The Claim that the Bible is no longer Reliable because the Original Manuscripts are Lost

Some Muslims argue that the Bible is no longer reliable because the original manuscripts have been lost. Therefore there is no possible way to check the accuracy of today's Bible by comparing it to the very first words of recorded scripture.

It is true that none of the original manuscripts have been found, and are probably lost. However, the very same can be said of the Qur'an. In "The Holy Qur'an / Tratislatioti and Commentary," (2nd Edition, 1977), the author Yusuf Ali in his introduction on page 32 states the following:

No sooner was a passage of the Qur'an revealed that it was recorded on leaves of date-palm, barks of trees, bones, etc., at the dictation of the Holy Prophet and all these pieces were put in a bag.

Notice that the verses of the Qur'an were copied onto leaves, tree bark, bones, etc. Further research reveals that according to the hadith, (a collection of Muslim traditions) compiled by Al-Bukhari entitled Sahih al-Bukhari, the verses of the Qur'an were recorded also onto white stones and "men's breasts." Whether the phrase "men's breasts" is to be taken literally or figuratively (to mean the memories of those who knew the verses by heart), it is obvious that neither case could fit the description of being "put in a bag." Furthermore, no person or museum has yet been able to exhibit any such collection of palm leaves, tree bark, white stones, and bones to verify the existence of the original manuscripts. Thus, even though all Qur'ans today may agree with the final copy that was approved by the Muslim ruler Uthman, twenty years after the death of Muhammad, no Muslim can prove that his Qur'an agrees exactly with the scriptures dictated by his prophet, simply because he faces the same problem as the Christian. The original documents have been lost!

If the Muslim can still accept the validity of his Qur'an without the proof of the original manuscripts, then it should not be so difficult for him to allow the Christian to accept the validity of his Bible.

As for the Muslim accepting the Bible, he does not have to worry. The Qur'an itself says it came to confirm the previous holy books. If this is true, then the Muslim should not have to be concerned about original manuscripts. Had there been any major errors in the Bible, then surely the Qur'an would not have come to confirm, but rather to annul, replace, or correct. However, no such indication is given by the Qur'an. And so the Muslim, on the basis of his own Qur'an can feel free to trust the validity of the holy books of the Bible.

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