Tom: Thanks, Gary. If you’re new to the program, we’re going through Dave Hunt’s book, A Cup of Trembling: Jerusalem and Bible Prophecy, and last week, we finished chapter 11, dealing with the subject matter of Islam and terrorism, especially jihad, or holy war.
Today, we’re on to chapter 12, and we’re going to zero in on “The Bible or the Qur’an?” Now both claim to be inspired of God, yet they contradict one another.
So, Dave, here we have a problem for those ecumenically minded individuals who want to see monotheistic belief systems, such as Judaism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and biblical Christianity, come together to worship the one true God. However, there are significant—and I mean significant—irreconcilable differences, aren’t there?
Dave: Well, indeed, there are, Tom! I mean, there’s no way you could bring this about, although the pope—he was presented with a Qur’an by a delegation from Iraq a few months ago, and he kissed the Qur’an. As you know, Vatican II says that the Muslims worship the one true God, just like we do. However, Allah—we’ve talked about Allah in the past, so we won’t go into that—but Allah is not the God of the Bible. Allah hates Jews; Allah is not a father—he has no sons, so he can’t be the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Allah supposedly inspired the Qur’an through the Angel Gabriel speaking to Muhammad. But the Qur’an, for example, never mentions Jerusalem, whereas the Bible does, 811 times. The Qur’an contradicts itself. A major distinctive is the Bible is written by 40 different authors over a period of 1,600 years. Most of them never knew one another—they came from different times in history, different cultures, yet there is incredible unity, continuity, agreement, intertwining, from Genesis to Revelation. No contradictions—the Qur’an has all kinds of contradictions.
Now, for every writer of the Scriptures—now, these men, the only thing they had in common was they all claimed to be inspired by the one true God—so for every writer that we have in the Bible who claimed to be inspired by the one true God, we have 39 other corroborating witnesses, whereas the Qur’an, you’re going to have to take Muhammad’s word for it. He’s the only one. He supposedly did not know how to read or write, so his oral statements were taken down on pieces of bark or stick or stone, or whatever was…
Tom: Even bone…
Dave: Right, yes, some bone, and in fact, some leaves. And Aisha, his favorite wife, said that domestic animals ate some of the Qur’an. We do not have the original manuscript. I mean, it was in pieces all over, and it was Caliph Uthman who gathered it together finally. There were various versions of the Qur’an. And he even destroyed the ones that he did not agree with. But there is much that is left out now. Even Aisha said…I think she said in one chapter there were 72 missing verses from what she remembered.
Tom: But, Dave, again, the process—supposedly, the Angel Gabriel dictated to Muhammad, and then Muhammad was supposed to memorize what was dictated to him, and then he repeated that to, not just one but many who had written these things down. So the process—it’s not exactly a process that you’d think would be accurate, and that’s my point.
Dave: Yeah, and they had all of these scraps, and different people wrote different things on leaves, or whatever. So, anyway, you’ve got some problems to begin with.
Now the Qur’an at first, because Muhammad was trying to cater to the Christians and the Jews, and he picked up much of this from supposed Christians and Jews who didn’t have the Bible accurately in their minds anyway. They were just remembering stories. For example, according to the Qur’an, Noah had a fourth son, and he refused to get in the ark and was drowned in the flood. Well, of course, that’s not in the Bible. According to the Qur’an, it was a Samaritan who made the golden calf. Now that was about 700 years before Samaritans even existed.
And there are so many other contradictions in the Qur’an. For example, Surah 54:49-50 says, “Allah created everything as the twinkling of an eye.” Yet Surah 41:9 and 12: “Allah created the earth in two days, and seven heavens in two days.” But verse 10 adds to the confusion by saying, “Allah blessed it, the earth, and measured therein its sustenance in four days.”
Well, then, Surah 7:54, 10:4, and 32:4 say, “Lo, your Lord is Allah who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and that which is between them in six days.” And then Surah 32:5 says it was actually “1,000 years that ye reckon….” While Surah 70:4 says, “A day with Allah is 50,000 years,” and we’re left to wonder, you know, what does the Qur’an really mean?
But the point I was trying to make was he was catering to the Christians and the Jews—he wanted to attract them as his followers, but when they would not accept him—and at that time, the Qur’an seemed to agree with the Bible and said that Allah inspired Moses and inspired Jesus, and so forth. But then when they would not accept him as a prophet, he turned against them, began to kill them, and then the tone of the Qur’an changes into contradictions, and obviously it contradicts the Bible in great detail and very important things.
Tom: Mm-hmm. Dave, many say (particularly Muslims) would say that, “Well, we’re all sons of Abraham,” so Abraham is a very key figure in Islam. Yet the Qur’an tells us that Abraham and Ishmael helped build the Kaaba, this place in Mecca that has idols.
Dave: Well, it had idols.
Tom: It had idols, right. Also that Abraham and his family lived in the Valley of Mecca.
Dave: Yeah, well, that simply isn’t true. The Bible…
Tom: Well, you have to have a contradiction. It can’t be…
Dave: We have a big contradiction! The Bible clearly says in Genesis:12:5, I think, in verse 7—I don’t remember the exact verses—that Abraham came into the land of Canaan. It tells us that he settled in Hebron. He lived in Hebron for more than a hundred years. Sarah died in Hebron, and that was why Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah. Now the Muslims acknowledge the cave of Machpelah. The problem is, they built a mosque there, and they say this is theirs. No Muslim—no Arab—was buried in the cave of Machpelah. There was buried Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Leah and Rebecca, and so forth. Not one Muslim. It has nothing to do with Muslims. And it was the city of Hebron, of course, where David was first crowned king. He ruled the first seven years there. This is one of the holiest, or most revered, cities for the Jews! It has nothing to do with Arabs or Muslims! Ishmael was buried hundreds of miles away. In fact, Ishmael was not acknowledged to be the son of Abraham. When God told Abraham to take Isaac and offer him, He says, “Take thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” Now, how does the Qur’an deal with this? Or the Muslims deal with this? Well, they claim that, of course, the Bible was held up as The Book, to begin with—inspired of God, but now it contradicts the Bible. Well, they say, “The Bible got changed.”
Dave: The problem is, we have manuscripts of the Bible before Muhammad and after Muhammad, and they haven’t changed. The book of Isaiah, for example, we have that going way back to…well, the oldest copy I think we had was a little bit after Muhammad at that time, and then the Dead Sea Scrolls, we got one 900 years younger—100 BC. Well, it’s exactly like the one that we had.
We have manuscripts before, manuscripts after—they were not changed. So there is no way you can believe in both the Qur’an and the Bible. It’s a contradiction. But the pope kisses the Qur’an.
Tom: Yeah. Now that…you referenced there to Isaiah, the Dead Sea Scrolls—that’s the Old Testament. The New Testament, there are some contradictions with regard to the New Testament. Mary, for example, was confused with the sister of Moses, Marian.
Tom: Right. The birth of Jesus… There seems to be some confusion there, right?
Dave: Well, she gave birth under a palm tree in the Qur’an, not in Bethlehem, but…
Tom: Right, and under conditions that sound vaguely like Hagar…in the situation that took place with Hagar.
Dave: Yeah. Tom, there is no way that you could accept the Qur’an. The Qur’an contradicts itself, as we pointed out. It has—we’ve talked about it in the past—it has unscientific statements. For example, the sun every evening gets tired and settles down in a slimy pit. And Alexander the Great came and found it. Not only does the Qur’an say this, but the Hadith says that some of Muhammad’s closest companions, his followers, they asked him about this, and they said, “Is this true, O Prophet?” And he said, “Yes, it is true. The sun settles down in a slimy pit every evening.”
So, Tom, we could go on and on about that, but look, here are some of the contrasts:
1) There’s no prophecy in the Qur’an…
Tom: Well, let’s talk about prophecy from a biblical standpoint. Isn’t that…we keep talking about that, seems like program after program, because it’s so important. It’s as strong an indication that you can have that the Bible is the Word of God, because of prophecy. The many prophecies…
Dave: Right, right. Absolute proof that the Bible is the Word of God, but there are no prophecies in the Qur’an.
2) There’s no history in the Qur’an. We get the history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. We get the people who went into captivity for 400 years. So, it is true that Ishmael was the firstborn, so you would think the firstborn—even if his mother was Hagar—that still, he would get the inheritance. And, in fact, Genesis 17 Abraham says he wanted Ishmael to be the one. When God says, “I’m going to give you a son by your wife, Abraham says, “No, no, I’m satisfied. I’m happy. Ishmael’s a good boy. I love Ishmael.” God says, “Your wife will bear you a child, and you will call his name ‘Isaac.’”
3) Twelve times in the Bible, God is given the title—and Jesus gives this to Him as well—“The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Never is He talked of as the God of Abraham and Ishmael. Always the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
4) Two hundred and three times the Bible calls Yahweh “the God of Israel.” Never once is He called the God of the Arabs.
5) Now we have other problems. The Arabs are a mixed race. Even the Arab Encyclopedia acknowledges this. Ishmael and his descendants intermarried with Hittites. They intermarried with Midianites. They intermarried with the descendants of Esau. So they are a mixed, nomadic race of people. But, okay, let’s say they have some Ishmaelite blood—maybe a lot of Ishmaelite blood—but that’s not going to help them, because God specifically rejects Ishmael.
Now, what are we going to do with this? Well, the Bible, as we said, we have manuscripts before, manuscripts after—it hangs together from Genesis to Revelation. The prophecies, the scientific statements, the historic statements, the Jewish schoolkids study their history out of the Bible in Israel today. You want to know where to dig, as an archaeologist, go the Bible! You have no such guidance like that in the Qur’an. As you mentioned, you’ve got Abraham living down in Mecca. He never even came near Mecca. And you have him and Ishmael building the Kaaba. At that time, it was full of idols. It just will not compute, Tom.
It won’t work.
So, there are such significant differences.
6) Now, when it comes to Christ, we’ve got some more important problems. It says—in fact, Jesus was not even crucified. Well, when He was in the Garden, for example, Surah 4:157 says: “They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them. They slew him not for certain.” Well, this is the heart of Christianity! Now how’s there going to be some reconciliation? How’s the pope kissing a Qur’an that says Jesus Christ was not even crucified? And how’s the pope, who supposedly believes that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…how can Vatican II say that Allah is the God of the Bible? It just goes on and on.
7) Surah 9:33 says…well, go back to Surah 4. It says, “Allah took him up to himself.” But now we’ve got another problem, because Muhammad is supposedly the successor of Jesus. But if Jesus is still alive, how can Muhammad be his successor? Muhammad, of course, is unquestionably dead.
8) Now, you know that the Qur’an acknowledges that Jesus lived a sinless life. But in the Qur’an, Allah commands Muhammad to confess his sins. Now, who am I going to listen to? A sinner? Or someone who did not sin? The Qur’an contradicts itself!
9) Allah in the Qur’an says, “At such a time as we abrogate, we do away with a revelation. We put another better one in its place.” Now the God of the Bible says, “I, the Lord, change not. For ever your word is settled in heaven.”
Okay, Tom, we can go down the list. There are so many contradictions within the Qur’an—contradictions between the Bible and the Qur’an. There is no way that you could say there is any agreement with these at all, although they use similar names, talks about “Jesus, born of a virgin,” yes. But this Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. He doesn’t even die for our sins, and as a little baby, he speaks, and he does miracles as a little baby in the Qur’an.
Tom, I could go on and on about the Qur’an and the problems in it. And the distinction between that and the Bible! There’s no way you say they’re even related.
Tom: But, Dave, don’t you find it…I don’t want to say “interesting,” but it’s actually grievous, that some people say, “Yes, but don’t you understand that the Qur’an says things about Jesus. It says good things about Jesus! It says things about his mother; it says all kinds of things, and therefore, can’t we just embrace the good that we find in it?” Wow!
Dave: Tom, the problem, of course, as you know, is it’s like the Mormons, okay? Let’s go to the Mormons for a moment. They talk about God the Father. But he has a father, too, and he has a grandfather, and great-grandfather. He’s got wives up there in heaven.
So, although they use the term “God, the Father”…. “Oh, they talk about Jesus! Jesus the Christ!” Well, yes, but Jesus the Christ—he’s the half-brother of Lucifer, and he had to come to this earth to get a body in order to become a god. He didn’t come to this earth as God himself. They don’t believe in the Trinity. So, on and on it goes. Although they talk about resurrection. And you remember this ad that they put in the paper now and then at Eastertime. They make it sound like they’re evangelicals! But they have different definitions for their words.
It’s the same with the Qur’an. You can’t say that the Jesus of the Qur’an, Isa, is the Jesus of the Bible. You can’t say that the Mary of the Qur’an is the Mary of the Bible, or Noah, or Moses, or anybody. The Qur’an has corrupted this and perverted it, and that people would say, “Oh well, they talk about Jesus. It must be okay.”
Or, Tom, maybe even a worse problem, people who try to preach the gospel from the Qur’an. Well, how can you do that? I remember—you remember—what was the book? Somebody is preaching the gospel from Star Wars. Incredible! The Force is God, and…I don’t remember, but, Tom, we can’t possibly do it. It’s not right.
Tom: Dave, this morning, as you know, I sent you an email of an article that had to do with a Muslim group in Pittsburgh, and they took their teenagers to see The Passion of the Christ. And they got very excited about the movie. And their excitement had to do with…they didn’t have to read subtitles, because some of the Aramaic was close enough to their Arabic that they could understand some things that were said. And they loved the movie because—they didn’t agree with the movie at all. Just as you mentioned, they believe in the Qur’an, and they didn’t believe that Jesus actually went to the cross. That this was Judas, all right, who took on all this punishment and so on, and according to their beliefs, Jesus was assumed into heaven right there at the Garden of Gethsemane. His prayer was answered, although He said, “If possible, take this cup from me.” And of course, God answered that prayer and took the cup from Him, and so on.
But the point is that they saw this movie as a wonderful opportunity to interact—to keep their own beliefs but share their beliefs with Christians now, and give their viewpoint. Because the whole thrust of this is “Now we can understand better what each one believes, and we don’t have to change.”
Dave: Tom, this world is getting more insane all the time—and the church. And there are people within the church…
Tom: Now, Dave, that’s a little harsh. What do you mean, “insane”?
Dave: Well, it’s insane to say that contradictory statements mean the same thing. Or that you can get along. Well, you believe what you want to believe. Well, you believe that 2 + 2 is 7 on Thursdays. “No, I believe that 2 + 2 is 4 everyday.”
Well, we’re both talking about 2 + 2. So can’t we just get along?
Tom: Right. Our accountants won’t get along! (Laughing) If I had an accountant…
Dave: Well, you will not get to the moon—you won’t even get to New York, if you’ve got that kind of mathematics, and your britches will fall apart, collapse, your houses will, and so forth, so similarities, superficial similarities, in terms do not make an agreement. Furthermore, when you look deeper, it is not an agreement. It is a contradiction.
So, “Isn’t it wonderful that we can understand Islam?”
No, I don’t go to The Passion of the Christ—this movie—to understand Islam. I don’t listen to Muslims to understand Islam. I go to the Qur’an. I go to the Hadith. I go to what Muhammad himself said, okay? And what Muhammad said, and what Jesus said, they are as far apart as heaven and hell.
Now, when you come to putting the Qur’an together, how do we know we even have it, Tom? We mentioned domestic animals ate part of it. He’s trying to put this thing together. There were no manuscripts. It was in scraps of this and that.
The Bible—we have manuscripts. I’m trying to think of the scientist from Princeton. What was his name? Who was fluent in 40-some Semitic languages. Examined every page of the Bible, and he will give you the evidence.
For example, the Bible, I think, had 29 kings that were named that are also on—I mean, there’s more than that, but we also have monuments with their inscriptions! The Bible has every one right—spelled exactly right and in the right place, the right time in history. You’ve got nothing like that in the Qur’an.
If you went to the histories of that day, if you went to the great library in Alexandria, Egypt, they’ve got it all mixed up. They can’t even get the Egyptian kings spelled correctly. So we have so much evidence that the Bible is true!