Here is a long exchange I had with a Muslim named Abbas on Facebook. Due to the length of the discussion, this debate is in two parts.
Abbas: You will fall and fail in your fight against ISLAM !
Victor: My fight against Islam is to reach as many trapped within its claws to see the light and come out of it. The evil ones can remain in Islam and join Muhammad in the pit.
Abbas: At least Muslims are able to assert using the Qur’an that Islam predates the coming of Jesus Christ. The Qur’an teaches us that our noble Prophet is was the first Prophet and so it is with all Prophets among their people. But your Bible which has witnessed several revisions ( in the hands of clergymen ) in which many things are expunged. How sure are you that these things were expunged so easily in this process ?
Victor: Islam predates the coming of Christ? Says who? Says Muhammad. I don’t care about whatever that man has said. You have no historical backing on this, all you have are the words of an Arabian liar.
I challenge you to prove that the Bible “has witnessed several revisions and many things expunged from it” right now or shut up about it and don’t ever say it again.
Abbas: That Islam was in no way, mentioned in the Bible is also one point that can be explained with adequate ease. According to Christian Clergymen, the Bible has witnessed so many MAJOR REVISIONS in the course of time. How sure are we that the names Islam or Muslims were not expunged many years before now from the Bible? That the Bible has seen many MAJOR revisions is not my word but the word of the Clergymen themselves. See the Preface to your King James Bible and you will never react this way any more, God’s willing.
Victor: You have not answered any of my questions neither have you addressed anything cogent. Perhaps this article will help dispel those myths Deedat led you to believe. The preface to the Revised Standard Version (it’s not the King James Bible!) was an old trick Ahmed Deedat used to fool many of you. The preface says the KJV was riddled with errors and had to be revised. They were referring to the errors in English translation. The KJV was translated in 1611 and the English used then were obsolete and had to be put into modern English. This is why we laugh at Muslims who use this argument.
Abbas: I have indeed answered you in the most logical manner and that was why you tried to muffle me when I confirm to you that the Bible of two hundred years ago is not the Bible today in the hands of Christians. So why should anyone be surprised if many historical facts ( which the names ‘ Islam’ and ‘Muslim’ are a part of ) could be declared missing in the Bible ?
I think you can’t stand any learned Muslim in any debate, just as your senior predecessors (e. g Dr. Shorrosh and Co.). Before coming out to preconize the Muslims to a debate, you should first of all settle things like : 1. Who wrote the Bible? 2. Why is the Bible in versions ? 3. Why is the Bible seeing so many MAJOR revisions in the hands of clergymen ?… And many such discrepancies in the word of God ( the Bible ).
Victor: You said “the Bible of two hundred years ago is not the Bible today.” Prove this here or don’t ever say it in public again. Believe me, you will get laughed out of an elementary school debate if you utter such stuffs. One doesn’t even need to be a scholar to know about the thousands of extant Bible manuscripts dating back to even 30 years after Christ. Honestly, don’t expose yourself to ridicule by making darn statements. It’s self-defeating.
If I claim that my name is in my uncle’s will and we look into it and it’s not found in it, then it’s either it was never in it or I’m just lying. Now, for your argument to have any shred of plausibility to it, you will have to present to us that Bible containing the words ‘Islam’ and ‘Muslim.’ Do that and you have our respect. Run away from that again and you are exposed as a liar and a propagandist.
Which learned Muslim are you talking about? Zakir Naik? Jamal Badawi? Osama Abdullah? Shabir Ally? Look, these men have been squashed and re-squashed in debates. Besides, there is nothing new you guys want to bring to the table. Islam is not a religion of debate. Your prophet was a warlord, not a debater. What is there to debate about in Islam? What can be proved? Can you prove to me that the Quran is God’s word? You can’t. All you will do is quote a verse here and a verse there. Such antics convince only those who have decided on a conclusion before the debate.
Why is the Quran in versions? Why do we have Yusuf Ali version, Hilali-Khan version, Shakir version, Rodwell version, Pickthall version, Sale version, Khalifa version etc? And why different Arabic versions too, the Warsh version, Qalun version, Hafs version or Al-Duri version? I have already said you should present your proof about your “MAJOR” revisions rather than resorting to your now-familiar tactic of glib avoidance.
Abbas: Your question centres on the Bible since you don’t believe in my Qur’an, and as such the reliability of the Bible as a source of reference is in the present situation is paramount. I want me to show you a single verse in the Bible which speaks about Islam or Muslims. We can’t see it in the Bible, reason being that the Bible has been revised on several occasions. You seem to have problem with this assertion but why don’t you take your time and check the preamble to your Bible and you will surely see a clear cut echo of this assertion by Bible Scholars.
The question you can’t pretend to be ignorant of is : Why do you call Bibles in ‘revisions’ , i.e 1st revision, 2nd, 3rd and so on ? It baffles me to see that a person who claims to know how to attack Islam, does not know the difference between TRANSLATIONS and VERSIONS . Yusuf Ali, Hilali Khan e. t. c are translations and not VERSIONS!
FOR the Arabic dialects the Prophet said that the Qur’an was revealed in seven ( 7 ) dialects and this is what you refer to as WARSH, HAFS, E.T.C. This is not version but dialect. If you don’t know a version, a version is a difference in books claiming to be of the same source.
The diagram here helps you to answer your question better. [Victor: He sent me a chart showing the different books in Catholic and Protestant Bibles. Where the ignorance of the person who made this chart shows is that it assumes that the Syriac, Coptic or Orthodox churches are separate with separate Bible books]
Victor: I have already addressed the issue of the apocrypha books here, read it if you are willing to cure your ignorance.
You said the “reliability of the Bible as a source of reference” is paramount. You are digging a pit for yourself with such assumptions. In Logic, there is what is called historical precedence, which means that an older authority tests and judges a newer authority. In essence, a new theory is invalid until it proves itself. You can’t dismiss the older for the newer
Since the Quran came at least 6 centuries after the Bible, it is the Quran that must prove itself and not the Bible. A reasoning person uses the Bible (older authority) as the standard of judging the Quran. Every rational person must accept the Bible over the Quran. In fact, the Quran is in error until it proves itself.
Another huge crack in your anti-biblical position is that your Quran appeals to the authenticity and divine inspiration of the Bible over and over again, so to reject the Bible is to reject the Quran. Unfortunately, this is where the stupidity of Islam rears its head.
You can’t prove the Quran by attacking the Bible. That position is intellectual suicide and damaging to your cause. The only two cop-out left for you to mouth is to say that the Bible which the Quran talks about is lost or corrupted (“constantly revised”). In that case, the onus is on you to prove your assertions with documented evidence. Best wishes with that.
Your query on why the Bible is called “revisions” is just as goofy as it sounds since only two Bible translation are so named (Revised Standard version 1946 and New Revised Standard version 1989). Everyone knows that the “revised” refers to the English language being updated into modern English. Anyone who reads outside Islamic hate literature can compare these translations and see that they are all saying the same thing.
Of course, I KNEW those were Quranic translations, but I intentionally threw the questions back at you so you can see your hypocrisy and extreme prejudice (which I doubt you are capable of). We use the terms “versions” and “translations” interchangeably. It’s dishonest for you to call English translations of the Bible “different revisions” and then call yours “just translations” (by the way, Sura Al-Maida has 123 verses in Yusuf Ali’s version but only 120 verses in Hilali-Khan’s version. So what are you guys talking about?)
Muhammad said Gabriel gave him the quran in 7 dialects but this claim contradicts a claim in the Quran which says it’s “pure and clear” Arabic (Sura 16:103). Since the Quran can be recited in different dialects, it means phonologically it’s not pure Arabic. There is no particular standard to judge the purity of the Quran since dialectical differences are usually in pronunciation. In fact, the Quran is riddled with grammatical blunders in Arabic. Islamic scholar, Ali Dashti admits:
“The Quo’ran contains sentences which are incomplete and not fully intelligible without the aid of commentaries; foreign words, unfamiliar Arabic words, and words used with other than the normal meaning… illogically and ungrammatically applied pronouns which sometimes have no referent; and predicates which in rhymed passages are often remote from the subject” (23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad, London: 1985, 48).
After Muhammad’s death, several conflicting versions (both written and oral) of the Quran erupted until caliph Uthman had to force the Muslims to accept his own “standardized” Quran and burnt the rest. How did he know that ones he had were the real ones? That’s a question for you and your bearded leaders. According to Islamic scholar Alfred Guillaume, the Quran at first “had a large number of variants, not always trifling in significance” (Islam, p. 189).
Jeffery Arthur in his Material for the History of the Text of the Quran gives a total of 90 pages of variant readings of the pre-Uthman texts of the Quran. Sura 2 for instance had over 140 conflicting and variant readings. The hadiths also prove that the Quran is not a complete book.
Abbas: For now I will want to sleep but tomorrow [you] will receive my reply in full. I will expose your denial that the Bibles we have today are of the same content; as well as confute your old empty false charge against the Holy Book of Islam.