Bible Characters in the Quran (1)

The Quran claims in several places to be a confirmation and a fuller explanation of the Bible.

“This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary, it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, And a fuller explanation of the Book (the Bible i.e the Scripture of the Jews and Christians) – wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the worlds” (10:37).

When one compares the Quran with the Bible, the falsehood of this verse quickly becomes evident. Muslim leaders desperately try to evade this dilemma of contradiction by claiming that the “original Bible” is lost or has been “corrupted.” Many Muslims, without any sense of demonstrable self-awareness, boldly assert that the Quran came to correct the errors of the Bible or even replace it. Yet the Quran appeals to the Bible as God’s inspired Word time and again.

To sustain their faith in Islam, Muslims jettison reason, history and truth and attack the Bible to uphold the Quran. But this is irrational. The principle of historical precedent states that an older theory tests and judges a newer one. If X predates Y in Z, the burden of proof is on Y to prove itself. Until then, Y is in error. Therefore, since the Bible existed before the Quran, it’s the standard by which the Quran is to judged and tested and if the Quran contradicts it at any place, every rational person must go with the Bible.

This principle will be applied here. In the Quran, Muhammad said “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles … I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration” (46:9). To verify this claim, we must compare the Quran with the Bible and if we find evidence of “newly fangled” ideas in the Quran, the logical conclusion is that Muhammad was an uninspired false prophet. The following are examples of how the Quran confuses Bible stories and grossly depicts Bible characters.

Adam and Eve

The Quran presents us with a nuanced account of Adam and Eve’s sin. The first version says “But the devil whispered to him. Said he, ‘O Adam! Shall I guide thee to the tree of immortality, and a kingdom that shall not wane.” (20:120) The second says: “But Satan whispered to them to make apparent to them that which was concealed from them of their private parts. He said, Your Lord did not forbid you this tree except that you become angels or become immortal” (7:20)

On comparison with the Bible, both versions are false. Satan deceived Eve alone while Adam knowingly ate the fruit from Eve (Gen. 3:1-5). The Quran also says that Adam and Eve were thrown to earth when they sinned:

“Then did Satan make them slip from the (garden), and get them out of the state (of felicity) in which they had been. We said: ‘Get ye down, all (ye people), with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood – for a time” (Sura 2:36).

In the Biblical account, Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden of Eden on earth – where they were created – not heaven. Muhammad must have heard Jews and Christians talking about the Fall of Adam and Eve and naively thought they literally fell from heaven or a planet down to earth! He didn’t know the Fall meant a spiritual separation of man from God’s glory (Rom. 3:23). Our being on earth today is not a result of the Fall. Again, Sura 7:189-190 says:

“It is He Who has created you from a single person (Adam), and (then) He has created from him his wife (Eve), in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her. When he had sexual relation with her, she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly. Then when it became heavy, they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): “If you give us a Salih (good in every aspect) child, we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih (good in every aspect) child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them…”

This is another version that is nowhere found in the Bible. Adam and Eve weren’t Arabians and didn’t start a pagan religion. Here, Muhammad was probably trying to redact their story to fit his agenda of making the Meccans worship Allah, their chief deity, excluding the other divinities in the Arabian pantheon.

Abraham

The Quran indicates that Abraham had two children (37:100-11), but the Bible records eight (Gen. 25:1-6, 9). The Bible records Abraham’s partial lie about Sarah being his wife as his only sin, but the Quran depicts him as a brazen idolater and deceiver.

“When the night grew dark upon him he beheld a star. He said: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said: I love not things that set. And when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: This is my Lord. But when it set, he said, unless my Lord guide me, I surely shall become one of the folks who go astray. And when he saw the sun uprising, he cried: This is greater! And when he set he exclaimed: O my people Lo! I am free from all that ye associate (with Him)” (Q 6:76-78)

Muslims have trumped up some excuses to justify Ibraham’s flagrant idolatry, but they hold no water. No Godly person in the Bible ever worshipped the moon, star and sun (whether jocularly or otherwise). The patriarch Job called this practice “unfaithfulness to God” and “sins to be judged” (31:26-28). Conversely, sura 2:36 says that “Abraham… was never [one] of the idolaters.” I need to ask: Did Allah forgive him of the “unforgivable” sin of shirk?

Sura 2:125: “We covenanted with Abraham and Isma’il that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow or prostrate themselves.”

Both the Bible and history show that Abraham was never in Arabia and he didn’t venerate a pagan stone. The Torah which predates the Quran by 2000 years is a more reliable record of Abraham than anything Muhammad concocted millennia later.

Sura 21:58-63 narrates Abraham destroying the idols of his people: “So he broke them into pieces, all except the chief of them, that they might return to it. They said, ‘Who has done this to our gods? Surely, he is a wrongdoer. Some others said, ‘We heard a young man speak ill of them; he is called Abraham.’… “He replied, ‘Well, someone has surely done this. Here is the chief of them. So ask them if they can speak.”

In the Bible, Abraham didn’t destroy any idol. This fiction came about because Muhammad confused the story of Gideon with Abraham (Judges 6:25-31). It’s an insult to attribute such astounding blunders to God.

Lot

Narrating his rescue from Sodom and Gomorrah, sura 27:57-58 says:
“So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned.”

The Hilali-Khan version inserted “of stones” to specify the manner of rain. Yusuf Ali, perhaps aware of this blunder, slyly inserts “of brimestone” in parenthesis in his version. But Sura 54:34 says: “We sent against them violent storms of stones (which destroyed them all), except the family of Lout (Lot) whom We saved…” To evade this blot again, Yusuf Ali inserted “violent tornado” in the text.

But the Bible and modern archaeology prove that Sodom and Gomorrah was utterly destroyed by brimestone, not stones. There are also two conflicting versions of Lot’s rescue. In Sura 15:63, the angels made their identity known the moment Lot saw them: “They said ‘Yes, but we come to thee for a purpose about which thy people doubt.” But in Sura 11: 81, the angels didn’t make their identity known until when Lot was in trouble with the men of Sodom.

The second version is more in line with the Bible. Either Muhammad heard the story from Jews and Christians on two different occasions and had them written accordingly or they were written by different people with nuanced knowledge of the Torah.

Noah

“So the Ark floated with them on the waves (towering) like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest): ‘O my son! Embark with us, and be not with the unbelievers. The son replied “I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water.’ Noah said ‘This day nothing can save, from the command of God, any, but those on whom He hath mercy!’ And the waves came between them, and the son was among those who overwhelmed in the Flood” (Q 11:42-43).

In the Bible, we see that Noah had three sons and none of them got drowned in the Flood. They all entered the Ark with their three wives (Genesis 6 and 7). The story of Noah is relayed again in Sura 71:1-28 but when one reads the passage carefully, it’s clear that Muhammad tailored Noah’s story to reflect his own experience and feeling when he was rejected by the Meccan pagans.

Verse 21 quotes Noah saying: “My Lord! surely they have disobeyed me and followed him whose wealth and children have added to him nothing but loss.”
How could Noah have said this? Did he have followers? Did he lose them to some wealthy individuals? These were Muhammad’s own words framed as Noah’s.

In verse 23, the cat is fully let out of the bag: “And they have said (to each other) ‘Abandon not your gods: Abandon neither Wadd nor Suwa’, neither Yaguth nor Ya’uq nor Nasr’.

History shows that the idols listed here were those of 7th century Arabians, not of the people of Noah millennia ago! Such outright forgeries!

Again, Sura 66:10 says “Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were two righteous servants of Ours, but they acted treacherous to them. So they availed them naught against Allah, and it was said to them, ‘Enter the Fire, ye twain, along with those who enter it’.”

Which fire? Noah’s wife and Lot’s wife didn’t even live in the same century! If Noah’s only son died in the Flood, and his wife perished in a fire, how then was the earth populated after the Flood?

Joseph

In the Quran Jacob is quoted saying to Joseph’s brothers before going to graze their flocks: “Really it saddens me that ye should take him away; I fear lest the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him” (12:13). This is a reflective forged word coming from someone who assumed Joseph was going grazing with them in a forest. In the real account Jacob had no premonition of Joseph’s death, he actually sent him to Shechem to check on his brothers and return home (Gen. 37:12-13).

Verse 20 says “And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.” This is a historical error. Coins weren’t used at the time of Joseph. In verse 24 the Quran suggests that Joseph lusted after Potiphar’s wife: “But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token from his lord…”

This is false. Joseph didn’t lust after her until he saw a “sign.” Whoever composed this book has an abysmal knowledge of the Torah. The legendary embellishments and outright lies attached to Biblical characters prove that it’s from an ignorant, mischievous man.

Chick’s World of Alternative Facts

For decades, Chick Publications Inc. has gained popularity for attacking deceptive religious systems, hence, one would expect it to have a high degree of intellectual honesty in what it presents to the public. Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, the Body of Christ need to scrutinise and fact-check the claims made in their vlogs, books, articles and comics. Last year, I pointed out a number of egregious errors and deliberate falsehoods in their materials which tragically continue to emanate from that ministry even now that its leadership rein in now in the hands of David Daniels.

The misleading information and flawed arguments in the Battle Cry May/June 2017 article entitled “Pope Decides It’s Okay to Read the Bible?” underscore the fact that KJV onlyism can only be sustained on tissues of lies. I will be responding to that article. Quotes from it will appear in bold.

In his Sunday message to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, March 5, Pope Francis urged the people to carry their Bible as diligently as they do their smartphones. Protestants, and the civilized world in general, applaud that this dark-age “church” has seen the light. As head of an institution that tried for centuries to stamp out the Bible, this appears like a miracle

As far as I can see, only ignorant Protestants who are easily swayed by sweet words and pageantry will applaud the pope’s message. A part of it on the Vatican’s website reads:

“The Word of God: this has the strength to defeat Satan. For this reason, it is important to be familiar with the Bible; read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it. The Bible contains the Word of God, which is always timely and effective.”

Anyone with a knowledge of Rome’s teaching knows that when they talk about “the word of God,” they are referring to an amalgam of the Bible, traditions and teachings of the Magisterium. not Scripture alone. The remark that “the Bible contains the Word of God” should give a red flag to a true Christian. That line is diabolical. While modern Catholics are allowed (and even encouraged) to read the Bible, Rome still keeps it from their hearts by diminishing its authority and insisting that only the Magisterium can interpret it. Fair enough, the Battle Cry article ends with this fact, but the meandering before it deserves some attention.

Unfortunately, there is a darker side of the story. The Bible that he is talking about is a very different Bible from the one which dozens tried to obliterate. But it wasn’t that the popes wanted to do away with all Bibles, they just had to stop one Bible. Even during the Inquisition the popes had their own approved Bible

Notice how the writer quickly deflects to the issue of Bible translation. He is pitting the Latin Vulgate (approved by the pope) with “one Bible” that dozens of popes wanted to stamp out – the Old Latin bible translation. In the book, Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? (by David Daniels) we are told: “Catholic Rome got the reins of government and began destroying God’s words in Old Latin” (p. 54).

This alternative history is uncritically lapped up by many KJO patrons. But there is no historical evidence that dozens of popes obliterated the Old Latin bible. These are stuffs some people make up in their own heads and have the temerity to publish them as truth.

For most of Christian history, there has been a struggle over which Bible should be used. When the Revelation 17-18 counterfeit church was burning all the Bibles, (and Bible believers) during the Inquisition, they also had a counterfeit Bible they were promoting. Of course, “promoting” is hardly the right word when their “Bible” was chained to the pulpit and written in Latin, a language few could read

All through church history, Christians have always had preference for certain Bible translations – from the Septuagint to the Vulgate to the KJV. The real struggle started when the Catholic religion decreed that only the Latin Vulgate version was divine – a cultic idea curiously similar to KJV onlyists’ claims about the KJV. Just as the people had to learn Latin to know God’s Word at the time, today, everyone would have to learn English to know His Word as KJOs insist.

Earlier, we read that popes “just had to stop one Bible” but now we are told they were “burning all the Bibles.” Hello? How did one Bible became all the Bibles? We need to ask: which Bible translation was the “only true Bible” during the Inquisition (between 12th-16th century)?It couldn’t have been the Old Latin versions (Italic, African and European) because their texts differ markedly from the Received text from which the KJV was translated. F. F. Bruce observed:

“The textual affinities of the Old Latin versions are unmistakably with the Western type of text … On the whole, the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text and the European the smaller” (The Early Versions, 1977, 325).

God’s counterattack was the invention of the printing press. Soon, copies of the right Bible began to flood the Western World. But his enemy did not give up easily. Satan’s plan B was to “fix” the supposedly “archaic language” of the real Bible. If it could be subtly altered to begin to match the counterfeit, maybe no one would notice. The astounding success of that plan is why the Pope can now urge his people to read the Bible

The first movable printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg circa 1450. Between 1450 and 1611 when ‘the right Bible’ began to flood the West, which Bible translation was the ‘only real one’ and why was it replaced? We need to know why the Wycliffe, Tyndale, Bishop or Geneva Bible versions were fake but the King James version was real. Isn’t it stunning that the writer wrapped 161 years up as “soon”?

Perhaps bereft of tangible arguments, the writer invokes “Satan’s plan B” to explain why the KJV translation wasn’t (and still isn’t) regarded as perfect. In fact, the KJV used many outdated (and by modern usage, embarrassing) English terms e.g “cockatrice” for viper; “apothecary” for perfumer; “shambles” for meat markets; “unicorn” for wild ox; “dumb ass” instead of mute donkey; “bastard” instead of illegitimate; “spoil” instead of plunder; “Elias” for Elijah, “Eliseus” for Elisha and “Osee” instead of Hosea. The purpose of every legitimate Bible translation is to render God’s Word in the simplest, clearest way possible such that even an uneducated person can understand. Since the KJV failed in this regard, it necessitated a better English translation.

Furthermore, the Latin Vulgate (“the counterfeit”) had much influence on the KJV. Frederick Scrivener points out at least 60 places where the NT of the KJV follows the reading of the Latin Vulgate without a single Greek text as support (The New Testament in Greek, 1881, ix). Bible scholars, W. E. Plater and H. J. White stated that even the vocabulary of the KJV repeats words directly lifted from the Vulgate e.g “publican,” “charity,” “Calvary” (A Grammar of the Vulgate, 1926, 4). It’s disingenuous for Chick’s team to demonize the Vulgate whilst idolizing the KJV.

Using modern research techniques, linguist David W. Daniels has uncovered the details of this epic war on God’s words

Unfortunately, much of the details Daniels presents are closer to tabloid sensationalism than established facts. The footnotes and bibliography of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? indicates that his information on Bible transmission are largely from Chick materials along with questionable works of other KJOs: William Grady, David Otis Fuller, Gail Riplinger and Peter Ruckman. Such self-quoting, “circle-the-bunkers” technique is an insult to credible research.

The move to “fix” the Bible involved forming “Bible societies,” bringing together linguists, translators, publishers and sophisticated marketing. Satan used the opportunity to infiltrate those “societies” with unbelievers and men dedicated to his agenda

How did the writer know these details? Interestingly, Daniels and Chick believed the KJV translators were also infiltrated by Jesuits. This idea came from Dr Alberto Rivera’s testimony in The Crusaders’ comic:

“Among the group of men chosen by King James to translate the King James Bible in 1611, was a heavy concentration of undercover Jesuits posing as members of the Church of England. God, in His sovereign grace, preserved His written word, and they were not able to change it as they had planned” (The Force, p 14).

Now if God could preserve His Word in spite of heavy Jesuit concentration among KJV translators, why didn’t He do the same for other Bible translations before and since then? You see, in the KJ onlyist’s bubble universe, the KJV is a perfect translation because its translators were also inspired by the Holy Spirit, so anyone who suggests that it’s flawed or clamours for a better translation  is part of Satan’s folks!

Rather than updating the language, a whole new basic Greek text was formed. Instead of using the thousands of manuscripts supporting the real Bible, a few new ones were faked as “oldest and best.” And coincidentally, their readings often supported the unbiblical doctrines of the counterfeit church…

1. This false, KJO Manichean binary of a ‘preserved’ Received text versus the ‘corrupted’ new Greek text needs to be disassembled. Between 17th-19th century, several Protestant scholars collected several critical Greek texts other than Erasmus’ Received text.
Theodore de Beza (1519-1605), John Calvin’s successor, collected critical Greek texts. John Mill (1645-1707) also collected and published Greek texts. Sir Richard Bentley (1662-1742) was the first to propose a revised Greek text. Johann Bengel (1687-1751) critically studied Greek texts and was the first to classify them into Alexandrian and Byzantine. The scholar from that period who published a text similar to the Received text, J. M. Scholz, was a Catholic theologian.

2. Erasmus’ Greek text wasn’t based on “thousands of manuscripts.” He used 10 manuscripts, none of which were earlier than the 10th century. The discovery of more ancient and larger number of mss. prompted newer English versions. Their differences with the KJV affect no vital doctrine.

3. According to Dr. J. G. Carleton, the KJV has taken some 2,803 readings, besides 140 marginal reading from the Catholic Rheims translation (The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible, 1902, 259). This shouldn’t be shocking since the KJV translators were 17th century Anglicans, not 20th century independent, fundamentalist Baptists.

Today, that bogus text, known as the Nestle-Aland/United Bible Societies Greek Text, is nearly universally accepted by translators of modern Bible versions … Fake manuscripts like the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were “discovered” by men like Constantin Tischendorf. From them, Westcott and Hort prepared their Greek New Testament that became the foundation text for most modern versions

Never mind, the only reason the Nestle-Aland Greek text is termed “bogus” is because it’s not Erasmus’ Catholic Greek text. The Vaticanus manuscript pre-dates Roman Catholicism and the Latin Vulgate, yet, both Erasmus and KJV translators relied on the Vulgate in their work. Bible manuscripts stand on their own merits, not by who possessed them, otherwise, the Byzantine Mss. used for the Received text would also be “fake” since they came from Eastern Orthodoxy.

The efforts of the named scholars were to produce a non-Catholic critical Greek text, and many of them were theologically conservative. Tischendorf, for example, was a Plymouth Brethren. Many conservative Christian scholars in the 19th and 20th century accepted the revised critical texts over Erasmus’ Received text.

The next step was a broad marketing campaign to “sell” the church on the new Bibles. Part of that was an intensive effort to discredit the real Bible in English… This hugely successful effort has effectively persuaded churches, denominations, Bible colleges and seminaries to “speak evil” of the KJV in favor of the altered Bibles

This scenario was illustrated by Jack Chick on pg. 134 of Did the Catholic Church Give us the Bible? book. The Pope asks his Jesuit general “How is the Master Plan coming, General?” He replies, “We’ve funneled billions into the ‘new’ versions. No one will know which one to believe! Very soon the King James will be the most despised Bible on earth!”

To Christians with a ‘Daddy-there-is-a-big-Jesuit-in-my-pyjamas’ paranoid mindset, this is all the evidence they need to stay away from any other Bible version. But a reasonable Christian must question the source of such rhetoric. I have said this before: without conspiracy theories, KJV onlyism cannot stand.

Notice also their use of pejorative terms like “discredit” or “speak evil” for any suggestion of the KJV imperfection. This offers a glimpse into the pervasive shift in the KJV only camp. It’s a shift from the gospel message to conspiracy tales; facts to fictions; faith to suspicion and a Christ-centered life to an obsession with a 17th century Bible version. The outgrowth: persons bereft of character and truth – who ironically see themselves as “better” Christians approved by God because they use the King James bible.