Saturday, January 8, 2011

Muslims, the Qur'an, and the Injeel #5

In review, the Qur'an states that the Injeel (New Testament) is from Allah - it's the word of God!  However, Muslims reject Jesus as being divine, the second person of the Trinity, and claim he is just a prophet.  They also say that he never died on the cross!  How can these two documents both be from God and yet be contradictory on such points?  Muslims claim it is because the Injeel has been corrupted and changed!

The one response already suggested for Christians to use is the "theological" response which simply says that God is stronger than man (Luke 18:27 and Qur'an 2:148).  God keeps his word and humans are not stronger than God to be able to change it.  

The second response already suggested for Christians to use is the "logical" response.  It simply asks who, when, where, and how questions about the corruption of the Injeel.  Muslims don't generally have any answers to these questions, so it certainly gets them thinking.  Following this line of questioning, a Christian can also propose how do you know the Qur'an hasn't been corrupted too?

And the third response...

The Historical Response

I personally like the historical response given here: "Is the Bible Trustworthy?".

The "historical" response provided by Crescent Projecct, a Christian orginzation dedicated to helping Christians build relationships with Muslims, presents the historical response through three stages.  

The first stage is the Eyewitness Stage (AD 1-100)
  • Jesus was crucified 33 AD and raised from the dead. 
  • There were eyewitnesses who lived during this time, both friend and foe who could have discredited the Gospel writers if their information was not accurate and correct.  There isn't such documentation.
  • We can trust the Injeel to be historically accurate since it was written by eyewitnesses and directly based on the accounts of eyewitnesses. 
  • There are no eyewitnesses of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus alive at 100 AD.
The second stage is the Persecution Stage (AD 100-325)
  • The Romans decreed to martyr Christians and burn their books.  
  • We however have found partial manuscripts from this time period.  
  • We also have letters and writings from early Church fathers. 
  • We also have early translations of the Injeel.  
  • Since the Christians in this time period were under persecution, we can trust that since they were willing to die for what the believed from the Injeel that they made every effort to accurately copy and preserve its message for future generations and themselves. 
The third stage is the Translation Stage (325 AD-Present)
  • 325 AD - Codex Sinaiticus - A complete copy of the Injeel.
  • 350 AD - Codex Vaticanus - AD 400 Codex Alexandrinus - other complete copies. 
  • All translations of the Injeel that we have today are based on the Greek partial manuscripts from the Persecution Stage and the other full copies from the Translation Stage.  
  • The message is one and the meaning has not been changed.  
  • There were copies prior to Muhhammad in 570 AD, and Muhammad instructs Muslims to believe and read the Injeel as part of being a Muslim.  
  • Clearly, Muhammad thought the Injeel at his time in history had not been corrupted or changed!  The historical evidence shows that it definitely has not been changed after Muhammad's lifetime. 

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