By Hank Hanegraaff
According to Islam, the Qur’an is not only credible; it is God’s only uncorrupted revelation. Thus, according to Muslim scholars, if the Qur’an is to be compared to anything in Christianity, it is to be compared to Christ rather than the Bible. In truth, however, the Bible can be demonstrated to be divine rather than merely human in origin. The same cannot be said for the Qur’an. Moreover, unlike the Bible, the Qur’an is replete with faulty ethics and factual errors.
First, unlike the Qur’an, the Bible is replete with prophecies that could not have been fulfilled through chance, good guessing, or deliberate deceit. Surprisingly, the predictive nature of many Bible passages was once a popular argument among liberals against the reliability of the Bible. Critics argued that various passages were written later than the biblical texts indicated because they recounted events that happened some- times hundreds of years after they supposedly were written. They concluded that subsequent to the events, literary editors went back and doctored the original nonpredictive texts. But this is simply wrong. Careful research affirms the predictive accuracy of the Scriptures. Since Christ is the culminating theme of the Old Testament and the Living Word of the New Testament, it should not surprise us that prophecies regarding Him outnumber all others. Many of these prophecies would have been impossible for Jesus to deliberately conspire to fulfill—such as His descent from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis 12:3; 17:19; Matthew 1:1–2; Acts 3:25); His birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1–6); His crucifixion with criminals (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 27:38; Luke 22:37); the piercing of His hands and feet on the cross (Psalm 22:16; John 20:25); the soldiers gambling for His clothes (Psalm 22:18; Matthew 27:35); the piercing of His side (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:34); the fact that His bones were not broken at His death (Psalm 34:20; John 19:33–37); and His burial among the rich (Isaiah 53:9; Matthew 27:57–60).
In sharp contrast, predictive prophecies demonstrating the divine origin of the Qur’an are conspicuous by their absence. While the Qur’an contains a number of self-fulfilling prophecies such as Muhammad’s prediction that he would return to Mecca (Sura 48:27), this is very different from the biblical prophecies outlined above. Other prophecies such as Muhammad’s prediction that the Romans would defeat the Persians at Issus (Sura 30:2–4) are equally underwhelming. Unlike the biblical examples presented above, this prophecy is not fulfilled in the far-future and thus can be easily explained through good guessing or an accurate apprehension of prevailing military conditions.
Furthermore, the Qur’an is replete with questionable ethics—particularly when it comes to the equality of women. For example, in Sura 4:3 Muhammad allegedly received a revelation from God allowing men to “marry women of your choice, two, three, or four.” Ironically, in Sura 33:50, Muhammad receives a divine sanction to marry “any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her.” Thus, while other men were only permitted to marry up to four wives, Allah provided Muhammad with a divine exception for his marriage to at least twelve women—including Aishah, whom he married at the tender age of eleven (see the Life of Muhammad by Muhammad Husayn Haykal). Also troubling is the fact that the Qur’an allows men to “beat” (lightly) their wives in order that they might “return to obedience” (Sura 4:34). When we compare the personal morality of Muhammad in the Qur’an with that of Jesus in the Bible, the difference is remarkable. The Qur’an exhorts Muhammad to ask “forgiveness for thy fault” (Sura 40:55). Conversely, Christ’s ethics with regard to every aspect of life—including His treatment of women—was completely unimpeachable, so He could rightly ask, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5).
Finally, unlike the Bible, the Qur’an is riddled with factual errors. A classic case in point involves the Qur’an’s denial of Christ’s crucifixion. This denial chronicled in Sura 4:157 is explicit and emphatic: “They killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them . . . for of a surety they killed him not.” In reality, however, the fatal suffering of Jesus Christ as recounted in the New Testament is one of the most well-established facts of ancient history. Even in today’s modern age of scientific enlightenment, there is a virtual consensus among New Testament scholars, both conservative and liberal, that Jesus died on a Roman cross.
Archaeological discoveries not only dramatically corroborate the Bible’s description of Roman crucifixion, but authenticate the biblical details surrounding the trial that led to the fatal torment of Jesus Christ—including the Pilate Stone and the burial grounds of Caiaphas, the high priest who presided over the religious trials of Christ. These discoveries have been widely acclaimed as compelling affirmation of biblical history. Not only so but the earliest Jewish response to the death and burial of Jesus Christ presupposes the reality of the empty tomb. Instead of denying that the tomb was empty, the antagonists of Christ accused His disciples of stealing the body.
One final point should be made. The Qur’anic denial of Christ’s crucifixion has led to a host of other errors as well. From a Muslim perspective, Jesus was never crucified and, thus, never resurrected. Instead, in Islam, God made someone look like Jesus, and the look-alike was mistakenly crucified in His place. The notion that Judas was made to look like Jesus has recently been popularized in Muslim circles by a late-medieval invention titled The Gospel of Barnabas.
In short, the distance between the Muslim Qur’an and the Christian Scriptures is the distance of infinity. Not only does the prophetic prowess of the Bible elevate it far above the holy books of other religions, but as new archaeological nuggets are uncovered, the trustworthiness of Scripture as well as the un- reliability of pretenders are further highlighted. Faulty ethics and factual errors demonstrate that the Qur’an is devoid of divine sanction. In sharp distinction, ethics and factual evidence demonstrate that the Bible is divine rather than human in origin.
Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
1 John 2:22 NASB
For further study, see Hank Hanegraaff, MUSLIM: What You Need to Know about the World’s Fastest-Growing Religion (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2017).
***Note the preceding text is adapted from a new Revised and Updated version of The Complete Bible Answer Book that is forthcoming. When available we will update this page with corresponding information. Until then you can still purchase or receive for your partnering gift the current version by clicking here for purchase or here for partnering gift. ***