Doubts about what the Qur’aan says about ‘Eesa (peace be upon him)
We may be repeating ourselves here if we point out that the Gospels, or the Bible, of which we are speaking, that is extant among the people nowadays, is something other than that which was revealed from Allaah to His slave and Messenger ‘Eesa ibn Maryam (Jesus son of Mary – peace be upon him). With regard to what was revealed from Allaah, no one's faith is valid if he disbelieves in it or in any part of it. We have warned against that in question no. 47516.
But for reasons of divine wisdom, that book continued to be distorted and misinterpreted from ancient times until its divine origin was lost and disappeared. All that the people have in their hands now is no more than a mixture of the darkness of shirk and trinity with the glimmer of the light of Tawheed, an accumulation of lies and distortions mixed with the remnants of the truth and knowledge of the Prophets.
Now, after so many centuries of tampering, it is impossible for anyone to be certain whether any part of the Bible is true or false, unless it is checked in the light of the truth that confirms that which went before, the divine light of which has not been extinguished by the darkness of ignorance and whims and desires, and whose pure truthfulness has not been contaminated with even a single lie or mistake. That can be nothing other than the Holy Qur’aan which Allaah has guaranteed to preserve, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”
Even though one of the greatest Christian scholars and defenders of the Bible, namely Norton, tried to defend the Bible against the criticism of Ackharn the German, he was forced to admit that distinguishing truth from lies nowadays is very difficult.
From this we reach the matter asked about in the question. We say that whoever does not believe in the Qur’aan will never have any valid book in which to believe, and whoever casts aspersions upon the truthfulness of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the validity of the Islamic religion, will not be able to offer any proof that the religion which he follows is valid.
The point is that whoever casts aspersions upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the things that he said about his Prophethood and the Revelation that he received from heaven, even though miracles happened at his hands that confirmed the veracity of what he said, and all his life he continued to challenge his enemies to produce the like of the Book which he attributed to the revelation of his Lord, and even challenged mankind and the jinn together to cooperate and produce something like this Qur’aan, as Allaah said:
“Say: “If the mankind and the jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur’aan, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another”
But they were not able to do that and produce anything like it, throughout history and until now, in spite of the numerous enemies who opposed him and wished that they could prove that he was lying. But there is no way they can do that!
Moreover, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) continued to prevail over his enemies and they were unable to prove him wrong. They were never able to prove that he was lying in anything he said, even in the regular kind of talk that people engage in amongst themselves, let alone telling lies about his Lord Who had sent him.
I wonder, if they reject all that evidence, how they could have any evidence of the soundness of the idea of “divine inspiration” which forms the foundation of their belief in their books, in spite of the fact that they do not claim that the Gospel was revealed to Jesus, or that he wrote it or dictated it, or even that the Gospels were written during his lifetime!
Moreover, there is no sound evidence concerning the personalities of the four men who wrote the Gospels: who they were, how they lived their lives, and whether what they wrote came from divine revelation or divine inspiration, as they claim, or it was only their own ideas or what was inspired to them by their devils. Horn, one of the greatest exegetes of the Bible, says: “If it is said that the Bible was revealed from God, that does not mean that every single word or phrase of it is inspired by God. Rather we know from the statements of those who wrote the Bible, from the differences in their styles, that they were permitted to write according to their own natures, customs and understanding. It is unimaginable that they could have been inspired in everything they described or in every ruling they stated.”
The Encyclopaedia Britannica refers to the different opinions among Christian scholars and researchers concerning the matter of divine inspiration and whether every phrase of the Bible is divinely inspired or not. Then it comments on that in one article (19/20) where it says: “Those who say that every phrase is divinely inspired cannot prove their claims with any ease.”
We say: and they cannot do so even with difficulty!
There are dozens of places where the Gospels contradict one another, and dozens of historical errors and false prophecies that never materialized. Frederick Grant stated that “The New Testament is not homogeneous because it is a compilation of scattered elements. It does not represent a single point of view or style from beginning to end, rather it represents different points of view.
The American Encyclopaedia states that there is a serious problem that results from the contradictions that appear in different places throughout the fourth Gospel and the three synoptic Gospels. The differences between them are so great that if you accept the synoptic Gospels as sound and correct, this will lead to the conclusion that the Gospel of John is not sound.
It is worth noting that the Gospel of John is the one which focuses the most on their doctrine of trinity; indeed they admit that it was written to establish this doctrine, which the other three Gospels failed to do, and to put an end to the dispute concerning this matter.
The Catholic Church, which strongly adheres to the idea of divine inspiration as the origin of the Bible, confirmed that in a meeting of the Vatican in 1869-1870. But a century later it revised its opinion and admitted, in Vatican II (1962-1965) that these books contain a great deal of defects and some falsehoods, according to what was reported by the French Catholic researcher Dr Maurice Bucaille, who later became a Muslim.
Moreover, if a person disbelieves in any of the miracles of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or any aspects of his life story that point to his truthfulness, how can he prove the miracles of these so-called apostles who wrote the Gospels, or prove that their claim to divine inspiration is correct?
For them, the idea of divine inspiration is correct on the basis of what is written in the Bible, and the miracles mentioned therein, and the Bible is sound and correct because it is divinely inspired!
Thus their evidence ends in a vicious circle, as was mentioned in the Encyclopaedia by some researchers: “So the Bible is sound because it is divinely inspired and their inspiration is proven because the Bible testifies to that!”
If a person disbelieves in the Qur’aan, which was transmitted by means of tawaatur (a process in which something is narrated from so many by so many that it is inconceivable that they could all agree upon a lie), throughout the Muslim world, east and west, generation after generation, by memory and in writing, with no variant copies and no contradictions, how can he prove the Gospels to be sound or rely on them, when there is no shred of evidence, not even a hint, that they existed any earlier than two hundred years after the death of Christ, according to what Norton quoted from Ackharn the German? Then there were the calamities that befell the Christians in the fourth century CE, when their churches were destroyed and their books were burned, which makes one lose confidence in any of their books that appeared after that. When did they appear and in whose possession were they during that period of persecution and hiding? How did they reach us?… There are many questions about this problem as was expressed in the Encyclopaedia Britannica where it says:
“We have no certain knowledge of the way in which the canonical soundness of these four Gospels was established, nor where or when this decision was made.”
With regard to not knowing who translated it from the language in which it was originally written, how reliable his knowledge was and how qualified he was for this task, and how we can be certain that he translated it in the proper manner, that is a whole other issue!
For more details on what we have mentioned in summary in this answer, please see: Izhaar al-Haq by Shaykh Rahmat-Allaah al-Hindi. And Munaazarah bayna al-Islam wa’l-Nasraaniyyah by Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Ghaazi et al.
May Allaah guide us and you to the Straight Path.