Last time (The Bible and the Qur’an: Divinely Inspired?), we concluded that two books containing contradictory claims cannot both be of divine origin.
So how do the Bible and Qur’an measure up?
In many ways, the life of Jesus is portrayed similarly between the two books. However, there are some glaring differences.
The Bible teaches that Jesus is undeniably the Messiah, the fully God, fully man, Son of God, sent to bear the sins of the world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus died on the cross, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the Word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
-1 Corinthians 15:1-7
Only by the death and resurrection of Jesus can anyone obtain salvation.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The Bible teaches that God is a Trinity, one God consisting of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus is the Son, the second member of the Triune God.
The Qur’anic teaching on Jesus is very much different.
According to the Qur’an, Jesus is merely a messenger of Allah, not the Son of God, and certainly not God.
Christ the Son of Mary was no more than a messenger; many were the messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food.
In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the Son of Mary.
Additionally, God is not a Trinity but is singular. Simply speaking, God is One, with no possibility of complex views of God..
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 on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity”: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth.
The Qur’an teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross and was not resurrected.
That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;-but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.
These are irreconcilable differences between the books. The Qur’an differs from the Bible, not only regarding Jesus, but in how it portrays God and other topics and personalities, which I will not delve into here, but may in future posts.
For this comparison, the differences in how the two books portray Jesus, the central actor in salvation according to Biblical faith, are more than enough to eliminate the possibility both have divine origin.
So, either the Bible is the Word of God, and the Qur’an is not, or vice versa. Their contradictory relationship does not reconcile with an unchanging, omnipresent, omniscient God.
Arguably the God of the Bible and Allah are not the same being at all, with contrasting activity and characteristics, which we may look into down the road.
So, which text, if either is from God?
We will continue this discussion next time as we look closer at the origin and compilation of the two books. 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
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Thank you, Tim. I have often wondered what the differences were. B.