The Bible is one of many “holy” books among the Eastern and Western religions. However, after all the evidence is weighed and the data evaluated, the Bible is not one of the many “holy” books – it is the holy book.
In this study we will endeavor to show that the Bible is the only book among all of them that merits any serious consideration of being a divine revelation. This we will do by comparing the Bible with these “holy” books, enabling us to see their absurdities, contradictions, hopelessness and superstitions contained in them.
The Bible Versus the Hindu Scriptures
There are several “sacred” books among the Hindus. First, there are the Vedas, a collection of wisdom books. The word veda means “wisdom or knowledge.” Second, there are the Upanishads, a collection of speculative treatises. Third, there are the Ramajana and Mahabharata, which consist of the major epic tales of India. Fourth, there is the Bhagavad Gita, an added appendage to the Mahabharata, which consists of a story between Krishna and the warrior Arjuna.
On the subject of God, Hindu scripture depicts the Supreme Being (whom they call Brahman) as an impersonal, undefinable, philosophical absolute. Brahman is reputed to have been born in a golden egg, and then after living in it for a year, divided it into two parts, and made heaven and earth out of the egg from which he was born. The Bible teaches that God is a personal, infinite, loving Creator who is interested in the affairs of man, having revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus (Ps. 90:1-2 ff; Matt. 6:24-34; Jn. 14:9; Heb. 1:1-2).
Man, to the Hindu, is a manifestation of the impersonal Brahman, without individual self or self-worth. The Bible teaches that man was made in the image of God with personality and with free, moral agency (Gen. 1:26-27 f; Josh. 24:15). As to sin, there is no sin against God in Hinduism. Sin is a result of ignorance, rather than a wrongdoing against any Deity. The Bible teaches that sin is a reality, being an unlawful act against God (Ps. 51:4; Rom. 3:21).
According to Hindu writings, man goes through successive cycles of deaths and rebirths (reincarnations) until he achieves enough good to gain eternal bliss. This cycle may take millions of years, depending on the kind of performance and accomplishments one makes during the cycles. The life cycles could be in the form of a frog, flea, plant, cow or a slave or a prince. When one reaches that eternal bliss, he is released from the burden of existence and absorbed into the Self-Existent where all individuality is lost. On the other hand, the Bible teaches that man dies but once (Heb. 9:27) and then the judgment. Individuality is retained (Lk. 16:19-31 f; Matt. 25:31-46). Eternal bliss is received through Jesus Christ through grace (Jn. 3:16).
The Bible Versus The Confucian Texts
Confucius was born 551 B.C. His teachings have come down to us from four books written by his disciples. They are: The Analects, The Great Learning, The Doctrine of the Mean and The Book of Mencius. His greatest achievement was the formation of the golden rule in the negative form. He said, “What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others,” but he acknowledged he failed in obeying that rule himself. Jesus said, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matt. 7:12), and this was what Jesus practiced.
Confucianism was really not a religion, but an ethical system, although there were religious overtones in it. There were sacrifices to heaven, practice of augury (observing the signs from heaven, such as thunder and lightning) and the notion that deceased ancestors exercised power on the living. However, it eventually developed into the state religion of China.
There is no worship of a god, no confession of sin and no seeking of forgiveness in Confucianism. It extols the present world and calls upon all to cultivate such virtues as are comely in citizens – industry, modesty, sobriety, gravity, decorum and thoughtfulness.
The Bible teaches there is a God who is to be worshiped and that man is a sinner, incapable of saving himself, who needs a Savior to deliver him from ignorance and the guilt of sin. The Deliverer was provided through Jesus Christ though man’s obedience to the gospel of Christ (Jn. 4:23-24 ff; Rom. 3:9-21; Rom. 11:26; Rom 10:10; Acts 2:38).
The Bible Versus the Buddhist Writings
Buddha was born about 560 B.C. in northeastern India. His personal name was Gautama, the title “Buddha” being a Sancrit word meaning the “Enlightened One.” While sitting under a fig tree for seven days, he professed to attain perfect wisdom by meditation. His teachings were committed to writing by his disciples after his death. These writings are called the Tripitaka, meaning “three collections.” They are about eleven times larger than the Bible. Needless to say, there are sects of Buddhists who have their writings that consist of volumes.
The message of Buddha was one of gloom and despair. He said in one of his speeches that “birth is suffering. Decay is suffering. Illness is suffering. Death is suffering. Presence of objects we hate is suffering. Separation from objects we love is suffering. Clinging to existence is suffering. Complete cessation of thirst, or of craving for existence, is cessation of suffering.” The attainment of Nirvana was the only way to overcome the misery of life. Nirvana is a Sancrit word meaning “blowing out,” as a candle, that is, extinction. First, there is extinction of desires and passions, and secondly, extinction of individual existence.
The Bible teaches us to glory in our sufferings; rejoice in them; make them steps toward heaven (2 Cor. 12:10). Jesus, the Rock of our salvation was made perfect through suffering (Heb. 2:9-10). Buddhism also denies the existence of a personal Creator, but the Bible states God through Christ created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1 ff; Jn 1:1-11; Col 1:16-18). There is no sin against God in Buddhism and man has no worth, having only temporary existence. What a contrast to the Bible (Ps. 8:1-9 cf; 51:4).
The Bible Versus The Muslim Koran
The Koran, containing 114 surahs (chapters), is a compilation of the alleged “revelations” of Muhammad (570-632 A.D.) that he received over a period of twenty-three years. Muhammad is imputed to have been the successor to Abraham, Moses and Jesus, himself claiming to be the greatest prophet.
Muhammad was an illiterate man, having suffered from repeated epileptic seizures when he was a child. All through his life he was subject to hysteria, spending much time in isolated contemplation. Muhammad’s “visions” were thought by him at first to be demonic, but his wife, Kadijah (15 years his senior), encouraged him to believe they came from God. So, Muhammad’s “revelations” were confirmed by the testimony of a sympathetic wife.
Although Muhammad was generous, genial and gifted with leadership qualities, he could at times be cruel and stoop to murder and unrestrained sensualism. Muhammad had no less than nine wives when he died in spite of the teaching of the Koran that only four wives are allowed with a certain number of concubines. What a marked contrast between Muhammad and Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, proved Himself to be the Son of God with indisputable miracles, was raised from the dead, ascended back to heaven and He will come again. There is no evidence that any thing like this was characteristic of Muhammad’s life. He was born a man, lived as a man and died a man, although legend has it that he ascended to heaven from Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem.
The Koran is filled with contradictions – contradictions against the Bible and against itself. As to those against the Bible, the Koran teaches there will be marriages in Paradise (52:20). The Bible teaches there will be no marriages there (Lk. 20:35). The Koran teaches to kill our enemies (8:38-41; 9:29) whereas the Bible teaches to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). The Koran teaches that Jesus is not God’s Son (9:130; 19:135). The Bible teaches Jesus is the Son of God (Matt. 16:16). The Koran teaches Jesus was not crucified (4:157-159). The Bible teaches Jesus was crucified (Lk. 23:33).
Concerning the contradictions in the Koran, Muhammad said, “Fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them …. Fight those who believe not in God nor the last day” (9:5, 29). But in another place, he said, “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Again, he said, “Any who believes in God whether Jews, Christians or Sabians shall have their reward with the Lord” (2:62). But he contradicted this when he said, “If anyone desires a religion other than Isalm. . . never will it be accepted of him” (3:85). He also said Christ did not die (4:157), yet he said Christ did die (19:33).
Qualities are ascribed to God in the Koran that are unworthy of Deity. The Koran teaches that God causes men to err or go astray (35:8, 45:23), endorses denial of faith (16:106), and forgives sins before they are committed (48:2). The Koran also makes God a respecter of persons, especially in the case of Muhammad’s marriages and divorces (33:50-51; 66:1-5).
In the Bible we have one harmonious book that was written, not by one man, but about 40 men over a period of 1600 years without one contradiction. This book, the Bible, pictures God as impartial, loving, just, never acting in a capricious manner.
The Bible Versus The Mormon Books
The Mormon books (Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price) are purported to be “revelations” of Joseph Smith. Smith, as a young man, spent much of his time searching for treasure, claiming supernatural powers which allegedly aided him in these searches. He was an illiterate person, and, according to his contemporaries, destitute of moral character and addicted to vicious habits.
In 1820, Smith claimed to have received a vision in which God appeared to him as he prayed piously in a neighboring wood. The Lord told Smith that a restoration of true Christianity was needed, and that he had been chosen to launch the new era. Evidently, Smith did not take this too seriously because he shortly went back to digging for treasure. However, in 1823 the angel Moroni supposedly appeared at Smith’s bed and three times repeated the commission to restore pure Christianity. (In an early edition of the Pearl of Great Price, Smith identifies the angel as Nephi. Seemingly, Smith got his story mixed-up. Mormon scribes have corrected the blunder.)
Later, in 1827, Smith claimed to receive the golden plates which were buried in the hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York from which the Book of Mormon was translated. The message on the plates was inscribed in “reformed Egyptian” hieroglyphics (a language that never existed), and Smith “translated” the plates by means of the “Urim and Thummin,” a type of miraculous spectacle which the angel Moroni had conveniently provided. The “translation” required about two years or so (1827-1829). In 1830 the work was published and copyrighted, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price came later.
Since the original copy of the Book of Mormon, allegedly inspired in its translation, there have been thousands of changes and alterations to try to eliminate extremely poor grammar and glaring contradictions. One only has to compare today’s copy with the original to see this. The Book of Mormon also contains plagiarisms from the King James Version, false prophecies and errors of fact. There are at least 25,000 words in the Book of Mormon from the King James Version, some verbatim quotations.
Mormon books contradict themselves. The Book of Mormon states that remission of sins is the result of baptism (3 Nephi 12:2; Moroni 8:11) but in Doctrine and Covenants (20:37) the direct opposite is taught. Again, Doctrine and Covenants upholds polygamy (132:32, 34) while the Book of Mormon disallows it (Jacob 2:26-28).
The Mormon books contradict the Bible in several other places. One of the most obvious contradictions is the birthplace of Jesus. The Book of Mormon states Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) while the Bible states he was born in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1).
Mormonism’s view of God and Christ is one of the most ludicrous and absurd concepts ever proposed. God, they say, was once a man as we are. In fact, our God today is the Adam of the Garden of Eden, who progressed and evolved into God. We are told that we too can so live in this life that one day we can become a God. As to Jesus, He is the brother of the Devil, and while He was on earth, He celebrated His marriage to both Marys and to Martha, whereby He could see His offspring before He was crucified.
Much, much more could be written. However, enough has been said to enable us to see how preposterous the so called writings of Joe Smith are. There is no way that such documents could be the word of God in view of their inaccuracies, alterations and apparent plagiarism. They are anything but “holy” books. The Bible depicts God and Christ as spiritual, eternal Beings in nature. The Bible was written in languages by men of integrity, not having to be altered to cover its errors. It is original in content, free of plagiarism and fraud.
The Bible Versus Science and Health
The author of Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures was Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science. However, as in the case of Joe Smith, much of the writing of Mrs. Eddy was plagiarized. Mrs. Eddy was a highly unstable and emotional woman. She was married three times. Her first husband, George Glover, died and later she married Dr. Daniel Patterson, whom she divorced and married Asa G. Eddy. Hence, her full name would be Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy. When she married Asa Eddy, she was 56 years old, but she demurely inserted the age of 40 years on her marriage form, again proving that she was far from being what current Christian Science mythology ascribes to her.
Mary Baker Eddy copied extensively from the writings of Hegel. In fact, in the 1875 edition of Science and Health, there are 33 pages verbatim and 100 pages in substance from Dr. Leiber’s manuscript on the writings of Hegel.
Mrs. Eddy claimed that sin is unreal and death is an illusion (Science & Health, pp. 234, 575). There is no sickness (1914 editions, p. 447). Miracles contained in Holy Writ are neither supernatural or preternatural (Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 200-201). The material blood of Jesus was not efficacious to cleanse from sin (Science & Health, p, 330) and that Jesus never actually died but was in the tomb mediating (Science & Health, pp. 349-351). Hence, Jesus was never resurrected, according to Christian Science.
Again, as in the other so-called sacred writings, we see dishonesty, deception and absurdities. How anyone could take seriously Mary Baker Eddy who denied pain, suffering and death, and who obviously plagiarized much of what she wrote, is beyond my comprehension. There is not much holy about her “holy” book.
Conclusion: When one compares the Bible with these other so called “sacred” books (and there are many which are not mentioned here), he is at once struck with certain outstanding facts which constitute a difference no less than the difference between night and day.
Very little is known of the date and authorship of most of these “scared” books – some of them having been written hundreds of year after the death of the Founder. Their testimony becomes impossible to validate. But how different with the Bible. Here we find overwhelming evidence of its validity with the writers, especially the New Testament, being contemporaries of Jesus Christ.
These “sacred” books are filled with wild imaginations and incredible absurdities, but the Bible is a book of sublime common sense with its sober account of creation, its condemnation of sin in every form, its care for the unfortunate, its living, personal God, its Savior, and its glorious hope of heaven. Although the Bible has come under more attacks than any other book, it has stood the test unscathed.
Furthermore, the Bible is based on historical fact, with real characters, real places and written in languages that were spoken among the people. The other “sacred” books, at least most of them, are lacking in historical element.
Not one of these “sacred” books gives any hint that its founder was able to deliver his followers from the miseries of which the writings speak, by voluntarily giving himself to die on their behalf, to rise from the dead and become their support and guide. Yet, this is the theme of the Bible. Jesus came, suffered and died for our sins, arose the third day, ascended to heaven, serves as our intercessor, Lord and King, and is coming again to consummate all things (1 Cor 15:1-4 f; 1 Tim 2:5; 2 Thess 1:7-9).
The Bible possesses a vitality and strength that most of the other “sacred” books lack. For example, among the nine rules of conduct for the Buddhist there is one rule that teaches him to neither think or say his religion is the best. When we turn to the Bible we hear the definite, certain sound: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by me” (Jn. 14:6). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). What vigor! What else would we expect from such a Book? It is the Holy Word of God which abides forever and ever! (1 Pet 1:23-25)