Credibility of any Scripture

Credibility of any ScriptureLet us look at the internal consistency and the preservation and protection of scripture (peripheral conditions). Since anything which has doubtful, contradictory or has crooked statements cannot be attributed to God almighty, as He is perfect and free of any error whatsoever.
You will also note that we have stressed our examples against the Old/New testaments in particular. This is because these are the two other religions which are traditionally monotheistic and have a concept of God, life’s purpose, death and afterlife. Other religions are found lacking in at least one of these categories or they have a concept of Avatar. Hence because of these points they can easily be broken down due to their incompleteness without even entertaining their scriptures. Avatarism – Although many may have heard this term from a movie perspective it actually stems from a Sanskrit word which means “A manifestation of a deity in bodily form on earth. This is a concept heavily found in ancient Egypt, Hinduism and even in Christianity.This is an extremely illogical view of God. Therefore when any religion has such a concept we simply go back to the understanding of God and argue that becoming human essentially requires the removal of Godly attributes and hence the Avatar is no longer God.

Contradictions – The Quran is free from any contradiction or fallacy yet other holy books contain contradictions (of which many by their own account have been removed – consider Mill’s Apparatus, for further details).

Old Testament:
• 2 Samuel 24 contradicts 1 Chronicles 21
2 Samuel 24:9 contradicts 1 Chronicles 21:5
2 Chronicles 36:9 contradicts 2 Kings 24:8
2 Samuel 10:18 contradicts 1 Chronicles 19:18

New Testament:
Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) don’t confer with gospel of John on style, content and discourse. E.g. Water to wine only in John.
Luke 23:26 contradicts John 19:17
Mark 16:1-2, John 20:1 and Matthew 28:1-2 contradict each other
Matthew 27:3-6 contradicts Acts 1:18

It’s strange that Mark’s gospel was produced first then Matthew and Luke copy Mark almost word for word; however John styles is in complete contrast hence at one point considered heretic. Bibles must be read horizontally not vertically to see how each account varies.Now Mark describes Jesus’ anger at many points yet Luke and Matthew never do, replacing or even omitting the word altogether, hence showing only compassion. Luke also removes all notions of grief and troubles from Mark’s account. Also, in Mark’s account, the disciples never seem to understand Jesus yet in Matthew’s account they always do.

Crooked statements – The Quran contains no obscene or crooked statements but on closer inspection of others, we see the following:

• Hosea 13:16, 1samuel 15:3, 1samuel 15:35, psalms 137:8-9, 2Kings 18:27
• Mark 16:8 – if they didn’t tell anyone how does the narrator know?
• John 20 – this seems like the end?

Versions – There is only one version of the Quran, the same that was revealed to Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). The other books have many versions (revisions) with differing meanings in many places.

• Simply comparing the King James Version, New International, New American Standard, New World Translation
• The Roman Catholic (73) version has 7 more books than protestant (66) version.

Additions /Omissions – The Quran is complete as it was revealed and in the language of revelation in entirety. Other religious books have had many revisions, alterations and even go as far as not possessing any record of origin or a copy in existence that is closely in line with its period of revelation.

• 1 John 5:7 – known as the Johannine comma “There are three that bear witness...” and the story of the female adulteress (John 1:8-11) and the ending of Mark (16:9-20) are not found in any Greek Manuscript pre 14th Century.
• John 3:16 – “begotten” removed as fabrication
• Deuteronomy 34:5-8 – talk of Moses in past tense, so how could that have been revealed to Moses?
• Mark 16:9-20, Luke 22:43-44 – have no evidence from the earliest manuscripts
• The most ancient authorities don’t have John 7.53–8.11
• In 1707 John Mill published the results of 30 years of exhausting study and research. During which was discovered 30,000 variations among the 100 Manuscripts that he scrutinised. Today we have around 5700 Manuscripts on record and number of variation is estimated figuratively between 200,000 and 400,000.
• "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) Turns out these comments cannot be found in the earliest Greek witness (a papyrus called P 75, which dates to about 200 C.E.) it is only found in Codex Sinaticus of the Middle Ages.
• Others modern mistranslations are found in Mark 1:41 and Hebrews. 2:9
• Tampering based on different opinions as seen in Matt. 24:36 – (they tried to remove "not the son"), Matt. 17:12-13 – ‘then his disciples…’ (Was added to remove misunderstanding), Luke
5:38-39 (tampered with verse to prevent any likeness to Torah/Gospel).

Although you would think this enough to dispel any notion of authenticity, there were two very clever spins placed on the discoveries. The Catholic Church (Frenchman Richard Simon for one) used this to signify the importance of Churches and hence the need for Saints to clarify the right from wrong. The Clergy who followed the Protestant Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura, like Richard Bentley, an oxford professor, argued that these errors were present before but it didn’t impact our faith and that we merely need to perform an exercise to get to the correct bibles. Even then he could only afford a version close to a 4th Century Jerome Vulgate (Latin, post Nicaea Treaty). He however was unable even to live up to his claims and died before this could be done and his nephew had to return the money taken for the project.

Errors in transfer – The Quran was preserved by memory and inscription hence the issues around illiteracy were completely circumvented; it was also handled with care from the outset and by people of authority. The majority of early Christian scribes were largely illiterate and literacy could be deemed appropriate based merely on being able to sign your name. It wasn’t until Constantine became Christian some 300 years after Jesus (AS) that any real effort was made to ensure proper scribes were doing the transfers. There are a number of ways scribes made mistakes:

• On page 1512, next to Hebrews 1:3, of the Codex Vaticanus, the text contains an interesting marginal note, "Fool and knave, leave the old reading and do not change it!" Highlighting a mistake of a scribe.
• Greek manuscripts were all written in ‘scriptuo continua’—with no punctuation, for the most part, or even spaces between words. This means that words that looked alike were often mistaken for one another. For example, in 1 Cor. 5:8, The final word, evil, is spelled PONERAS in Greek, which, it turns out, looks a lot like the word for "sexual immorality," PORNEIAS.
• Abbreviations - scribes sometimes abbreviated certain words to save time or space. The Greek word for "and," for example, is KAI, which some scribes simply wrote the initial letter K, with a kind of down stroke at the end to indicate that it was an abbreviation. Other common abbreviations involved what scholars have called the ‘nomina sacra’ (sacred names); a group of words such as God, Christ, Lord, Jesus, and Spirit that were abbreviated either because they
occurred so frequently or else to show that they were being paid special attention. But the word Lord, KURIW, was typically abbreviated in manuscripts as KW (with a line drawn over the top),which some early scribes misread as an abbreviation for KAIRW, which means "time." The word Spirit (PNEUMA) would have been abbreviated in most manuscripts as PMA, which understandably could be—and was misread by some scribes as the Greek word for "drink"
• Periblepsis ("eyeskip") - occasioned by homoeoteleuton (the "same endings") is where a complete verse could be missed out since the scribe believed that verse had already been copied.
• Dictation - similar sounding words when copying dictation - Rev. 1:5, where the author prays to "the one who released us from our sins." The word for "released" (LUSANTI) sounds exactly like the word for "washed" (LOUSANTI).
• Misreading – In 1Tim 3:16 we find that the abbreviated nomina sacra (theta sigma) for "God" (θΣ) word was actually an omicron and a sigma (ΟΣ), a different word altogether, which simply means "who." So it was not God made manifest in the flesh, but Christ “who” was. This misreading, found by Johann J. Wettstein in the ancient Codex Alexandrinus, and was due to a leakage of ink from the other side of the page.
• Incorrect understanding – In Miniscule Codex 109 produced in the fourteenth century the scribe was copying the genealogy in Luke chapter 3 from verse 23, and instead of copying the columns of names from top to bottom, he copied them across. Thus, in his copy of the Bible, almost everyone has the wrong father. Even writing God as having genealogy – couldn’t the scribes read?

Preservation – Peripheral environment
• Its Language – Arabic is very much a living language and the Quran is only the Arabic version...Where other translations are called translations of the meaning. The four Gospels were written in Greek as opposed to the language of Jesus (PBUH) – Aramaic. The language of the Torah has been dated to be a mixture of 9th, 8th, 7th and 6th century BC even though Moses lived in the 13th Century BC. Making Moses by some accounts further from the Hebrew of the Torah
than Shakespeare to modern English. Aramaic, Assyrian languages are now considered mostly dead except possibly from an academic perspective and even Hebrew or Sanskrit are languages only found in certain parts of the world.
• Accessibility – Quran has always been accessible to the rich /poor, King, pauper – there have not been any restrictions imposed on it. The Holy books of Hindus were for the ‘Brahmans’ not permitted to lower classes like ‘Untouchables’ they neither had the ability nor authority to read from it. The Followers of Jesus were crucified from early on by Romans – self imposed bans on personal copies of bibles were issued by Church.
• Memorised / written records – Quran was compiled in the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). There are manuscripts which exist within 15 years of him being alive. Since the Prophet passed away in 632 CE and the Sana’a manuscripts have been carbon dated to 645-690 AD with 95 percent accuracy. Their real age may be even younger, since C-14 estimates the year of the death of an organism, and the process from that to the final writing on the parchment involves an unknown amount of time, with parchments often re-used. It was also memorised by thousands then and by tens of millions today - word for word.
  o There are no original copies of any other religious book of Major World Religions even closely in line with period of revelation.
  o Oldest Manuscripts for Bible exist in Greek and not native language of Jesus (AS) which is Aramaic.
  o No original Hindu texts from the period they describe.
• Promotion – The Quran formed the social and religious code of conduct for a civilisation and was at the forefront of their education, political and economic system. It gave rise to one of the greatest empires ever known on Earth. There has never been a reign of any empire attributed solely to any other religious book.
• Details on its collectors/ scribes – The life and death of the scribes of the Quran and its method of collection have been reported categorically, repetitively and unanimously. The same cannot be said about other religious woks for which even the names of the scribes are unknown let alone their credibility.
  o The scribes of Religious Books of the OLD and NEW Testaments are either doubtful or quite simply unknown, with no knowledge of their genealogy, pedigree or companionship to Jesus.
  o The Hindu scriptures original authors remain unknown and steeped in folklore
  o The King James Version Bible is based on Erasmus which only used 2 manuscripts none of which dated earlier than 12th Century

Protection – The authority and power of its adherents
• How was it recorded – The Arabic Quran was collected in entirety at the time of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). It was memorised more so than recorded and this is not a criticism but an actual marvel since the majority of the world was illiterate at this time. Literacy is largely a modern world phenomenon; it became advantageous due to the industrial revolution when it made economic sense to educate the masses.
• How its people lived – In no time in History have the Muslims been wholly occupied by any non- Muslim force from the establishment of the first Islamic state in Madina. Therefore they have never been forced to compromise its teachings or message. In contrast there was no real emphasis on Christianity until Constantine became Christian and even then there were the Treaties of Nicaea. Occupation of Oriental lands by western forces and Communism, Enslavement of Jewish tribes (Egypt/Babylon) are also in contrast to the conditions of the Muslims.
• Was it ever forsaken – Muslims have had no period of captivity or collective institutionalised pressure which required the Quran to be modified, amended or edited to be acceptable to the status quo. The Jews have undergone periods of slavery (Torah unavailable at Babylon) and or persecution – Christian Middle Ages (no bible could be owned), Stalin’s communism over Russia;
Hindus were ruled by Muslims in India for Hundreds of years and the Communist Ideology continues to rule over oriental faiths. UK secular law is superior to Christianity and secular law prevails over Hinduism in India, as did the British Raj when many Hindu practices were banned.
• Does it have any competing texts – The narrations of the prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) have always been considered separate to the Quran and were therefore recorded and classified as a separate entity to such an extent that it gave birth to the profound field of the sciences of Hadith. In this field the narrators and the text of the hadith undergo scrutiny. This is in contrast to other religious books where it cannot be determined where footnotes and explanatory
glosses by copyists or narrators have been appended to original text. Or there is disagreement between heretical versions of texts (Jehovah/Mormons) or simply between the Catholic Church and Protestant Reformation or Greek Orthodoxy.

Torah or Gospel? All good can only come forth when it is encapsulated in the standard belief of one God. The revelations must be considered in entirety and through the Quran we are able to do that. It confirms and clarifies what came before it and that it will remain as law till the end of time.
Torah: Summed up by 10 commandments – observe them while believing in the one true God. The prophets of the ‘old testament’ make no mention of divinity of Jesus (PBUH) nor that he can guarantee salvation or that salvation is through him? Therefore where will these prophets and their followers go?
Bible: Jesus came to fulfil the law not to replace the law – so why introduce an alien concept of Trinity? Or the divinity of man? If salvation is so important and the sole crux of the religion why are there no unequivocal statements of Jesus (PBUH) saying that he is God or to worship him?
Say, "O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord." (Noble Quran 5:68)

So how should we present the Quran to “People of the Scripture”? - The religious books namely Torah, Bible, Psalms of David have divine origins however the reason they are not referred to today is because they have been superseded by Quran.
“O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” (Noble Quran 5:15)

A good way to think about previous books is that although they may have divine origins they have now become obsolete; much in the same way that a particular software version is updated by a newer release. The latest release has the most up to date compatibility with the hardware – in this case ‘Mankind’. In case you are wondering about an update...this is the final version (hence the final testament).

“O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.” (Noble Quran 5:15)