The Bible: History, Strength and Weaknesses!

· Christianity, CHRISTIANITY, Islam, Religion
Authors

Modern scholarship is confirming every thing that the Holy Quran said about the Bible 1400 years ago.

This is a collection of more than 20 articles and several video clips.


Let me lay down a few quick facts about the Bible in the very beginning.  The Sheperd of Hemas was part of the canon for centuries and now it is not.  The Shepherd of Hermas (Greek: Ποιμήν του Ερμά; Hebrew: רועה הרמס‎; sometimes just called The Shepherd) is a Christian literary work of the 1st or 2nd century, considered a valuable book by many Christians, and considered canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus.[1][2]

The Book of revelation was not in the canon for centuries and now it is. Martin Luther questioned the inclusion of Book of James in the canon.  Even the Pope Benedict XVI agrees that the last 12 verses of the Gospel of Mark are a later addition.

Hebrew Old Testament versus the Greek Old Testament: ‘Septuagint,’ explains the glossed over story!

Greek version has several books that were not in the original Hebrew Old Testament.  The translated version into Greek is called Septuagint.  The word ‘version,’ is more fitting than ‘translation,’ because of dramatic differences!  First let us see, what the Holy Quran has to say about it:

Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law; for they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it. (Al Quran 5:45) The Holy Quran says about itself and Torah: And before it there was the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy; and this is a Book in the Arabic language fulfilling previous prophecies, that it may warn those who do wrong; and as glad tidings to those who do good. (Al Quran 46:13) And: We gave Moses and Aaron the Discrimination and a Light and a Reminder for the righteous, those who fear their Lord in secret, and who dread the Hour of Judgment. (Al Quran 21:49-50) On a critical note, the Holy Quran says: Woe, therefore, to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may take for it a paltry price. Woe, then, to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.  (Al Quran 2:80)

The last verse quoted above from the Holy Quran is precisely confirmed when we read, how in the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), 14-15 books were added, on top of the books in the Hebrew Bible, from a period when there were no Jewish Prophets.  For details please see my article about Septuagint and comments in their.

The Old Testament versus the New Testament

“And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they both read the same Book. Even thus said those who had no knowledge, like what they say. But Allah shall judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they disagree.” (Al Quran 2:114)

This verse gives us wonderful insight into comparative religions, especially in the contrast between Judaism and Christianity.  In all the teachings wherein Christianity differs with Judaism and Islam, by comparing the Old Testament and the New Testament, we can very easily demonstrate the truth of the Holy Quran and Islam.  In this post I will share a few video clips, which demonstrate this reality, as Christian and Jewish apologists quibble with each other.

Read and listen more on this theme of comparison of the Old and the New Testament.

Prof. Bart Ehrman versus Shastri Philip

Christian apologists choose to bury their head in sand and keep professing accuracy of the Bible. I am going to use Shastri Philip as an example as he is fairly active in Google-knols.  Here is the introduction section of a Google knol by Shastri Philip.  When read against the findings and books of Prof. Bart Ehrman, how hollow Shastri becomes.  Read his text as he preaches inerrancy of the Bible:
Introduction: Before taking up any discussion on Bible and Science, it must be understood very clearly that Bible was NOT written primarily to serve as a textbook of science. Rather, it was written mainly to communicate divine truths to the common man, and hence the language is popular and not technical in style. However, since it is a communication inspired by God, and since God is all-knowing, nothing written in the original autographs can go contrary to the facts of any discipline of science.
Every age has its popular theories and fads, and many of them seem to contradict some statement or other of the Bible. However, we must remember that the popularity of a theory has nothing to do with its scientific accuracy or merit. Therefore if any theory seems to contradict any portion of Bible, it is better to wait till more facts come to light.
In relation to the discussion of Bible and Science, the history of Christianity shows two major types of errors. First, some people who do not have a proper perspective about scientific theories immediately try to harmonize each and every currently popular theory with the Bible, sometimes in every minute detail. Sooner or later that popular theory is discarded by the scientific community, making that “harmonization” laughable.
 
A Good Example Of A Book That Rejects

The Reliability Of The Bible On Many Occasions
The second major error is to reject those biblical passage that seem to be in conflict with a scientific theory. People who do this are only exhibiting their ignorance of history which has time and again shown that it was our knowledge, not the Bible, that was in error at a given point.
An examination of the repeated controversies will demonstrate immediately that there is a curious prejudice in the human hearts against the Bible. If a scientist makes a statement, it is generally accepted with awe even if there is insufficient data to support his statement. On the other hand if the Bible makes a similar statement, it is looked upon with suspicion even if there are enough facts to support it. Such a prejudice is surprising because many of the theories and assumptions expressed by scientists are highly unstable and are often based upon incomplete knowledge. The reason for this peculiar behavior is obvious : the world is in revolt against God, and it will therefore accept anything which negates God’s existence and actions. It is no wonder that men are hasty to play up each and every new scientific theory against the Bible.[1]
Fallacies of such claims by Christian apologists are self-evident in this day and age of information, as the Christian apologists shamelessly keep denying the contradictions in the Bible, in face of mounting information.   I would urge you to read some of the books of Prof. Bart Ehrman if you have not done that or watch his debates, interviews or speeches on this theme on YouTube, if you have not done that already.  Here I link one of those:
Read on, and in the words of Sir Francis Bacon’s advice, “Read not to contradict … but to weigh and consider.”  I have thirteen Google-knols on these issues and more will follow.  See the attachments below.  Additionally, the recent university based scholarship about the New Testament has vindicated or confirmed every thing that the Holy Quran said about the Bible.
Quranic verses about the history of the Bible and the people of the Book:
Allah is He besides Whom there is no God, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. He has sent down to thee the Book containing the truth and fulfilling that which precedes it; and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, before this, as a guidance to the people; and He has sent down the Discrimination. Surely, those who deny the Signs of Allah shall have a severe punishment. And Allah is Mighty, Possessor of the power to requite.  (Al Quran 3:3-5)
She (Mary) said, ‘My Lord, how shall I have a son, when no man has touched me?’ He said, “Such is the way of Allah, He creates what He pleases. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ and it is. “And He will teach him the Book and the Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel.  (Al Quran 3:48-49)
And remember when Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘O children of Israel, surely I am Allah’s Messenger unto you, fulfilling that which is before me of the Torah, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger who will come after me. His name will be Ahmad.’ And when he came to them with clear proofs, they said, ‘This is clear enchantment.’

(Al Quran 61:7)
Verses about some Jews:
Then your (Jews) hearts became hardened after that, till they were like stones or harder still; for of stones indeed there are some out of which gush forth streams, and of them there are some out of which flows water when they cleave asunder. And indeed, of them there are some that humble themselves for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what you do. Do you (Muslims) expect that they will believe you when a party of them hear the word of Allah, then pervert it after they have understood it, and they know the consequences thereof ? And when they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe,’ and when they meet one another in private, they say: ‘Do you inform them of what Allah has unfolded to you, that they may thereby argue with you before your Lord? Will you not then understand?’  Do they not know that Allah knows what they conceal and what they disclose?  And some of them are illiterate; they know not the Book but their own false notions, and they do nothing but conjecture.  Woe, therefore, to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ that they may take for it a paltry price. Woe, then, to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.  (Al Quran 2:75-80)
Quranic verses about strengths of the Bible:
Allah is He besides Whom there is no God, the Living, the Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. He has sent down to thee the Book containing the truth and fulfilling that which precedes it; and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, before this, as a guidance to the people; and He has sent down the Discrimination. Surely, those who deny the Signs of Allah shall have a severe punishment. And Allah is Mighty, Possessor of the power to requite.  (Al Quran 3:3-5)
Linking the Old and the New Testament:
Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law; for they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it. Therefore fear not men but fear Me; and barter not My Signs for a paltry price. And whoso judges not by that which Allah has sent down, these it is who are the disbelievers.  And therein We prescribed for them: A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for other injuries equitable retaliation. And whoso waives the right thereto, it shall be an expiation for his sins; and whoso judges not by what Allah has sent down, these it is who are wrongdoers. And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling that which was revealed before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was revealed before it in the Torah, and a guidance and an admonition for the God-fearing.(Al Quran 5:45-47)
Additional verses:
When Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour upon thee and upon thy mother; when I strengthened thee with the Spirit of holiness so that thou didst speak to the people in the cradle and in middle age; and when I taught thee the Book and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when thou didst fashion a creation out of clay, in the likeness of a bird, by My command; then thou didst breathe into it a new spirit and it became a soaring being by My command; and thou didst heal the night-blind and the leprous by My command; and when thou didst raise the dead by My command; and when I restrained the children of Israel from putting thee to death when thou didst come to them with clear Signs; and those who disbelieved from among them said, ‘This is nothing but clear deception.’”   (Al Quran 5:111)
Surely, Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their property in return for the Garden they shall have; they fight in the cause of Allah, and they slay and are slain — a promise that He has made incumbent on Himself in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Qur’an. And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice, then, in your bargain which you have made with Him; and that it is which is the supreme triumph.  (Al Quran 9:111)
Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious.   (Al Quran 57:28)
Quranic verses about weaknesses of the Bible:
And the Jews say, ‘The Christians stand on nothing;’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews stand on nothing;’ while they both read the same Book. Even thus said those who had no knowledge, like what they say. But Allah shall judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that wherein they disagree. (Al Quran 2:114)

O People of the Book! why do you dispute concerning Abraham, when the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Will you not then understand? (Al Quran 3:66)
Say, ‘O People of the Book! you stand on nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and what has now been sent down to you from your Lord.’ And surely, what has been sent down to thee from thy Lord will increase many of them in rebellion and disbelief; so grieve not for the disbelieving people.  (Al Quran 5:69)
Stories of atheist clergy rooted in the problems in the Bible: Daniel Dennett outlines in detail

References

  1. Shastri JC Philip’s tall and unfounded claims about the Bible
    http://knol.google.com/k/bible-and-science-001#

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