Just like the Mormon and Catholic bible, the Quran, the holy book of Islam, affirms the validity of the Bible, and claims to build upon its teaching. Therefore, let us compare the Quran, the holy book of Islam, with the Bible, the Sacred Scriptures of Judaism and Christianity. First, let us note the characteristics of divine truth, as revealed in the Old and New Testaments. Second, let us examine the contradictions of Islam. Third, let us consider the consequences of such discrepancies.
Characteristics of Divine Truth
Divine truth, as revealed in the Bible, is consistent (Psa. 119:86, 160; Prov. 30:5). Divine truth, as revealed in the Bible, is sufficient (Jn 16:12-15 ff; Eph. 1:3-12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Divine truth, as revealed in the Bible, is complete (Acts 20:25-32 ff; 1 Cor. 13:8-13; Jude 3-4).
THE ASSERTIONS OF THE QURAN
Claims of Connection and Continuity
The Quran accepts the validity of the Bible as it existed at the time of Muhammad, referring to Jews and Christians as “People of the Book.” It affirms a connection with the Bible. The Quran is said to be a Book from God, confirming, building upon, and fulfilling the Jewish and Christian Scriptures (Surah 2:136; 2:87-89; 3:3-4; 3:81; 3:84-85; 4:47).
Contradictions and Confusion
Nonetheless, despite the claims of continuity and confirmation, there are many contradictions between the Bible and the Quran. Let us, therefore, consider some of these disparities.
Disparities in History
The Quran teaches that one of Noah’s sons was counted among the unbelievers and died in the flood (Surah 11:42-43). However, the Bible teaches that Noah’s three sons entered into the ark, were delivered from destruction, and helped repopulate the earth (Gen 9:18-19).
Muslims count themselves as descendants of Abraham through Ishmael who was the son of promise. In the Quran, Abraham tells Isaac, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” (Surah 37:102). However, according to the Bible, Abraham answers Isaac’s question, “Where is the lamb?” by saying, “God will provide…” (Gen. 22:7-8). The Quran also presents a dramatically different picture of Jacob, Moses and Aaron, the nation of Israel, etc.
Differences in Doctrine
There are radical differences in doctrine between Islam and Christianity. Regarding the marital relationship, the Quran contradicts both the Old and New Testaments (Surah 2:229-230 vs. Gen. 2:24; Deut. 24:1-4; Matt. 19:9). In latter lessons, we will consider these topics in greater detail, along with Islam’s teaching on salvation, heaven and conversion.
Distortions of Jesus
The Quran makes a number of statements and assertions regarding Jesus Christ. Some of what it says is consistent with the Sacred Scriptures; some of what it says contradicts Biblical teaching. Muhammad evidenced little understanding of Jesus Christ. The Quran’s claims about Jesus also evidence confusion and a corruption of the gospel message. Although the Quran contains over 6,000 verses, Jesus is named in a mere 28 passages. In contrast, His presence is felt throughout the Holy Bible, and His name occurs in 948 verses of the New Testament.
The Quran accurately teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin (Surah 19:20-21; 19:30). Despite the clear affirmations of Sacred Scripture (Matt. 3:17; 16:16-18), the Quran denies that Jesus is the Son of God and declares the Trinity concept to be false (Surah 4:171; 5:116; 9:30). The Quran teaches that Allah sent Jesus as an Apostle and Prophet (Surah 2:87; 2:253; 3:45; 19:34-35; 33:7-8). The Quran accurately teaches that Jesus is an example of virtue and wisdom (Surah 43:57; 43:63). The Quran accurately teaches that Jesus performed miracles, signs and wonders, although it includes fictitious examples of the same (Surah 5:110). The Quran affirms that Jesus received and taught the same message as Muhammad. This message was earlier delivered to Adam, Abraham, Noah, Moses and the other prophets (Surah 2:136; 3:3-4; 3:84; 4:163-164; 42:13). Despite the clear teaching of Scripture (Luke 23:33), and supportive evidence from extra-Biblical sources (Josephus, Antiquities 18:33), the Quran denies that Jesus was crucified (Surah 4:157). Islamic tradition says someone else died in the place of Jesus, perhaps Judas Iscariot, or Simon, who carried the cross. The Quran teaches that as vindication against His enemies, Jesus was raised to heaven with Allah (Surah 3:55). The Quran teaches that Jesus predicted the ministry of Muhammad (Surah 61:6). The Quran teaches that disciples of Jesus were called Muslims (Surah 3:52). In contrast, the New Testament affirms that disciples were called Christians (Acts 11:25-26 f; 1 Pet. 4:15-16).
Conclusion: True prophecy comes to pass just as the inspired messenger foreshadowed. If the prophecy fails, the prophet is rightly counted as false (Deut. 18:22 f; Jer. 28:1-17). By the same token, if a later prophet contradicts an earlier prophet, both cannot be true. One or the other is false. The Quran, the holy book of Islam, does not claim to be an independent revelation; rather, it affirms the validity of the Bible, and claims to build upon its teaching. Nevertheless, the Quran contradicts the teaching of the Bible. Therefore, based upon this internal contradiction, the rules of reason and revelation affirm that the Quran (like the Mormon and Catholic Bible) cannot be true (Gal. 1:6-9 f; 2 Pet. 3:14-18).