyond doubt that Bible was tempered
with and you have not justified your stand yet against at least my evidence.
Once it is established that the four verses, I presented were tempered with I
shall be happy to provide the answer to the motive question as well. First
thing first. You asked, where and I showed you where. Now it is your turn to
prove that it is not corrupted there, if you do prove it is not then it will be
my turn to show if anywhere else. If I manage to prove one concept which came
into Bible because of human error, then we can move on to motives. So please,
lets take things step by step.

>
>Jochen Katz Email: jk...@math.gatech.edu
> Web Site "Christian Answers to Islam":
> http://www.math.gatech.edu/~jkatz/Islam/

Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf

unread,
Mar 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/3/96
to
mar...@gate.ioa.com (AbdulraHman Lomax) wrote:
>as-salamu 'alaykum.

Wa-alaikum assalam Wa-Rehmatullahe, Wa-Barakatohu,

>"Dr. Ijaz A. Rauf" <Ra...@qucdn.queensU.Ca> wrote:
>[about a Christian acknowledgement of uncertainty about some of the
>New Testament text:]

>>according to accepted principles of New Testament textual criticism.

>>Footnotes call attention to places where there was ***uncertainity about
>>what the original text was ****.
>Dr. Rauf cites this, thinking that it is sufficient proof that
>Christian scholars accept that the text of the New Testament is
>corrupt.

I believe, that is your personal openion which may not reflect my
thinking at all. If you Mr. Lomax was following the debate then he should
know that Jochen asked for at least one proof which would be credible to
him and also any one of the following, as to where in the Bible it is
corrupted, when? why? etc. etc. I don't remember all of them. So my
thinking was that the word of the the International Bible society would
be more credible for Jochen as to my understanding he is a christian.

>But it only shows that they acknowledge textual variations.
>It would be unclear as to whether or not any of these variations reach
>to the level that we would call corruption of text, unless we studied
>them individually and in detail. Many textual variations really have
>little effect on meaning.

And very humbly, I submitted my analysis of four verses of the bible in
detail and explained why I did not believe them to be the word of God
almighty. Meaning of those verses were very clear, and these are those
meaning on which the whole building of christianity is built. Also, I
presented several other scientific and logical arguments to show that
these verses cannot reflect the word of God. I hope Mr. Lomax read my
followup to the initial post.

>We should be very careful about arguments like this. Dr. Rauf shows
>his ignorance of the subject later on, more severely.

If Mr. Lomax's aim here is just to prove my ignorance then it is no big
task, Lomax I am ignorant about many things and have never claimed to be
a scholar of any kind. I am a physicist by profession and even there I
have never claimed unrivalled scholarship, even there I feel I am very
ignorant and I find out new things every day. Ignorance is not a sin my
friend and my brother in Islam.

>>Probably is no evidence, and there does not exist any.
>
>I have it on my desk right now. It is called "Qur'an the Final
>Testament, Authorized English Version, with the Arabic Text,"
>translated from the Original by Rashad Khalifa.

This is the first time of the fact, I heard in my life so far which have
seen at least 34 springs, that you do have one in your desk so I was
saying the truth, to me there did not exist any. And even now since you
have told me this, I have not seen it with my own eye so the best I can
do in arguments to not to contest the arguments, but I still cannot say
that there does exist another version of the Holy Quran. You must have
heard the Hadith "Laisal Khabrukal Moainateh" meaning a heard story can
never be equal to a witnessed one. So till I witness it to me it does not
exist. That is the level of Taqwa I try to follow.

>Has Dr. Rauf only been reading postings in this group about the >Ahmediyya?

In the limited time I have, I must confess that I mostly tend to follow
the title wich interest me most and a larg quantatity of those is on the
topic of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, however, they are not exclusive to
that. Anyway, I have very limited time and I too have some other fish to
fry :-) (no offense intended)

>>> The translation of Rashid Khalifa does
>>>not contain those contended two verses. So it is a changed Qur'an [from
>>>what most other Muslims believe to be the Qur'an] and it is not even
>>>only one who wrote it with his hands, but it is printed and distributed
>>>in thousands of copies.
>
>>I doubt that first of all as we have to see that translation with our own
>>eyes and compare it with others.
>
>Actually, the Khalifites claim that their Qur'an is the only authentic
>one since, they allege, the two verses at the end of Sura 9 were
>inserted when the Abu Bakr Qur'an was compiled. They are very open
>about the change. They also make two other minor changes that affect
>letter counts but do not affect pronunciation.

I have followed some of the debate, on the verses 128,129 of Sura 9 of
the Holy Quran, going on in this newsgroup. The statements I have seen
from the Khalifite side have been that the above two verses are doubtful
and what I have not seen, is an admittance to the fact that they have
actually excluded them from their translation of the Quran. I have seen
them avoiding a direct answer to the Question, however, I cannot say that
they have admitted it. So, all I can say is that I have seen Khalifites
avoiding direct confrontation with this question and debating that
however, on thing I cannot say is they have changed the Quran as I have
not seen it and compared it and neither I have seen the confession of
such alterations.

>> Such kind of slanders have always been
>>generated by hatemongers agains many, So we have to believe what
>>follwoers of Rashd Khalifa say about this allegation. In any case, it is
>>only in translation the original arabic text of the Quran is preserved
>>and is there to be referred to.
>
>They have changed the actual Arabic text. Mr. Katz was exactly right
>about this.

You can say that as you have seen it but I can't as I hav'nt seen it. I
never said that they have not changed it. All I was refering to was that
we have to practice Taqwa and see it with our own eyes. And believe what
Khalifites say about these allegations till we see someting to the
contrary.

>>So anyone wishing to can go back an look
>>at the original.
>
>I wish. It is not easy to look at an 'Uthmanic Qur'an. The Tashkent
>text, which is, more or less, available, is probably not 'Uthmanic.
>Once again, Dr Rauf has not been paying attention to recent discussion
>here. He might stop and think for a moment before he speaks up with
>such self-confidence.

Jazakum-Allah for the advice. It is taken in good spirit. I hope it is
intended in good spirit too.


>
>As far as I can tell, there is no clear evidence that any of the
>'Uthmanic Qur'ans still exist. I have heard of one in Egypt that
>remains as a possibility. There is also little published description
>of the Topkapi Qur'an. Mohamed Zakariya, the calligrapher, told me
>that he was able to see it from a distance, and that the aspect ratio
>was right for an 'Uthamic Qur'an, but he was not allowed any closer.

I never said it would be easier. A true seeker "Mohamed Zakariya" did
reach it. Having had good contact he may had been able to see it from
closer. I don't know what is done these days while publishing a Quran.
However there should be some way for caligraphers to refer to a
"reference Quran".

>>No not at all. Corruption theory is not about different TEXTS, it is
>>about the Alteration of the Text and changes which human hands made to
>>the word of God for satisfying their own needs and desires. Like the
>>Church of England, who found verses in the Bible which allowed him to
>>practice polygamy. Is'nt it true. I am sure you are aware of that.
>
>This is really amazing. First of all, there was no king called
>"England." Dr. Rauf is getting carried away. It is easy to find verses

Thanks for pointing out above, I should admit that I did get carried
away here and included interpretations as actual changes. However, I
never said King named England read the above. What I meant to say was the
King who initiated "church of England", but in the heat of the argument
skipped 'king who initiated'. Anyhow this was not intended to be a strong
argument anyway. It was to add some spice to the discussion. However, I
must confess that I feel no shame and will never feel lowed down if I
admit a mistake. So I did make a mistake here and I appologize. I am a
mortal human and prone to making mistakes.

>A little taqwa could go a long way....

Yes, and it goes even further if applied in self analyses or analyses of
the one's own inner self.

>AbdulraHman Lomax
>mar...@gate.ioa.com
>P.O. Box 25133
>Asheville, NC 28813

Wassalam,

AbdulraHman Lomax

unread,
Mar 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/3/96
to
Jochen Katz <jk...@math.gatech.edu> wrote:
as-salamu 'alaykum.

>I greatly appreciate your desire for truth and fairness even if it
>means making statements that will be VERY unpopular among most Muslims.

I do consider it an obligation in Islam to not conceal the truth, even
if it "looks bad." However, while my comments are certainly unpopular
in some circles, I have noticed a general agreement from those Muslims
with whom I would care to sit. And I will remind them that, if I err
on any point of signifigance, it is their obligation to point it out,
even if it makes me, or Islam, "look bad."

> Jochen overstates his conservative position. It is quite obvious that
> the Gospel accounts are not independent testimonies.

>How independent should they be when they are based on the reports of the
>disciples who lived with Jesus for three years? And much of teaching by the
>Rabbis to their disciples was done by memorization. There is no good reason
>that this was different with Jesus disciples. And when the disciples memorized
>much of the same teaching, some substantial similarity can be expected.

When I say that the gospel accounts are obviously not independent
testimonies, this is from a consideration of the precise language used
to describe events, not from a similarity of quotations. Certainly we
would expect independent reports of a speech to contain similarities,
even very strong similarities, in language. But independent accounts
of *events* will be very different in language and style, reflecting
the choices of words used by the witness. Where the language is the
same, in the recounting of events, it is reasonable to conclude that
one of the witnesses heard about the event from the other, or both of
them heard about it from a third.

There is a third possibility: that they had discussed the event so
much together that their language converged. But, from my own
experience with accounts like this, I do not think that this would
explain the degree of convergence found in the Gospels.

But certainly it would be possible for the traditional authors of the
Gospels to be the real authors, and *also* for there to be copying
among them, as well as a "Q" document. In compiling a gospel, one of
the authors might well have had an account from another; and there may
well have been another gospel, now lost, used by them.

Of course, to the degree that they copied from one another, they are
not independent accounts. That is my point. It is quite apparent, by
the way, that some of the accounts in the Gospels are indirect, for
not all the traditional authors of the Gospels were present for all
the events; in fact, for some of the events, we have no idea who the
witness was. Jesus AS was alone with the woman at the well. We can
speculate about it, but neither possibility is fully satisfactory
(Jesus himself, or the woman herself), if we are concerned with the
accuracy of what was reported. Most likely, it was the woman, for we
are told that she told others what happened. But through how many
intermediate transmitters this story comes to us is unknown, for the
kind of caution as to isnad that came to be characteristic of hadith
literature is absent from the Gospel testimony.

>Though the case is different, but nevertheless, many of the Hadith collections
>contain similar hadiths [as you would hope if they should go back to the same
>real events - would be kind of bad if they were completely disconnected], but
>does that mean that there has to be a source document "H" from which all
>the collectors copied those hadiths that are common to the different collectors?

In fact, with some hadith, such a source is inferred. And there were
early documents and collections used later by the sahih collections,
and there are fragments of some of these extant, I am informed.

I do, in fact, assume that the telling of a story in exactly the same
way by two different witnesses means that one witness got the story
from the other. I do not make this assumption if the similarity is
only the exact text of what the Prophet, SAS, is reported as having
said, for simple honesty and accuracy of memory will produce that kind
of convergence. Rather, it is similarity of language and those aspects
of a report that involve personal choice on the part of the narrator
that would lead to the conclusion that one report, at least is hearsay
or has been "contaminated" by the testimony of another.

This is why U.S. courts will try to prevent witnesses to a crime from
talking with each other, so that their testimony will be truly
indpendent.

>No, usually he [Jesus] would have spoken/preached in Hebrew/Aramaic.


>But at least John and Peter [two of the inner circle of Jesus' disciples]
>wrote in Greek [The two epistles by Peter, the three epistles by John,
>the Gospel by John, the revelation by John], and it is pretty save to
>assume that they understood the language they wrote it in.

I would expect Matthew, also, to know Greek. The point was that most
or perhaps nearly all of what Jesus said would now be extant only in
translation.

>For much of the Gospels, people who know the Hebrew can "see the Hebrew behind
>the Greek" as many semitisms are carried over in the "more or less literal
>translation". But there are passages of Jesus talking which are very hard to
>tranlate back into Hebrew/Aramaic and most probably might have been spoken
>in Greek.

Or, Jochen neglects to add, since it is contrary to *his* assumptions,
were originally written in Greek, being synthesized from
understandings of the writers as to what Jesus, AS, had taught. Direct
quotations, simply translated, could preserve the flavor of the
original language, whereas paraphrases often lose it. I see this all
the time with Qur'anic Arabic translated into English.

We still do not know with any certainty that Jesus spoke Greek at all.
But we do know with high certainty that much of what is reported in
the Gospels was originally spoken in Aramaic or Hebrew (really very
close to each other, as is Aramaic to Arabaic, uh, Arabic. The m and b
convert easily to each other in those languages.) And this is the
point.

I do think that it is unnecessarily perjorative to call translation
"corruption," but, on the other hand, it is dangerous to insist that a
translation carries the same authority as the original text, unless
the translation has clearly been authorized and approved by the
original author.

>There are many fundamental differences in our understanding of what
>revelation is. In Islam it only seems to be "direct spoken word of God".

Yes. We actually consider two grades of revelation. One would be
textual in nature; the Qur'an is an example. The other is "true
vision" which might be expressed in the words of the one receiving it.
One who receives and transmits the former is called Rasul, and one who
receives and transmits the latter is called Nabi. The difference is
clear in the simple meanings of the words: Messenger, and News-bearer.

To give you news of the beloved is one thing, to carry a letter from
her is another....

And there is even another grade, which we do not call revelation at
all, which is what the Christians call inspiration. Legitimately,
inspiration means that the speaker or writer is guided by Allah in
what he speaks and writes. This is open to any of us, but it does not
carry the authority of the Message or the News.

>In Christian understanding, God is revealing much by his way of working
>in the historical events of this world. And believing that Jesus is God
>incarnate, his whole life and action IS selfrevelation of God.

Strangely missing or obscure in the Gospels, and most definitely not
central to what Jesus, AS, taught. There are a few statements which,
taken out of context, and setting aside the rest of what he said, that
may be taken as the Christians have taken them, but I know many
Christians, priests and ministers even, who reject the official
doctrine on this point, based only on their own reading of the
Gospels, where Jesus explicitly denies being God or worthy of the
worship that is due to God, elevated be his glory.

>This was
>not actual spoken revelation which had to be preserved in the language
>spoken, because it wasn't even spoken at all. The words and the life of
>Jesus belong together as one message.

We affirm this, and say the same about our Prophet, SAS, except, of
course, for the Khalifites, who do not like the hadith of Ayesha that
Muhammad, SAS, was "Qur'an walking."

> And this message was written down
>by the Apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Greek
>language. It was not a translation of a fixed book in Hebrew [or Aramaic].

Of course, this is later Christian doctrine, obviously. In fact, the
doctrine goes even further, if one looks into it closely. It also
assumes that later Church interpretation of what is in the Gospels was
likewise under the guidance of the holy spirit, as well as the
decision of what was to be in the canon and what was to be burned, as
well as, in fact, every decision and theological position of the
Church, to this day expressed in the doctrine that the Pope, speaking
ex cathedra, is infallible.

Jochen, are you Catholic? It would be consistent with what you
believe. If you are a Protestant, it would mean that you accept that
somewhere along the line, this infallible guidance of the holy spirit
was lost or corrupted. But where?

> And I believe that with the basis of
>many thousands of manuscripts for comparison we can be very confident that
>the text is today faithfully restored and the researchers in textual criticism
>assert that the actual literal text is restored to 99.8% leaving only a very
>few uncertainties.

Meaning, I would hope, the actual literal text of what the authors of
the Gospels wrote. Without affirming any exact percentage, I have no
problem with this.

> But as I said, that isn't even my concern. My concern is
>that Muslims accuse the Christians of corruption in content which is something
>completely different. And not in minor things, but in the center of the
>faith and the Gospel. Did Jesus die on the cross? Is Jesus God? and
>questions like this. And there is NO evidence that the text has been
>changed anywhere as to meaning and content.

If there is such evidence, for gross corruption, I have not seen it.
When it comes to exactly what word Jesus, AS, used for this or that,
it must be said that the text is not reliable on that level.

>There is NO evidence that Jesus didn't get crucified and that the disciples
>didn't preach his crucifixion and resurrection and lordship from day one
>of the Christian church and there is lots of evidence that they did.

Jochen seems to have missed a crucial point. If the Qur'anic account
is true, then we would expect exactly what we find in the Gospel
witness, for the Qur'anic account affirms that there was an appearance
of crucifixion. Thus it is not calling the Gospel accounts lies, it is
only denying the conclusions that are made from these accounts.

For Jochen to say that there is NO evidence shows only that he
rejects, a priori, the Qur'anic account, set to us by the Witness
whose knowledge is real knowledge. Now, what is his evidence for that?

In a U.S. court, it is a basic legal principle that testimony is
presumed true unless contradicted. If apparent conflict among
witnesses can be resolved by a single explanation, that explanation is
presumed true unless, again, it is controverted.

The Qur'an also says that those who argue about the crucifixion do not
know the truth. We are free to propose explanations or theories, but
to insist on any particular explanation in the absence of real
knowledge is to follow the footsteps of Satan, who urges us to "say
what we do not know."

>The question is what are Muslims going to do with all the evidence for the
>crucifixion and resurrection when they then see that the Qur'an just denies
>it? How serious are historical facts contradicting Islamic belief?

All this is beside the point because historical fact, in this case,
does not contradict the foundation of Islamic belief, the Qur'an,
which affirms the history as it is, for witnesses will testify as to
what they see. It is left to a judge (or jury) to determine what
really happened; it is not the job of the witnesses.

> And because
>it contradicts, you say it is corrupted but there is NO evidence for any SUCH
>corruption. I am not talking about whether one text is leaving out a partikel
>and another text has a different word ending somewhere etc. I am talking
>about content.

It is unfortunate that some Muslims have argued that the Gospels are
corrupt because they contain accounts of the crucifixion. This is, in
fact, an argument for their authenticity, not their corruption.

>God willing, there might come a time for an explanation of the very
>different understanding of inspiration in the Bible/Christianity in
>comparison to that in Islam.

I have already mentioned this in this article and in the past. It is
the source of much misunderstanding between Christians and Muslims.


>I maintain that there is no evidence for successful [intentional] corruption of

>the Biblical text IN CONTENT. But then, if that is indeed so, there is the


>big problem of inconsistency of Bible and Qur'an - the Qur'an confirming that
>Torah and Gospel are from God, while they utterly contradict the Qur'an in
>content.

Generally, I found allegations of such contradictions on major issues
wanting in depth of analysis.

>Philospically the trouble of Islam is the following:
>If Jesus [Bible] is right [and we have no other source on Jesus' teaching than
>the Bible] then Muhammad [Qur'an] is wrong because they utterly contradict each
>other.

Once again, Jochen is a priori denying the authenticity of the
Qur'anic account of Jesus' life and teaching, by saying "no other
source." Apparently he believes that inspiration only comes to
Christians, and it is not clear that he believes in revelation at all.
However, I do not find that the Bible and the Qur'an utterly
contradict each other. Yes, there are discrepancies here and there,
but, as we have agreed, there is no guarantee that the biblical text
is 100% free of error. But most of what is asserted as contradictory
actually deals with the level of interpretation and commentary rather
than with the primary meanings of the text.

Once again, the polemic assertions of some Muslims that the Bible is
corrupt, followed by alleged examples of such corruption, usually
based in a complete misinterpretation of the Biblical text, sometimes
compounded by misinterpretation, as well, of the Qur'an, have done a
great deal of damage.

>But if Jesus [the Bible] is wrong, then Muhammad [the Qur'an] is still wrong
>at least in Muhammad's [the Qur'an's] affirmation that Jesus [Torah, Injil]
>is right.

The Qur'an does not affirm that the Torah or Injil were perfectly
preserved into the time of its revelation, but one can certainly infer
that they were sufficiently preserved for those who knew them to
recognise Muhammad, SAS, as one bringing the same message.

In other words, they were not so corrupt, if they were corrupt at all,
as to be useless; in fact, the Qur'an seems to expect that they will
be very useful indeed to those who read them and follow them.

This is one reason why unwarranted Muslim denigration of the Torah and
Gospels (which are today pretty much as they were in the time of
Muhammad, SAS, which is pretty well established, and as Jochen has
ably defended) is so dangerous.

No, the real path to the Qur'an, at least for any believing Christian
or Jew, is THROUGH the Torah and Gospels, and it will be, for them, a
reminder of what they already knew.

Of course, great caution is necessary in distinguishing what is
actually present in the Torah and Gospels (and the other books of the
Prophets) and what is later gloss and interpretation, which is where
real corruption can come in, as it does with Qur'an and Hadith.

>The only escape from the dilemma is, that "the Bible is changed", for which
>there is no evidence. So, Muslims are forced [at least in this issue] to
>blindly believe against all evidence. And it is not a belief in a non-
>evidential but reasonable theory, it is a theory defying all reason, because
>there is neither a motive for doing so, nor is there an opportunity to
>practically do so without it leaving any trace at all.

I hope that I have established clearly that blind faith against
evidence is not the "only escape from the dilemma." I urge Jochen, as
well as all Christians and Muslims, including myself, to open and to
keep our eyes open, and to look carefully and reflect well before we
condemn what we do not understand.

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