Questions on Scripture from Muslims


#1

Recently, a Muslim asked the following questions regarding our Holy Scripture:

“Where are the original Gospels? And if the bible isn’t in Aramaic then what’s it’s legitimacy? Why alter the language of Christ? Where are the teachings of Christ himself. He spoke Aramaic. So why translate? It doesn’t make sense. That language is a holy language. Like Muslims all over the world learn arabic to read the Quran in it’s original form, I am sure Christians would have learnt Aramaic. The Syriacs still speak Aramaic but, it’s only the prayers though. The original gospels in Aramaic have either been hidden or destroyed by the Romans.”

He seems to be concerned with where the original autographed manuscripts of the Gospels are located (implying they are still extant) …

Could anyone help address these questions?


#2

Also can anyone provide me with links proving the consistently, accurate translations of our Holy Scriptures throughout history? I had some links on this subject a while ago but, I can’t seem to locate them at the moment.


#3

Also can anyone provide me with links proving the consistently, accurate translations of our Holy Scriptures throughout history? I had some links on this subject a while ago but, I can’t seem to locate them at the moment.


#4

Mohammad was illiterate.So anything on paper was not directly written by him but by scribes.There are no bona fide original hand written original manuscripts of the Koran but transmitted by scribes over and over again until the printing press was invented. And like all ancient documents passed through scribes there are places that have mistakes , glosses and places where the scribe fell asleep.So even though it may be primarily read in the original language, Arabic, that doesn’t mean there are not errors.Knowing the original language doesn’t mean that everyone will come to the same conclusion either.

OT and NT were written at different time periods by different peoples who wanted to know the truth. There was no unified language for christian and Jewish believers, the closest thing to a common tongue would be Greek.


#5

The Bible is the inspired word of God. On Pentecost the Holy Spirit gave the Apostles the power to speak in many languages. Languages represent the meanings or concepts that are universal because they are spiritual.,not restricted to languages. The Holy Spirit is not obliged to speak any language, so why be bound to Aramaic, or Hebrew, or Latin? It’s the meaning that is holy, not the sound of words. All there are of the original manuscripts are paperus (spelling?) fragments. The apostles had disciples that recorded their teachings, as there were no printing presses. Through Tradition it was handed down orally from Apostolic times. The seventy-two sacred books which make up the Bible were composed by many different writers in three different languages:Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. the period of composition covers about l,300 years, from Moses to St.John the Evangelist In the fourth century St.Jerome translated them into Latin, there were some 35,OOO ancient copies. After 34 years he finished the translation called the Latin Vulgate, from which many Catholic English versions were made


#6

#7

Christianity is translated into all languages on earth via the living authority of the Church. We are not people of a book - rather, we are people of the living Christ. We do not absolutely depend upon written texts, no matter the language.

Islam is a regional, Arabic speaking religion that loses meaning and value when translated. It has no living authority to teach.

If the bible disappears, Christianity remains through the living Church of Christ. Is the Quran disappears, Islam disappears.


#8

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” Isaiah 40:8

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” 1 Peter 1:23

I have to disagree. The Bible is pretty clear it isn’t going away. If it were to go away, then wouldn’t these and other verses become lies?


#9
  • language is not holy. He is imposing his belief the language a prophet speaks is holy. That’s not important. What’s important is the message conveyed.

The original gospels in Aramaic have either been hidden or destroyed by the Romans

Can he prove the existence of an alleged original Gospel in Aramaic??


#10

Agree with your scripture quotes 100%. As you read the following, please keep in mind that I love the scriptures - all 73 books of them. I read daily and normally carry one with me.

However: The word of God is not, and cannot be, confined to the tiny fraction that was written down decades later. In the past 500 years, the concept of ‘scripture alone’ has been introduced, thus distorting mankind’s conception of the Word of God. Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, is just slightly greater than the bible, don’t you agree? Jesus saves. The bible points to Him, synopsizes a few of His words, but the bible itself does not save. That would be idolatry.

Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh, not the Word made into paper and ink. He did not found His Church on anything written. He made Apostles. He taught them. He breathed His Holy Spirit on them. He sent them forth. They and their successors made disciples of every nation. We have the bible because of that - we do not have that because of the bible.

If Christianity is founded on a book, and requires a book, as Islam does, then it utterly fails without that book.


#11

This was the response I received

“Lol sorry. But excuses and not answers. There are copies of the Quran from the time of the prophet. Any bibles from the time of Christ? This is not personal. It’s factual. You cannot answer any of the questions because there are none. Aramaic was Christs language. Fact !!! Christ never professed divinity. Fact!!! Don’t be mad at me. Be mad at the people that have fooled you and changed the message of god sent through Christ.”


#12

“Lol sorry. But excuses and not answers. There are copies of the Quran from the time of the prophet. Any bibles from the time of Christ? This is not personal. It’s factual. You cannot answer any of the questions because there are none. Aramaic was Christs language. Fact !!! Christ never professed divinity. Fact!!! Don’t be mad at me. Be mad at the people that have fooled you and changed the message of god sent through Christ.”

There’s no need to get upset. I provided you with answers, not excuses but, you don’t appear to understand them or Christian history for that matter. Your assumption of a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the very beginning–that is from Apostolic times-- has no foundation in history, so not what you say is not factual at all. The Bible is a collection of books not just one book like the Qur’an.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15-16 supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul’s Epistles; St. John’s Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church. It was not until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage that the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t.

The truth is, the Christian Bible can be reconstructed today from the 58,000 copies of original manuscripts still in existence and the 80,000 quotations from early church fathers. The earliest manuscripts date to the late 1st century to the time of the Apostles. Also, many people who actually walked and talked with Jesus wrote about His life. The Christian Gospels were so widely distributed that any attempt to change (add/subtract) something in the Christian Gospels would have resulted in immediate discovery.

Muslims should note that nowhere in the Qur’an there is there even a suggestion that the Biblical text has been altered or corrupted. The word “tahrif” is never used with reference to the Bible itself. The Qur’an occasionally accuses the Jews of concealing the truth but it never levels this accusation at Christians. It in no way implies that the text of the Bible has been corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an attests to the validity of the Christian Gospels and the Old Testament. Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Old Testament via a system of checking, double checking and adding each letter on each line. Any attempt to change something in the Old Testament would have resulted in immediate discovery.

This same quality of transmission cannot be said of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was written down and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 AD. The oldest Qur’an dates from around 790 AD and it is in the British Library. That’s 158 years after Muhammad’s death.

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur’an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 AD. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century. The only script used during and after Muhammad’s days was the Jazm script.

The Samarkand (a.k.a. Uthman Qur’an) manuscript in the Soviet Library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan also uses the Kufic script, indicating late 8th century. Many believe it is the oldest in existence. Only about one-third of the original survives.

Jesus did, indeed, claim to be God as can be seen in the Scripture:

John 5:18–“For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

John 8:58–“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am’” referencing Exodus 3:14–“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

John 10:30-33–“I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”

St. Thomas the Apostle declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.


#13
  • I’m still waiting for an answer to my question. Where is his evidence of an original Gospel in Aramaic?

  • either this guy is feeding you lies or misdirected information. There are no copies of the Quran from the time of Muhammad. The earliest Quran is probably the Uthman Quran dated A.D. 651, that’s about 20 years after Muhammad’s death.

  • where does this guy get the idea that it’s a fact Christ never professed his divinity?


#14

Muhammad started preaching the Qur’an between 6l0 -612 AD It all began in Mecca in the desert region of the Arabian peninsula. According to Muslim teaching, Jews and Christians will find in the Qur’an that which is essential and the best of the Torah and Gospel. It mixes together many Jewish and Christian elements, to which it gave new form At first the verses had been preserved in the memory of believers, who repeated them constantly in liturgical recitations. Some had jotted down on makeshift materials (ostraca, fragments of pottery and shoulder blades of camels, and so forth) After 632, a collection was undertaken by private persons. this was the first recension of the whole Qur"an, one or two years after Muhammad’s death. Othman (the third Caliph, 644-655 was destined to take up again, twenty-five years later.

When one is convinced that what he believes is true, it is fruitless to try to convince him otherwise. It is obvious that he thinks strongly that Christ never professed divinity, He not only professed divinity but showed divinity (If you do not believe Me, believe My works). Many Saints followers of Christ had performed miracles in His Name. What of Muhammed? Brought up and being indoctrinated in error has caused so much evil in the world. The Church is so very well aware of this, and it is why she condemns heresies. The children of to day suffer from the mistakes of their faith leaders of the past. The Church in her ecumenical efforts tries to rectify this evil, and unit our brothers in the one True faith of Jesus Christ. An open mind and study of the facts by learned people is an essential to acquiring the truth, and the Catholic Christian Church does this if one would only inquire. Of course the guidance of the Holy Spirit is appealed to by sincere prayer.


#15

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: Well said. It’s more beneficial to preach by deeds rather than words in this case.


#16

With all due respect, it is facetious for anyone outside Christianity to tell us what it means. Now granted, there are a lot of varying interpretations within Christianity, but one is reaching too far to tell us that we don’t understand our canonized scriptures.

As I stated in another similar thread, Islam was developed by contact with the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. So, any Muslim is really “getting off on the wrong foot” to start with an assumption rooted in heresy itself.

The problem with this, is that this Arian heresy is reflected in Islam’s holy book itself. So, it virtually impossible to uproot this prejudice.


#17

I did some more research into these subjects earlier and composed a response to his objections. I thought you all would like to see it:

*"No need to get upset or beligerant, I was merely attempting to have a civil conversation and address your questions but, if you insist on being insulting … I did, in fact, provide you with answers but you don’t seem to understand them or Christian history (which would provide some context) for that matter. Your assumption that a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning–that is from Apostolic times–has no foundation in history and therefore your statements are not factual at all. In reality, the Bible is not a single work but rather an anthology of 73 books written by approximately 40 authors over a 1,400-year period that ended nearly 2,000 years ago. As such, the original copies of these works have not lasted to today, though a large number of early copies allow us to reconstruct the text as it stood in its earliest form.

For example, the Old Testament was written from the time of Moses (approximately 1400 BC) until the time of the Maccabees (approximately 100 BC). Copies of most Old Testament books have been preserved from as early as the second century BC in the finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Numerous Old Testament books have also been preserved in the ancient Cairo Geniza from the 1st century AD. Codex Cairensis includes the Prophets and is dated 895. The Aleppo Codex includes most of the Old Testament and dates from the 930s. The first full Old Testament manuscript in Hebrew, the Leningrad Codex (dated 1008), is over 1,000 years old.

The New Testament includes even more textual evidence to support its accuracy. Its 27 books were composed between the AD 40s-90s. The earliest manuscripts date to the late 1st century within the lives of the Apostles. More than 58,000 Greek manuscripts exist of New Testament writings, enabling comparison to allow a comprehensive reconstruction of the earliest text. The first complete New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus, dates to the mid-4th century (325-360) and reveals that the New Testament writings had been in circulation as a group long before this time.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15-16 supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul’s Epistles; St. John’s Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church. It was not until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage that the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t.

The truth is, the Christian Bible can be reconstructed today from the 58,000 copies of original manuscripts still in existence and the 80,000 quotations from early church fathers. Also, many people who actually walked and talked with Jesus wrote to us about His life. The Christian Gospels were so widely distributed that any attempt to change (add/subtract) something in the Christian Gospels would have resulted in immediate discovery.

Muslims should note that nowhere in the Qur’an there is there even a suggestion that the Biblical text has been altered or corrupted. The word “tahrif” is never used with reference to the Bible itself. The Qur’an occasionally accuses the Jews of concealing the truth but it never levels this accusation at Christians. It in no way implies that the text of the Bible has been corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an attests to the validity of the Christian Gospels and the Old Testament.

Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Old Testament via a system of checking, double checking and adding each letter on each line. Any attempt to change something in the Old Testament would have resulted in immediate discovery. While the original manuscripts of Scripture are no longer in existence, ample copies from early times exist to provide proof that the text that exists today is what was originally composed.

This same quality of transmission cannot be said of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was written down from 3rd and 4th hand accounts; and from a few thoughts written on scrap papers --and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 AD. The oldest Qur’an dates from around 790 AD and it is in the British Library. That’s 158 years after Muhammad’s death.

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur’an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 AD. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century. The only script used during and after Muhammad’s days was the Jazm script. The Samarkand (aka: Othman Koran) manuscript in the Soviet Library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan also uses the Kufic script, indicating late 8th century. Many believe it is the oldest in existence. Only About one-third of the original survives.*


#18

I did some more research into these subjects earlier and composed a response to his objections. I thought you all would like to see it:

*"No need to get upset or beligerant, I was merely attempting to have a civil conversation and address your questions but, if you insist on being insulting … I did, in fact, provide you with answers but you don’t seem to understand them or Christian history (which would provide some context) for that matter. Your assumption that a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning–that is from Apostolic times–has no foundation in history and therefore your statements are not factual at all. In reality, the Bible is not a single work but rather an anthology of 73 books written by approximately 40 authors over a 1,400-year period that ended nearly 2,000 years ago. As such, the original copies of these works have not lasted to today, though a large number of early copies allow us to reconstruct the text as it stood in its earliest form.

For example, the Old Testament was written from the time of Moses (approximately 1400 BC) until the time of the Maccabees (approximately 100 BC). Copies of most Old Testament books have been preserved from as early as the second century BC in the finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Numerous Old Testament books have also been preserved in the ancient Cairo Geniza from the 1st century AD. Codex Cairensis includes the Prophets and is dated 895. The Aleppo Codex includes most of the Old Testament and dates from the 930s. The first full Old Testament manuscript in Hebrew, the Leningrad Codex (dated 1008), is over 1,000 years old.

The New Testament includes even more textual evidence to support its accuracy. Its 27 books were composed between the AD 40s-90s. The earliest manuscripts date to the late 1st century within the lives of the Apostles. More than 58,000 Greek manuscripts exist of New Testament writings, enabling comparison to allow a comprehensive reconstruction of the earliest text. The first complete New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus, dates to the mid-4th century (325-360) and reveals that the New Testament writings had been in circulation as a group long before this time.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15-16 supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul’s Epistles; St. John’s Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church. It was not until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage that the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t.

The truth is, the Christian Bible can be reconstructed today from the 58,000 copies of original manuscripts still in existence and the 80,000 quotations from early church fathers. Also, many people who actually walked and talked with Jesus wrote to us about His life. The Christian Gospels were so widely distributed that any attempt to change (add/subtract) something in the Christian Gospels would have resulted in immediate discovery.

Muslims should note that nowhere in the Qur’an there is there even a suggestion that the Biblical text has been altered or corrupted. The word “tahrif” is never used with reference to the Bible itself. The Qur’an occasionally accuses the Jews of concealing the truth but it never levels this accusation at Christians. It in no way implies that the text of the Bible has been corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an attests to the validity of the Christian Gospels and the Old Testament.

Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Old Testament via a system of checking, double checking and adding each letter on each line. Any attempt to change something in the Old Testament would have resulted in immediate discovery. While the original manuscripts of Scripture are no longer in existence, ample copies from early times exist to provide proof that the text that exists today is what was originally composed.

This same quality of transmission cannot be said of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was written down from 3rd and 4th hand accounts; and from a few thoughts written on scrap papers --and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 AD. The oldest Qur’an dates from around 790 AD and it is in the British Library. That’s 158 years after Muhammad’s death.

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur’an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 AD. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century. The only script used during and after Muhammad’s days was the Jazm script. The Samarkand (aka: Othman Koran) manuscript in the Soviet Library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan also uses the Kufic script, indicating late 8th century. Many believe it is the oldest in existence. Only about one-third of the original survives.*


#19

I did some more research into these subjects earlier and composed a response to his objections. I thought you all would like to see it:

*"No need to get upset or beligerant, I was merely attempting to have a civil conversation and address your questions but, if you insist on being insulting … I did, in fact, provide you with answers but you don’t seem to understand them or Christian history (which would provide some context) for that matter. Your assumption that a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning–that is from Apostolic times–has no foundation in history and therefore your statements are not factual at all. In reality, the Bible is not a single work but rather an anthology of 73 books written by approximately 40 authors over a 1,400-year period that ended nearly 2,000 years ago. As such, the original copies of these works have not lasted to today, though a large number of early copies allow us to reconstruct the text as it stood in its earliest form.

For example, the Old Testament was written from the time of Moses (approximately 1400 BC) until the time of the Maccabees (approximately 100 BC). Copies of most Old Testament books have been preserved from as early as the second century BC in the finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Numerous Old Testament books have also been preserved in the ancient Cairo Geniza from the 1st century AD. Codex Cairensis includes the Prophets and is dated 895. The Aleppo Codex includes most of the Old Testament and dates from the 930s. The first full Old Testament manuscript in Hebrew, the Leningrad Codex (dated 1008), is over 1,000 years old.

The New Testament includes even more textual evidence to support its accuracy. Its 27 books were composed between the AD 40s-90s. The earliest manuscripts date to the late 1st century within the lives of the Apostles. More than 58,000 Greek manuscripts exist of New Testament writings, enabling comparison to allow a comprehensive reconstruction of the earliest text. The first complete New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus, dates to the mid-4th century (325-360) and reveals that the New Testament writings had been in circulation as a group long before this time.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15-16 supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul’s Epistles; St. John’s Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church. It was not until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage that the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t.

The truth is, the Christian Bible can be reconstructed today from the 58,000 copies of original manuscripts still in existence and the 80,000 quotations from early church fathers. Also, many people who actually walked and talked with Jesus wrote to us about His life. The Christian Gospels were so widely distributed that any attempt to change (add/subtract) something in the Christian Gospels would have resulted in immediate discovery.

Muslims should note that nowhere in the Qur’an there is there even a suggestion that the Biblical text has been altered or corrupted. The word “tahrif” is never used with reference to the Bible itself. The Qur’an occasionally accuses the Jews of concealing the truth but it never levels this accusation at Christians. It in no way implies that the text of the Bible has been corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an attests to the validity of the Christian Gospels and the Old Testament.

Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Old Testament via a system of checking, double checking and adding each letter on each line. Any attempt to change something in the Old Testament would have resulted in immediate discovery. While the original manuscripts of Scripture are no longer in existence, ample copies from early times exist to provide proof that the text that exists today is what was originally composed.

This same quality of transmission cannot be said of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was written down from 3rd and 4th hand accounts; and from a few thoughts written on scrap papers --and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 AD. The oldest Qur’an dates from around 790 AD and it is in the British Library. That’s 158 years after Muhammad’s death.

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur’an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 AD. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century. The only script used during and after Muhammad’s days was the Jazm script. The Samarkand (aka: Othman Koran) manuscript in the Soviet Library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan also uses the Kufic script, indicating late 8th century. Many believe it is the oldest in existence. Only about one-third of the original survives.*


#20

I did some more research into these subjects earlier and composed a response to his objections. I thought you all would like to see it:

*"No need to get upset or beligerant, I was merely attempting to have a civil conversation and address your questions but, if you insist on being insulting … I did, in fact, provide you with answers but you don’t seem to understand them or Christian history (which would provide some context) for that matter. Your assumption that a complete and clear-cut canon of the New Testament existing from the beginning–that is from Apostolic times–has no foundation in history and therefore your statements are not factual at all. In reality, the Bible is not a single work but rather an anthology of 73 books written by approximately 40 authors over a 1,400-year period that ended nearly 2,000 years ago. As such, the original copies of these works have not lasted to today, though a large number of early copies allow us to reconstruct the text as it stood in its earliest form.

For example, the Old Testament was written from the time of Moses (approximately 1400 BC) until the time of the Maccabees (approximately 100 BC). Copies of most Old Testament books have been preserved from as early as the second century BC in the finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Numerous Old Testament books have also been preserved in the ancient Cairo Geniza from the 1st century AD. Codex Cairensis includes the Prophets and is dated 895. The Aleppo Codex includes most of the Old Testament and dates from the 930s. The first full Old Testament manuscript in Hebrew, the Leningrad Codex (dated 1008), is over 1,000 years old.

The New Testament includes even more textual evidence to support its accuracy. Its 27 books were composed between the AD 40s-90s. The earliest manuscripts date to the late 1st century within the lives of the Apostles. More than 58,000 Greek manuscripts exist of New Testament writings, enabling comparison to allow a comprehensive reconstruction of the earliest text. The first complete New Testament, the Codex Sinaiticus, dates to the mid-4th century (325-360) and reveals that the New Testament writings had been in circulation as a group long before this time.

Those writings which possessed the unmistakable stamp and guarantee of Apostolic origin must from the very first have been specially prized and venerated, and their copies eagerly sought by local Churches and individual Christians of means, in preference to the narratives and Logia, or Sayings of Christ, coming from less authorized sources. Already in the New Testament itself there is some evidence of a certain diffusion of canonical books: 2 Peter 3:15-16 supposes its readers to be acquainted with some of St. Paul’s Epistles; St. John’s Gospel implicitly presupposes the existence of the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). There are no indications in the New Testament of a systematic plan for the distribution of the Apostolic compositions, any more than there is of a definite new Canon bequeathed by the Apostles to the Church. It was not until the Councils of Hippo and Carthage that the Catholic Church defined which books made it into the New Testament and which didn’t.

The truth is, the Christian Bible can be reconstructed today from the 58,000 copies of original manuscripts still in existence and the 80,000 quotations from early church fathers. Also, many people who actually walked and talked with Jesus wrote to us about His life. The Christian Gospels were so widely distributed that any attempt to change (add/subtract) something in the Christian Gospels would have resulted in immediate discovery.

Muslims should note that nowhere in the Qur’an there is there even a suggestion that the Biblical text has been altered or corrupted. The word “tahrif” is never used with reference to the Bible itself. The Qur’an occasionally accuses the Jews of concealing the truth but it never levels this accusation at Christians. It in no way implies that the text of the Bible has been corrupted. In fact, the Qur’an attests to the validity of the Christian Gospels and the Old Testament.

Hebrew scribes painstakingly copied the Old Testament via a system of checking, double checking and adding each letter on each line. Any attempt to change something in the Old Testament would have resulted in immediate discovery. While the original manuscripts of Scripture are no longer in existence, ample copies from early times exist to provide proof that the text that exists today is what was originally composed.

This same quality of transmission cannot be said of the Qur’an. The Qur’an was written down from 3rd and 4th hand accounts; and from a few thoughts written on scrap papers --and compiled over 150 years after Muhammad died in 632 AD. The oldest Qur’an dates from around 790 AD and it is in the British Library. That’s 158 years after Muhammad’s death.

Muslims often claim that the manuscript of the Qur’an housed in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the oldest sources. Muslims say it dates from around 650 AD. There is an insurmountable problem with this. This document is written in Kufic (also known as al-Khatt al-Kufi) script. Coins in the British Museum show that the first coins using the Kufic script date from the mid to end of the 8th century. The only script used during and after Muhammad’s days was the Jazm script. The Samarkand (aka: Othman Koran) manuscript in the Soviet Library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan also uses the Kufic script, indicating late 8th century. Many believe it is the oldest in existence. Only about one-third of the original survives.*


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.