Abdul Nasir is a Muslim who works at a cerebral palsy clinic somewhere in New York. He and I had some friendly banter back and forth about our respective religions.
In all honesty, I don’t have a clue about Islam so I wasn’t in attack mode when talking with him. Actually, Christians should never be in an attacking mode when witnessing to someone, but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.
Since I didn’t know much about Islam, my first question to him was what the main tenants of Islam were. He responded with two things.
- Allah is the source of everything.
- The Koran is the only legitimate spiritual authority.
From here, I thought it was interesting that he began to contrast the authority of the Koran versus the Bible. He focused on how the Koran was able to remain pure while the Bible had been corrupted.
|Koran (Purity retained)||Bible (Purity corrupted)|
|Written only by Muhammad.||Written by multiple authors with agendas to push.|
|Always kept in original Arabic.||Original text corrupted by hundreds of translations.|
I was honestly trying to see what he believed and wasn’t looking for a debate but those points immediately raised some eyebrows in my head, so I brought some of them up.
- One author versus multiple does not imply the one author will be more pure and less corrupt than the multiple. Seriously, there’s no way that is even close to a legitimate argument.
Also, people with agendas to push are usually extremely selfish people. Explain to me why as far as I’ve read and can remember, none of the Bible authors ever talk about things which were for their own gain.
In fact, they were the opposite. They are people who died for what they believed. They encouraged people to put others first. They faced persecution, yet told believers to submit to those persecuting them.
Selfish people don’t say “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
There was no agenda to push other than God’s.
- What is the difference between the different English translations of the Bible versus the English translations of the Koran? His response to this was that the Koran translations always have the original Arabic text. That’s the only text which is legit, the translations only aid in understanding. He said 100% of Muslims could read Arabic.
I’m a little iffy on his whole reasoning, but at the same time I could understand how you retain purity by keeping things in their original form. He said Arabic had multiple different words for horse and camel, but English only had one. You lose stuff in translations.
But at the same time, this is one of the testimonies to the Bible and God himself. Despite the translations, the heart of God is still retained. The power to save and the power to change lives is still there.
- And I just thought of this one. Abdul was trying to refute the authority of the Bible by attacking it’s purity. Let’s assume the Bible is always retained in it’s original text and you believe the authors don’t have their own agendas to push. So now, the purity of the Bible is on the same playing field as the purity of the Koran.
And none of those things is a far stretch to believe. We have multiple copies of Bible in its original text/language and I hope I was able to convince you that there is a chance the author’s of the Bible didn’t have an agenda to push.
So with that, what makes the Koran more authoritative than the Bible or vice versa?
Now, this is a question I’m going to have to answer myself. The burden of proof is just as much on me as it is on Abdul.
Anyway, this was a nice little primer on speaking with Muslims. He was getting off shift, so he had to bounce on me but he gave me a little book on Islam’s take on Jesus. I’ll have to peruse through it and see what it says.
But you happen to be Muslim and you’re reading this, please feel free to comment on what I posted.