In this article Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi (MENJ) sets out to undermine Pauls statement that the Scriptures, i.e. the Holy Bible, are given by inspiration of God.
In II Timothy 3:16, we read the claim of Paul:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
In the above verse, we clearly see that the entire Bible is supposed to be inspired from God Almighty.
However, there are few problems with the claim:
- First of all, let us just say that we completely agree that "all scripture is by inspiration of God". However, this is basically a valueless statement because what does the word "scripture" mean? It means Divinely revealed (or "inspired") books that speak the will of God. Thus to say that all "all scripture is by inspiration of God" is the same as saying "all books that were inspired by God were inspired by God". This is pointless double-speak that not only proves nothing, but also fails to address the real issue. This issue is whether or not something that people claim to be scripture really is a scripture - in whole or in part.
MENJ is evidently confused about the meaning of graphe. He assumes that the term carries with it the meaning of "Divinely revealed" or "inspired", and yet graphe does not in and of itself carry this definition. Generically, graphe just means "something that was written". It is the particular context and/or setting, specifically within a biblical or religious setting, which determines whether graphe refers to an inspired book.
The particular context of Pauls statement is dealing with the origin and purpose of the divinely inspired Scriptures, i.e. the reason why these scriptures are both holy and profitable:
"You, however, must continue in the things you have learned and are confident about. You know who taught you and how from infancy you have known the holy writings (hiera grammata), that are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every scripture (pasa graphe) is inspired by God (Theopneustos - lit. God breathed) and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Paul is essentially saying that since the Scriptures originate from God, or are breathed out by God, they are therefore holy and profitable for the attainment of the specific God-given objectives listed here.
Second, it is indeed true that claiming inspiration doesnt prove that the Bible is inspired, anymore than Muhammads claim of receiving revelation proves that he really was receiving it or that he was a prophet. Since Paul was writing to a person who had already been convinced supernaturally by God that the scriptures were in fact Divinely inspired, there was no reason for him to present evidences to establish this truth.
- This is not to mention the fact that when this statement was originally made by Paul, he was referring not to the New Testament, but only to the Jewish writings that he (rightly or wrongly) considered to be scripture. As most Protestant Christian apologists usually do, they fail to mention the verse just before the passage mentioned above. In II Timothy 3:15, we read: ". . . and from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures . . ." Obviously, since none of the so-called "gospels", nor the Epistles of Paul, could have existed in this person's "childhood", the entire New Testament is excluded from this passage. If later Christians came to believe that everything that they claimed was "inspired by God" was really "inspired by God", then that is their mistake. So suffice it to say that we submit to and follow the authentic Word of God, but just because someone claims that they have been "inspired" doesn't mean that we believe them.
MENJ erroneously assumes that Paul was ONLY referring to those scriptures which Timothy knew from his childhood. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul was speaking about all the scriptures that Timothy knew from childhood AND UP TO THE PRESENT MOMENT OF THE WRITING.
Furthermore, Paul is not talking about the canon of Scripture per se, but about the origin and purpose of Scripture. As we had stated, Pauls point is that the Holy Scriptures originate from God and are therefore able to accomplish Gods purpose of equipping the saints. In principle, this would apply to EVERY book that God inspires or breathes out, not just to the OT canon. Paul himself provides evidence that this is what he meant. For instance, Paul writes in his first epistle to Timothy:
"For THE SCRIPTURE says, Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain, and The worker deserves his wages." 1 Timothy 5:18
Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 AND LUKE 10:7:
"Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house." Luke 10:7
Paul calls Lukes Gospel Scripture and places it on the same level of Moses writings! Additional evidence that Paul is citing Luke's Gospel can be seen from a comparison of the Greek:
Luke 10:7 - ... axios gar ho ergates tou misthou autou.
1 Timothy 5:18 - ... axios ho ergates tou misthou autou.
Paul also claims that his own writings were inspired. See below.
Since all the letters where Paul claimed inspiration preceded the writing of 1 and 2 Timothy, we can safely infer that these epistles would have also been included among the Scriptures that Paul said were breathed out by God; an inference which the apostle Peter himself makes:
"Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:15-16
Noted Evangelical Scholar Douglas J. Moo comments:
The implicit point Peter is making emerges from his claim that the false teachers distort Paul's letters as they do the other Scriptures. The word other (loipos) shows that Peter considers the letters of Paul to belong to the category of Scripture. Some scholars think that this means no more than that Peter considered Paul's writings to be authoritative. But the word Scriptures (graphai) ALWAYS REFERS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TO THOSE WRITINGS CONSIDERED NOT ONLY AUTHORITATIVE BUT CANONICAL - in a word, it refers to the Old Testament ... Peter therefore implies that the letters of Paul have a status EQUIVALENT to that of the canon of the Old Testament itself. (Moo, The NIV Application Commentary: 2 Peter, Jude [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI 1996], p. 212; bold and capital emphasis ours)
In light of the foregoing, it is evident that 2 Timothy 3:16 is not limiting inspiration to the OT canon but includes, in principle, EVERY writing that God would eventually breathe out. This in turn includes the very books that eventually formed the NT canon.
- Paul who wrote II Timothy 3:16 had ridiculously contradicted himself because he had admitted that he wasn't always inspired by God Almighty (1 Corinthians 7:25-30). Verses 1 Corinthians 7:25-30 are today permanently preserved in the "Bible". If God Almighty indeed spoke II Timothy 3:16 through Paul, then He wouldn't have contradicted Himself in the verse about the entire Bible being His Word, while permanently preserving Paul's personal words and suggestions in the "Bible". This should be a partial evidence that Paul was not truthful.
Where does this passage have Paul admitting that he wasnt inspired? A careful reading of the context shows that Paul was addressing the question of whether virgins should remain unmarried, something that Christ never addressed while he was on the earth. Since Paul was Christ's spokesperson he could speak on issues that the Lord did not address during his earthly ministry. Paul gives a suggestion that a person can choose to follow, but was not required to do so, while under inspiration.
Note the exact words of Paul at the start and the end of this particular section:
"Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who BY THE LORDS MERCY IS TRUSTWORTHY ... In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is - and I think that I too have the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 7:25, 40
Pauls concluding remark is basically an admission of inspiration, i.e. that he can speak about issues which the Lord didnt address since he had God Spirit. Pauls expression here does not express doubt whether he had the Spirit, as the following passage demonstrates:
"And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people." 1 Corinthians 2:13
Paul is using sarcasm to a Church that had puffed up individuals claiming to be Spirit-filled prophets even though they were highly disorganized and disunited. Evangelical Scholar and NT Commentator Craig L. Blomberg writes:
... Verse 25b parallels the parenthesis in verse 12. In each case, Paul cannot cite a word from the earthly Jesus but believes God is inspiring him to offer reliable counsel ... I think that I too have the Spirit of God (v. 40b) does not reflect any doubt on Pauls part but represents a slightly sarcastic aside to the Corinthians, who felt that only they had attained spiritual insight. (Blomberg, The NIV Application Commentary - 1 Corinthians [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids MI], pp. 151, 153-4; bold emphasis ours)
Second, there are scores of passages where Paul was aware and claimed that his preaching and his writings were given by inspiration of God:
"If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I AM WRITING to you IS THE LORDS COMMAND. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored." 1 Corinthians 14:37-38
"since you are demanding proof THAT CHRIST IS SPEAKING THROUGH ME. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you". This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority - the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down." 2 Corinthians 13:3, 10
"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me BY REVELATION, as I have already WRITTEN briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to Gods holy apostles and prophets." Ephesians 3:1-5
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE LORD JESUS ... Therefore, he who rejects THIS INSTRUCTION does not reject man BUT GOD, who gives you his Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2, 8
Thirdly, the Holy Bible does not teach that everything the apostles said or did was inspired. Rather, the Holy Bible teaches that inspiration refers to their preaching and writing down Gods revelation:
"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you HEARD from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, BUT AS IT ACTUALLY IS, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13
"But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, WHETHER BY WORD OF MOUTH OR BY LETTER FROM US." 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15
Fourthly, Pauls wording in 1 Cor. 7:25 demonstrates his honesty since it shows that he wouldnt simply make up sayings of Jesus. Paul made sure to distinguish his words from the words of the earthly Christ.
Finally, if giving a suggestion is evidence that a person is not inspired then what does MENJ have to say about the following passages?
If ye divorce them before ye have touched them and ye have appointed unto them a portion, then (pay the) half of that which ye appointed, unless they (the women) agree to forgo it, or he agreeth to forgo it in whose hand is the marriage tie. To forgo is nearer to piety. And forget not kindness among yourselves. Allah is Seer of what ye do. S. 2:237 Pickthall
And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice. And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth). S. 4:3-4
They consult thee concerning women. Say: Allah giveth you decree concerning them, and the Scripture which hath been recited unto you (giveth decree), concerning female orphans and those unto whom ye give not that which is ordained for them though ye desire to marry them, and (concerning) the weak among children, and that ye should deal justly with orphans. Whatever good ye do, lo! Allah is ever Aware of it. If a woman feareth ill treatment from her husband, or desertion, it is no sin for them twain if they make terms of peace between themselves. Peace is better. But greed hath been made present in the minds (of men). If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do. Ye will not be able to deal equally between (your) wives, however much ye wish (to do so). But turn not altogether away (from one), leaving her as in suspense. If ye do good and keep from evil, lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. But if they separate, Allah will compensate each out of His abundance. Allah is ever All-Embracing, All-Knowing. S. 4:127-130 Pickthall cf. S. 270-271, 280; 24:60
Here, the Quran is giving suggestions that are not obligatory upon believers. Using MENJs logic, this means that not ALL of the Quran is inspired either. (Actually, none of the Quran is divinely inspired and is not the word of the true God!)
Clearly, MENJs argument is biblically unsound and untenable.
- The word "Bible" is a modern term, and comes from the word Biblia which means "Books". Furthermore, until today we see various Churches have a different number of collection of books in their "Bible". So when such claim is made, it is not right for us to use it to prove the entire "collection" was inspired from God Almighty.
First, the term Bible is not a modern term, but a term which originates from the Holy Bible itself. It is derived from the Latin biblia, which comes from the Greek. Biblia is the plural form of the Greek biblion, which is itself a diminutive of biblos. In Latin the word biblia became a feminine singular.
In time the collection became classified as THE Book or Bible. This is primarily because even though the Holy Bible consists of 66 individual books, the author is one, namely the Holy Spirit:
The word "Bible" COMES FROM THE GREEK BIBLOS or bublos, the inner bark enclosing the pitch of the papyrus plant from which paper (papyrus) was made in ancient times. The diminutive plural biblia (books) WAS VIEWED AS A SINGULAR IN LATIN, AND FROM THIS CAME THE MODERN ENGLISH WORD ... (Encyclopedia Americana, Year 2000 Edition, Volume 3, p. 648)
The term "Bible" is derived, through the Latin Biblia (originally a neuter plural, but treated since the early Middle Ages AS A FEMININE SINGULAR), from the Greek ta Biblia, literally "the books," with the word iera (sacred) expressed or understood. The singular of this Greek word, Biblion (a diminutive in form, but with the diminutive force lost), occurs in Lk 4.17, in reference to the "SCROLL" of Isaiah from which Jesus read in the synagogue at Nazareth. The earlier form he BiBlos (the book, i.e. the Bible), which occurs in 2 Mc 8.23, as does its plural hai BiBloi, in the Septuagint of Dn 9.2, comes from an original form, he BiBlos, designating Egyptian papyrus, first known to the Greeks as writing material imported from the Phoenician city of BYBLOS. Synonymous terms for the sacred book(s) are hai graphai (the writings, the Scriptures) and he graphe (the writing, Scripture, the Bible as a whole), which are used in Mt 21.42; 22:29; 26:54; etc. and Acts 8.32; Rom 4.3; 9.17; etc., respectively.
The use of the singular number in these terms to designate the many writings that constitute the Bible comes FROM THE REGARDING OF THE COLLECTION AS A SINGLE UNIT, despite its many authors, HAS GOD AS ITS CHIEF AUTHOR ... (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Second Edition, Volume 2, p. 354)
It must be stated that the words biblos, biblion and biblia are all used in the Holy Scriptures in reference to the revelation:
"And He was handed the book (BiBlion) of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book (to BiBlion), He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. Then He closed the book (to BiBlion), and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him." Luke 4:17-20 NKJV
"And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book (en to BiBlio touto)." John 20:30 NKJV
"For it is written in the Book (BiBlo) of Psalms ..." Acts 1:20 NKJV
"Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets (en BiBlo ton propheton) ..." Acts 7:42 NKJV
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law (en to BiBlio tou nomou), to do them." Galatians 3:10 NKJV
"When you come, bring the cloak I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books (kai ta BiBlia), especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:13
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, "What you see, write in a book (graphon eis BiBlion) and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia ..." Revelation 1:10-11
"For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book (tes propheteias tou BiBliou): If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book (en tou BiBlio); and if anyone takes away words of the book of this prophecy (tou BiBliou tes propheteias), God shall take away his part from the Tree of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (en to BiBlio touto)." Rev. 22:18-19
The Bible also calls itself Holy:
"which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures," Romans 1:2
"and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:15
Even the words Old and New Testaments are derived from the Holy Scriptures. The word Testament is the Latin translation for the Greek diatheke, which is used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew word for covenant (brit).
The Scriptures speak of God making a New Covenant and the New Testament scriptures are the record and fulfillment of that promise:
"But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. But showing its fault, God says to them, Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And there will be no need at all for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, 'Know the Lord,' since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer. When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear." Hebrews 8:6-13 NET Bible
"And so he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, since he died to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant. For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, and said, This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has commanded you to keep. And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. Hebrews 9:15-21 NET
"And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood." Luke 22:20 NET
It is little wonder that Paul could refer to the Hebrew Scriptures, specifically the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, as the Old Covenant/Testament:
"But if the ministry that produced death, carved in letters on stone tablets, came with glory so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory that was fading away), how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be? For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory! For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it. For if what was fading away came with glory, how much more has what remains come in glory! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds, but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." 2 Corinthians 3:7-16 NET
As far as the assertion that various Churches hold to different collections is concerned, this is a bit misleading since it gives the impression that these various canons are vastly different. In point of fact, all the different groups, with the exception of the Syriac-Nestorian Church, accept all 39 OT and 27 NT books. As far as the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches are concerned, their differences lie in the inclusion of the OT Apocrypha. Yet, the Lord Jesus and the Jews who lived both before and during his time have resolved the issue of the Apocrypha, and it is the reason why both Jews (on the basis of their history) and Protestants (on the authority of the Lord Jesus and his Apostles) reject the Apocrypha as part of the inspired OT canon. See the following for the details:
Furthermore, the Church never disputed the following books: the four Gospels, Acts, all the Pauline Epistles, 1 Peter and 1 John. It is only these books that were disputed by some (perhaps many), yet not by all: Hebrews, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, James, Jude and Revelation.
This means that the first believers did not dispute 20 out of the 27 NT books! And a careful reading of the seven books which were disputed shows that their contents are thoroughly orthodox in nature. This shows that the Church didnt simply reject writings which disagreed with their theology since these books do not undermine orthodoxy in the least. In fact, Revelation is perhaps the one NT book that quite explicitly and unambiguously sets out to prove that Christ is eternal Deity and the sovereign Lord of all!
Finally, whether one accepts only these 20 books, the 22 of the Syriac Church or the 27 of the Protestant and Catholic canon, one is still left with orthodoxy since ALL these canons affirm the following:
We could easily expand the above list, but this sufficiently demonstrates that there is NO NT canon that leaves us with a Muslim Jesus or with an Islamic message. The true, historic Christian faith clearly shines through from all these differing collections.
- Since all of the books of the New Testament were deemed "Divinely inspired" by a Church that already had a certain theological point of view, it comes as no surprise that some parts of the books that they selected (at the expense of others) confirm their beliefs. Suffice it to say that even if Christians are able to produce an (alleged) statement of Jesus, peace be upon him, in the New Testament in which he explicitly says "I am God, worship me!", this would only prove that the Church had made a mistake in its selection of gospels.
First, it wasnt the Church that deemed these books inspired, but God through his Holy Spirit inspired these writings. The Church simply recognized and discovered what these inspired books were. Second, the Church derived its theology from both the eye and ear witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is little wonder that they rejected any writing which disagreed with the pure Apostolic teaching revealed by the Lord Jesus.
Third, it is simply not true that the Church rejected books that disagreed with their views since (as we already alluded to) some of these writings were in agreement with essential Christian doctrine. For instance, there were books which affirmed the Deity of Christ but were still rejected, demonstrating the extreme care and honesty of the Church in trying to sift through the authentic and inauthentic material. In the words of renowned NT scholar and textual critic Bruce M. Metzger:
"The slowness of determining the final limits of the canon is testimony to the care and vigilance of early Christians in receiving books purporting to be apostolic. But, while the collection of the New Testament into one volume was slow, the belief in a written rule of faith was primitive and apostolic ... In the most basic sense neither individuals nor councils created the canon; instead they came to perceive and acknowledge the self-authenticating quality of these writings, which imposed themselves as canonical upon the church." (Metzger, The New Testament: Its Background, Growth and Content [New York: Abingdon Press, 1965], p. 276; bold and underlined emphasis ours)
Additionally, some of the books that the Church rejected were those that denied the real humanity of Christ such as the Gnostic Gospels! I am sure that MENJ would agree that the Churchs rejection of these writings was a wise decision. As Dr. William Campbell puts it:
At this point it may be helpful to point out that because a book was declared apocryphal by the church does not mean that it agreed with the doctrines of Islam. This is simply not the case.
A Jewish Christian "Gospel of Peter", which claimed clearly that Jesus is the Divine Word of God who died on the cross for our sins, was rejected by the church because, first of all, it was not written by Peter, and secondly it denied Jesus' true humanity saying that when he was on the cross he felt no pain. Danilou says of this false gospel that "its purpose is to throw into bold relief the divine character of the person of Christ." Certainly Islam would not be sympathetic to this!
There was an "Acts of Paul" which agrees completely with the Christian doctrine of Jesus' death for our sins, but it also says that "you shall have no part in the resurrection unless you remain chaste and defile not the flesh", which to them meant no sexual intercourse even for married people. The church rejected it because this is against Christian teaching (as it is also against Quranic teaching), and its author, who admitted that his work was a forgery was removed as a church leader for this lie. This prohibition of sexual relations even in marriage is also found in the Judeo-Christian books - The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of the Egyptians.
Finally, I will mention the Judeo-Christian Epistle of Barnabas which was written about 120 AD. This work was very highly respected by many second and third century Christians and the teaching which it contains about Christ is orthodox, but it was declared apocryphal. Why? First, there was no proof that it was written by Barnabas, and secondly it attributes the Law of Moses to the wiles of a demon, a statement which contradicts Jesus' words and which contradicts the Qur'an too. (http://answering-islam.org/Campbell/s3c3d.html)
Finally, the Quran confirms the Holy Bible which existed in the time of Muhammad:
It must be kept in kind that the 27 NT books had officially been canonized during the 4th century. The Quran must therefore be confirming these books as the revealed word of God, which means that if MENJ believes in the Quran then he is forced to accept the present NT canon as Gods revealed truth!
We would now like to return the favor and post the following challenges and questions to MENJ:
Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 6:114
I am commanded only to serve the Lord of this land which He hath hallowed, and unto Whom all things belong. And I am commanded to be of those who surrender. S. 27:91
We come not down save by commandment of thy Lord. Unto Him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and all that is between those two, and thy Lord was never forgetful. S. 19:64
Lo! verily, ye and that which ye worship, Ye cannot excite (anyone) against Him. Save him who is to burn in hell. There is not one of Us but hath his known position. Lo! We, even We are they who set the ranks, Lo! We, even We are They who hymn His praise. S. 37:161-166
By no means! For We have created them out of the (base matter) they know! Now I do call to witness THE LORD OF ALL POINTS IN THE EAST AND THE WEST that WE can certainly Substitute for them better (men) than they; And WE are not to be defeated (in Our Plan). S. 70:39-41
Nothing in the context suggests that another entity besides Allah is the speaker, and if MENJ asserts otherwise the burden of proof is upon him to demonstrate his case FROM THE CONTEXT of these citations. He cannot simply submit references from scholars or posit theories that find no support from the text of the Quran itself. Besides, to claim that Allah is not the speaker proves that not ALL of the Quran is from God (in point of fact, NONE of it is revelation from God). And yet to say that it is Allah who is speaking means that Allah is subordinate to and serves another entity that is both his Lord and God.
In light of this, please produce a verse(s) from the Quran which states that Allah only revealed the 114 surahs which are found in the Quran today.
It is quite apparent that an objective examination of the facts leads to the conclusion that the canonization of both the NT and the Quran are similar in many ways with some major differences. One major difference is that the NT is a collection of 27 books written by different authors, at different times and in different places. Thus, it is not surprising that there was some debate over the canon since not every Church father would have received the information regarding a particular book and would naturally have certain doubts about its authenticity.
Yet, the Quran was supposedly transmitted by one man to his followers and we would therefore not expect any confusion regarding its contents and arrangement. What we do find is rampant chaos and confusion surrounding the arrangement and collection of the Quran, which only shows the vast superiority of the NT over the Quran. The Quran pales in comparison to the Bible in terms of its transmission and history. We end this with a quote taken from a Shiite source:
I heard Abu Ja'far (AS) saying: "No one (among ordinary people) claimed that he gathered the Quran completely as it was revealed EXCEPT A LIAR; (since) no one has gathered it and memorized it completely as revealed by Allah, the Most High, except Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS) and the Imams after him (AS)". (Usul al-Kafi, v1, p228, Hadith #1). (http://www.al-islam.org/encyclopedia/chapter8/2.html)
Since we don't have Ali's copy, this means that if MENJ tries to prove that the Quran was completely gathered or perfectly compiled then he would be a liar according to this MUSLIM (not Christian) source!
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