Today, I am beginning a series on the Bible and the Qur’an.
I recently read a question-Which book should I read, and on which should I meditate?
The questioner responded, “Both.” They can both provide wisdom, encouragement, and guidance, given by God.
But are they?
The Christian faith holds that the Bible is the Word of God. Within Scripture, numerous passages speak of divine inspiration, that prophecy and the Word of God are not given by the understanding of humankind but through the Spirit. Scripture comes from God for our instruction and training in righteousness so that we may know God, the creator and sustainer of the universe.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17
knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
-2 Peter 1:20-21
And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
-2 Corinthians 2:13
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of Spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam by the prophet Mohammad. It also claims divine inspiration as a perfect work of God, without error or contradiction, of immaculate quality, that corrects our understanding and interpretation of previously inspired Biblical truths.
Do they not attentively consider the Qur’an? If it had been from any besides Allah, they would certainly have found therein many contradictions.
This Qur’an could not have been composed by any except Allah; but it is a confirmation of that which was revealed before it, and an explanation of the Scripture; there is no doubt thereof; sent down from the Lord of all creatures.
So, can both of these books be of divine origin?
Scripture tells us that God is unchanging.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
Thus, how God sees the world and how He works in the world and in our lives does not change.
You may say that God will do what He will, and it is for His pleasure that He does anything. And that is true.
However, what pleases Him always has and always will remain the same. And why shouldn’t it? He is perfect and righteous in all aspects of His being. He knows all and has wisdom beyond our understanding. He knows every detail and contingency of every situation in which He exercises power and control. There is no unknown information at the time that He decides on a matter that would cause Him to act differently later. In fact, there is nothing later that He does not already know at the time that He does something.
The future for Him is as the present is for us. He can see all times simultaneously. He is everywhere all at once in the past, present, and future.
So, if God never changes,, both the Bible and Qur’an are divine only if they agree entirely with one another.
It should be noted that agreement does not verify divine origin but merely qualifies the possibility. Even if they fully compliment one another, that does not guarantee the inspiration of one or the other, or both.
All we can do here is disqualify the possibility of both if differences exist.
Next time, we will investigate the life of Jesus in both texts and see how they compare. Please check out other posts in this series here.
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Quran quotations from translation by George Sale