Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Post image for Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White.

Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered:

Chapter 10: The Perfection of the Qur’an? Parallels and Sources

In chapter 10, Dr. White attempts to show the internal inconsistencies of the Qur’an. The following sentence provides a great summary.

If the Qur’an is in fact the very Word of God, written on the heavenly tablet, dictated in perfection by Gabriel to Muhammad, and collected and presented to the world without error, then it would follow that we can examine its own claims, its own presentation, upon the most rigorous grounds of truth and consistency. (Kindle Locations 2823-2826).

White charges that Muslims often accept the Qur’an without examining its claims while holding the Bible to critical and unfair standards. One example cited is the claim that “Egyptians engaged in crucifixion in the days of Joseph.” However, history tells a different story – that Egyptians did not engage in such acts.

This chapter is one of the longest with a lot of texts cited for comparison. Some of those texts will only appear in summary form below given this is a discussion that attempts to hit the book’s highlights. Readers are encouraged to get their own book for reference and study.

The Vital Issue of Parallels

Muslims tend to focus on the differences in the Synoptic Gospels in an attempt to show they contradict. White compares Matthew 9:18-26 with Mark 5:22-43 and references his debate with Muslim apologist, Shabir Ally. He answers the Muslim charge of contradiction and goes on to point out that the Qur’an is not put to the same type of test when its stories are different.

The bullet points below summarize areas of inconsistency White address. The sub-points are the Surahs addressed in each section.

  • What Did Lot Say to the People of Sodom?
    • 7:80, 26:165-166, 27:54, 29:28-29
  • What Did the People of Sodom Say to Lot?
    • 7:82, 26:167, 27:56, 29:29
  • How Did Allah Punish the City of Sodom?
    • 7:84, 26:173, 27:28, 29:31

The Fall of Iblis (Satan)

Again, White compares Qur’anic parallels, but this time on the fall of Satan. Below are the points addressed along with the parallel Surahs.

  • What Did Allah Say to the Angels?
    • 7:11, 38:71–72
  • What Did Iblis Say to Allah When He Refused to Prostrate?
    • 7:12, 38:76
  • How Did Allah Respond to Iblis’s Refusal?
    • 7:13, 38:77
  • What Did Iblis Promise to Do to Allah’s Followers?
    • 7:16-17, 38:82-83
  • What Did Allah Say in Response to Iblis’s Threat?
    • 7:18, 38:84-82

This section closes with four more parallels that Muslims must harmonize.

Use of Existing Sources?

Six passages from the Qur’an are listed in this section that show a consistent claim of “legends of the Ancients.” The claims are against the Qur’an charging the book with containing legends. However, the Qur’an denies those charges and gives various warnings. However, White asserts and seeks to show that Muhammad knew of such legends.

When Mount Sinai Was Suspended

White addresses four Qur’anic verses that claim Allah lifted Mt. Sinai above the heads of the people when giving the Law. He then shows this act of raising the mountain actually finds its roots in Jewish fairy tales.

White raises some good points about the Qur’an’s confusion of folklore and Scripture. Seems Muhammad was dependent on oral Jewish traditions not knowing when it parted from Scripture. A story like Mt. Sinai being suspended in mid-air would be accepted as fact even though historically inaccurate. Yet, the Qur’an speaks to people in familiar terms as if the stories given were already known while claiming to be new revelation from Allah. Several others examples of Muhammad borrowing from folklore are also addressed in this section.

Borrowing From the Tanakh and Jewish Mythology

In this final section, White explains the Qur’an’s author seemed very familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, the Qur’an often combines stories from the Hebrew Scriptures with Jewish legends. White cites Surah 5:30-32, which is about Cain after he killed Abel, showing the Qur’an drawing theologically from the Jewish Mishnah.

The chapter closes with a few other examples of the Qur’an drawing from Jewish fables. Historically, it must be admitted that the Qur’an borrowed from earlier sources which questions its claims of perfection.

Here I blog…

Mark

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The above article was posted on August 30, 2013 by Mark Lamprecht.
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