Have the Christian Scriptures Been Falsified? –Evaluating an Islamic Critique

I originally wrote this post last spring, but, for whatever reason, never got around to publishing it. So, long over do, here it is.


Falsified?

Prominent among Muslims is the belief that the Christian and Jewish (implied) scriptures have been falsified, the text having been changed and corrupted. They seek support for this in the Qur’an and the Hadith (their two authoritative texts). This is how Muslims explain that, although Muhammad was predicted in the Christian and Jewish scriptures, he was rejected by both groups.

But is this a legitimate claim? The evidence argues to the contrary.[1]

1. The word of God reflecting the character of God.

The falsification of scripture is incompatible with the character of God as recognized by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. God is truthful, trustworthy, and faithful. Therefore, His word cannot be corrupted or become unreliable. God is sovereignly powerful. But a God who intends to communicate yet fails to preserve His message from falsification is not a sovereignly powerful God.[2]

The Qur’an itself says,

We [referring to God with a “royal we”] have sent down the Qur’an Ourself, and We Ourself will guard it. – Sura 15:9.

Or again,

[Prophet], follow what has been revealed to you of your Lord’s Scripture: there is no changing His words…. – Sura 18:27.[3]

And the witness of the Christian scriptures correspond to this.

So, I ask, how does a falsification of scripture fit with this theology?

2. The manuscript evidence.

There are more manuscripts for the Biblical text than any other ancient document. And when we examine these manuscripts, we can confidently determine that the Biblical text has been transmitted with incredible accuracy.

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