IS THE BIBLE GODS WORD?
By Ahmed Deedat
WHAT THEY SAY
Dr. W. Graham Scroggie of the MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE, Chicago, one of the most prestigious Christian Evangelical Mission in the world, answering the question — “Is the Bible the Word of God?” (also the title of his book), under the heading: IT IS HUMAN, YET DIVINE. He says on page 17:
“Yes, the Bible is human, though some, out of zeal which is not according to knowledge, 1 have denied this. Those books2 have passed through the minds of men, are written in the language of men, were penned by the hands of men, and bear in their style the characteristics of men.” (Emphasis added).
Another erudite Christian scholar, Kenneth Cragg, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, says on page 277 of his book, “The Call of the Minaret”:
“Not so the New Testament3 . . . There is condensation and editing; 4 there is choice, reproduction and witness. The Gospels have come through the mind of the Church behind the authors. They represent experience and history.” 5
If words have any meaning, do we need to add another word of comment to prove our case? No! But the professional propagandists, after letting the cat out of the bag, still have the face to try to make their readers believe that they have proved beyond the shadow of any doubt that the Bible is the “irrefragable 6 Word of God.” Their semantic gymnastics — equivocating, and playing with words — is amazing!
- Out of ignorance.
- The Bible is not Just a Book. It is a selection and compilation of many books.
- As opposed to the Qur’ân.
- Another word for Interpolating.
- Emphasis are mine.
Both these Doctors of Religion are telling us in the clearest language humanly possible that the Bible is the handiwork of man, all the while pretending that the are proving to the contrary. An old Arab saying goes: “IF SUCH ARE THE PRIESTS, GOD BLESS THE CONGREGATION. With this sort of drivel, the hot-gospeller and the Bible-thumper is “inspired” to harry the “heathen.” 1 A theological student — a not-yet-qualified young evangelist — from the University of Witwatersrand, became a frequent visitor to the Newtown Mosque in Johannesburg, with the “noble” thought of “witnessing”2 to the members of its congregation.
When I was introduced to him, (and having learnt his purpose), I invited him to lunch at my brother’s residence — a stone’s-throw from the Mosque. While discussing the authenticity of the Bible over the dinner table and sensing his stubborn dogmatism, I put out a feeler: “Your Professor Geyser, (The Head of the Department of Theology) does not believe the Bible to be the Word of God.” Without the slightest surprise he answered, “I know.” Now I personally had no knowledge of the Professor’s conviction about the Bible. I had only assumed so from a controversy which raged around him about the “Divinity of Christ.” 3 He had taken issue with the orthodox believers on this point some years ago. I continued further, saying, “Your lecturer does not believe the Bible as being God’s Word.” The young evangelist, responded again, “I know” but he continued this time-with the words, “but I believe that it is the Word of God!” There is no real remedy for such people. Even Jesus bewailed this sickness:
“… seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13)
Al-Qur’an, the Holy Book of God, also condemns this mulish mentality:
These pages are now addressed to those sincerely humble souls, who are genuinely interested in seeking the Light of God, and who wish to be guided by it. As for the other, with a sickness in their souls, the facts presented herein can only increase the disease of their hearts.
- See “How Lost are the Heathen?” by the same MOODY PRESS of Dr. Scroggie.
- When the Christian talks of “witnessing” he means propagating, proselytizng, converting.
- This subject is dealt extensively in the book — “CHRIST IN ISLAM”
CHAPTER TWO THE MUSLIMS’ STANDPOINT PRESUMPTUOUS CHRISTIANS
Whether Catholic, Protestant or a “Cultist,” of the thousand -and – one – sects – and – denominations-of-Christianity, never will you find a missionary who will not, prima facie, presuppose that his potential convert accepts his “Holy Bible” as the book of final authority on every religious opinion? The only answer the prospective proselyte has is to quote verses from the Bible which are contradictory to the missionary’s or debate their interpretations.
THE DOGGED QUESTION
When the Muslim proves his point from the Christian’s own Holy Scripture, and when the professional priest, parson or predikant cannot refute the arguments — the inevitable Christian evasion is — “DO YOU ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS GOD’S WORD? On the face of it, the question seems to be an easy one, but a simple “Yes” or “No” cannot be given as an answer. You see, one has first to explain one’s position. But the Christian will not give one the opportunity. He gets impatient. “Answer — ‘Yes or No!’ ” he insists. The Jews did the same to Jesus two thousand years ago, except that surprisingly he was not strait-jacketed, as is the fashion today!
The reader will readily agree that things are not always either BLACK or WHITE. Between these two extremes there are various shades of GREY. If you say “Yes” to his question, then it would mean that you are prepared to swallow everything HOOK, LINE and SINKER, from Genesis to Revelation from his Bible. If you respond with a “No” he quickly unhooks himself from the facts you have presented, and rallies support from his co-religionists in the audience with; “You see, this man does not believe in the Bible! What right has he to expound his case from our Book?” With this hydra-like somersault he rests content that he has safely evaded the issue. What is the Muballigh1to do? He has to explain his position vis-a-vis the Bible, as he ought to do.
1. MUBALLIGH: The Propagator of Islam
THREE GRADES OF EVIDENCE
We Muslims have no hesitation in acknowledging that in the Bible, there are three different kinds of witnessing recognizable without any need of specialized training. These are:
- You will be able to recognize in the Bible what may be described as “The Word of God.”
- You will also be able to discern what can be described as the “Words of a Prophet of God.”
- And you will most readily observe that the bulk of the Bible is the records of eye witnessess or ear witnesses, or people writing from hearsay. As such they are the “Words of a Historian”
You do not have to hunt for examples of these different types of evidences in the Bible. The following quotations will make the position crystal clear:
The FIRST Type:
- I will raise them up a prophet . . . and I will put my words in … and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18)
- I even, I am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour.” (Isaiah 43:11)
- “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the end of the earth: for I am God, and there is non else.” (Isaiah 45:22)
Note the first person pronoun singular (highlighted in green) in the above references, and without any difficulty you will agree that the statements seem to have the sound of being GOD’S WORD.
The SECOND Type:
- “Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? . . .” (Matthew 27:46)
- “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord:” (Mark 12:29)
- “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God.” (Mark 10:18).
Even a child will be able to affirm that: Jesus “cried” Jesus “answered” and Jesus “said” are the words of the one to whom they are attributed, i.e. the WORDS OF A PROPHET OF GOD.
The THIRD Type:
“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he, (JESUS) came, if haply he (JESUS) might find anything thereon: and when he (JESUS) came to it, (Jesus) found nothing but leaves . . .” (Mark 11:13)
The bulk of the Bible is a witnessing of this THIRD kind. These are the words of a third person. Note the underlined pronouns. They are not the Words of God or of His prophet, but the WORDS OF A HISTORIAN.
For the Muslim it is quite easy to distinguish the above types of evidence, because he also has them in his own faith. But of the followers of the different religions, he is the most fortunate in this that his various records are contained in separate Books!
ONE: The first kind — THE WORD OF GOD — is found in a Book called The Holy Qur’ân.
TWO: The second kind — THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET OF GOD, (Muhummed, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are recorded in the Books of Tradition called The Hadeeth.
THREE: Evidence of the third kind abounds in different volume of Islamic history, written by some of high integrity and learning, and others of lesser trustworthiness, but the Muslim advisedly keeps his Books in separate volumes!
The Muslim keeps the above three types of evidence Jealously apart, in their proper gradations of authority. He never equates them. On the other hand, the “Holy Bible” contains a motley type of literature, which composes the embarrassing kind, the sordid, and the obscene — all under the same cover — A Christian is forced to concede equal spiritual import and authority to all, and is thus unfortunate in this regard.
CHAPTER THREE THE MULTIPLE BIBLE VERSIONS
It will now be easy for us to analyze a Christian’s claim about his Holy Book.
SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
Before we scrutinize the various versions, let us clarify our own belief regarding the Books of God. When we say that we believe in the Tauraat, the Zaboor, the Injeel and the Qur’an, what do we really mean? We already know that the Holy Qur’an is the infallible Word of God, revealed to our Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhummed Mustapha (Peace be upon him) word for word, through the agency of the Archangel Jibraeel, (known as Gabriel in English), and perfectly preserved and protected from human tampering for the past fourteen hundred years! 1 Even hostile critics of Islam have grudgingly vouched for the purity of the Holy Qur’ân: “THERE IS PROBABLY IN THE WORLD NO OTHER BOOK WHICH HAS REMAINED TWELVE
CENTURIES (now fourteen) WITH SO PURE A TEXT.” — (Sir William Muir)
The Tauraat we Muslims believe in is not the “Torah” of the Jews and the Christians, though the words — one Arabic, the other Hebrew — are the same. We believe that whatever the Holy Prophet Moses (Peace be upon him) preached to his people, was the revelation from God Almighty, but that Moses was not the author of those “books” attributed to him by the Jews and the Christians. 2
Likewise, we believe that the Zaboor was the revelation of God granted to Hazrat Dawood (David) (Peace be upon him), but that the present Psalms associated with his name are not that revelation. The Christians themselves do not insist that David is the sole author of “his” Psalms.3
1. Whether Muslim or non-Muslim, you do not have lo accept this claim on faith alone. You can verify the fact that Al-Qur’ân is the Word of God. See “AL-QURAN- The Miracle of Miracles”;
2- More evidence later on — “Moses not the author of the Biblical “Torah.”
3.. Later on you’ll read how Christian “Brains Trust” confess — “Author; Principally David,
though there are other writers.”
What about the Injeel? INJEEL means the “Gospel” or “good news” which Jesus Christ preached during his short ministry. The “Gospel” writers often mention that Jesus going about and preaching the Gospel (the Injeel):
- “And Jesus went . . . preaching the gospel . . . and healing every disease among the people.”
- “… but whosoever shall lose his fife for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”
- “… preached the gospel. . .” (Luke 20:1)
The “gospel” is a frequently-used word, but what Gospel did Jesus preach? Of the 27 books of the New Testament, only a small fraction can be accepted as the words of Jesus. The Christians boast about the Gospels according to St. Matthew, according to St. Mark, according to St. Luke and according to St. John, but there is not a single Gospel “according” to (St.) Jesus himself! We sincerely believe that everything Christ (May the peace and blessings of God be upon him) preached was from God. That was the Injeel, the good news and the guidance of God for the
Children of Israel. In his life-time Jesus never wrote a single word, nor did he instruct anyone to do so. What passes off as the “GOSPELS” today are the works of anonymous hands!
The question before us is: “Do you accept that the Bible is God’s Word?” The question is really in the form of a challenge. The questioner is not simply seeking enlightenment. The question is posed in the spirit of a debate. We have every right to demand in a similar vein
— “Which Bible are you talking about?”, we may ask. “Why, there is only ONE Bible!” he mutters.
THE CATHOLIC BIBLE
Holding the “Douay” Roman Catholic Version of the Bible aloft in my hand, I ask, “Do YOU accept THIS Bible as the Word of God?” For reasons best known to themselves, the Catholic Truth Society have published their Version of the Bible in a very short, stumpy form. This Version is a very odd proportion of the numerous Versions in the market today. The Christian questioner is taken aback. “What Bible is that?” he asks. “Why, I thought you said that there was only ONE Bible!” I remind him. “Y-e-s,” he murmurs hesitantly, “but what Version is that?” “Why, would that make any difference?” I enquire. Of course it does, and the professional preacher knows that it does. He is only bluffing with his “ONE Bible” claim.
The Roman Catholic Bible was published at Rheims in 1582, from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and reproduced at Douay in 1609. As such the RCV (Roman Catholic Version) is the oldest Version that one can still buy today. Despite its antiquity, the whole of the Protestant world, including the “cults”* condemn the RCV because it contains seven extra “books” which they contemptuously refer to as the “apocrypha” i.e. of DOUBTFUL AUTHORITY. Notwithstanding the dire warning contained in the Apocalypse, which is the last book in the RCV (renamed as “Revelation” by the Protestants), it is “revealed”:
“. . . If any man shall add to these things (or delete) God shall add unto him the plagues written in this Book.” (Revelation 22:18-19)
But who cares! They do not really believe! The Protestants have bravely expunged seven whole books from their Book of God! The outcasts are:
The Book of Judith The Book of Tobias The Book of Baruch
The Buck of Esther, etc.
* This disparaging title is given by the orthodox to Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Seventh Day Adventists and a thousand other sects and denominations with whom they do not see eye to eye.
THE PROTESTANT BIBLE
Sir Winston Churchill has some pertinent things to say about the Authorised Version (AV) of the Protestant Bible, which is also widely known as the “King James Version (KJV)”.
“THE AUTHORISED VERSION OF THE BIBLE WAS PUBLISHED IN 1611 BY THE WILL AND COMMAND OF HIS MAJESTY KING JAMES THE 1ST WHOSE NAME IT BEARS TILL TODAY.”
The Roman Catholics, believing as they do that the Protestants have mutilated the Book of God, are yet aiding and abetting the Protestant “crime” by forcing their native converts to purchase the Authorised Version (AV) of the Bible, which is the only Bible available in some 1500 languages of the lesser developed nations of the world. The Roman Catholics milk their cows, but the feeding is left to the Protestants! The overwhelming majority of Christians — both Catholics and Protestant — use the Authorised (AV) or the King James Version (KJV) as it is alternatively called.
First published, as Sir Winston says, in 1611, and then revised in 1881 (RV), and now re-revised and brought up to date as the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1952, and now again re-re- revised in 1971 (still RSV for short). Let us see what opinion Christendom has of this most revised Bible, the RSV:-
- “THE FINEST VERSION WHICH HAS BEEN PRODUCED IN THE PRESENT CENTURY.” — (Church of England Newspaper)
- “A COMPLETELY FRESH TRANSLATION BY SCHOLARS OF THE HIGHEST
EMINENCE.” — (Times literary Supplement)
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