Muslim Objections to Christianity: The Bible Has Been Changed

Over the next few posts I will present some of the most common objections many Muslims have with Christianity. This first post has to do with probably the biggest objection many Muslims have to Christianity.

Objection #1: The Bible has Changed

Now remember, this post has to do with Islamic criticism of Christianity, not secular objections. When it comes to secular critics of the Bible who claim the Bible has been changed, this is a much different debate than the traditional problem that Muslims have with the Bible.

One of the most heard claims of Muslims against Christianity is the thought that the Bible has been corrupted and cannot be trusted. Right away however we are presented with an interesting dilemma; during the time of Muhammad, and therefore the writing of the Quran, the Bible was thought of to be trusted. Of the many places where this is suggested or claimed in the Quran, Raouf and Carol Ghattas (in response to sura 2:89 from the Quran), write,

Here we read that God gave Muhammad the Qur’an, which agrees with the books in their hands, but they (the sons of Israel) refused it…We can use this verse to begin a discussion with our Muslim friend that if the Bible was true during Muhammad’s time, their argument about the corruption of the Bible does not work, because we have biblical manuscripts from even before Muhammad’s time. Some manuscripts date back to around AD 300, which is about three hundred years before Muhammad’s time. [1]

Hans Wijngaards very interestingly writes, “The Qur’an presupposes that the Bible possessed by Christians is in fact identical with the original one proclaimed by Jesus. In the first four centuries after Muhammad (600 – 1000 AD) no Muslim theologian seriously contended that the Gospel texts were not authentic. They might accuse Christians of giving a wrong interpretation to the words; they would not dispute the words themselves.”[2]

Also important to note is that textual criticism has lead us to confidently believe that we have 98.5% of what the original manuscripts of the New Testament said. “We can be absolutely sure that the text we possess is essentially identical to the original writings. Or, to put it in quantitative terms: the small variations that have crept into the text over all these centuries affect only one and a half per cent of the text (one of every sixty words); they rarely make any doctrinal difference. Ninety-eight and a half per cent of the text is certain beyond reasonable doubt.”[3]

Like many claims that Muslims argue against Christianity, the reality is that historical evidence often overwhelmingly disproves their case. For the Quran or Islamic leaders to imply the bible has been changed, the burden of proving their point is on them to find, in which they have not come up with much.

The reliability of the Bible is very important in Christian-Muslim dialogue. For when it is shown that the Bible we have today is accurate (at least accurate but Mohammad’s standards), it takes away the option for Muslims to claim Jesus never made any claims to deity and that he can be viewed solely as a good prophet. Either Jesus was who he claimed to be, or he was a liar and a blasphemer and therefore was the worst of prophets. And if the Bible has not been changed, then it also calls into question the claims that Islam is the final and “correct” religion.


Other posts in this series:


Muslim Objections to Christianity: Jesus Did Not Die
Muslim Objections to Christianity: Christians Worship Three Gods
Muslim Objections to Christianity: Jesus is Not the Son of God


[1] Raouf Ghattas and Carol B. Ghattas, A Christian Guide to the Qur’an: Building Bridges in Muslim Evangelism (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic & Professional, 2009), 27.

[2] Hans Wijngaards, “Can We Trust the Gospels?,” http://www.answering-islam.org/Bible/Text/wijngaards.html.

[3] Ibid.

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