Origin of Islam: The God of the Bible?
Whenever the origin of Islam is discussed, one question in particular tends to arise: are the God of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible one and the same? The answer is no. This is a common misconception. The misconception stems from the fact that many biblical characters seem to appear in the Qur’an, Abraham being a significant example. But the truth is, while the Qur’an uses the names of biblical characters to describe Quranic figures, they certainly are not the same historical figures and the God of the Bible is by no means the God of the Qur’an. The God of the Bible is a God who expresses Himself in three Persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; not three Gods working in unison; one God expressed in three Persons). The Qur’an on the other hand explicitly denies the trinity (Sura 4:171). Other examples include the Qur’an’s denial of Christ’s unique Sonship (the Qur’an condemns the title of “Son of God”; Sura 4:171; 9:30).
It further denies Christ’s deity (Sura 5:17, 75) and His pre-incarnate preexistence (Sura 3:59-60). The Bible on the other hand calls Jesus the “Son of God” on many occasions (see Matthew 4:3, 6; 8:29; 14:33; 26:63; 27:40, 43, 54 Mark 1:1; 3:11; 15:39; Luke 1:35; 4:3, 9, 41; 8:28; 22:70; John 1:34, 49; 3:18; 5:25; 9:35; 10:36; 11:4, 27; 19:7; 20:31), affirms His pre-incarnate preexistence (Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2), and hails Him as God incarnate (John 1:1-3, 14; 8:58; 14:8-9; 20:26-29; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:8-10; Revelation 1:8, 13-18; 21:4-7; 22:6-7, 12-16, 20).
Origin of Islam: The Qur’an vs. the Bible
As we have seen, the history of Islam can be traced back to the prophet Muhammad, a man who professed to proclaim a revelation from God, a revelation which was supposed to confirm and supercede the “previous scriptures” (Sura 4:163; 5:44-48; 10:94). And as we have seen, the Qur’an thoroughly contradicts those previous scriptures. How do Muslims reconcile these contradictions? They don’t. And rather than throw out the Qur’an, they prefer to throw out the previous scriptures instead. The claim is that somehow the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels were lost or corrupted beyond recognition and that the books which we have today which bare the names “Torah,” “Psalms,” and “Gospels” are clever forgeries. Essentially the Qur’an takes its authority from the Bible, it contradicts the Bible, and therefore turns around and undermines the authority of the Bible. It’s an interesting paradox. Those who pledge allegiance to the Qur’an do so believing that it must correspond with the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels because that is what it says of itself. Then they turn around and deny the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels because the Qur’an contradicts them.
Origin of Islam: The Discrepancies
Other significant discrepancies include the Qur’an mistaking Jesus’ mother Mary for Moses’ sister Miriam, claiming that Mary was Moses and Aaron’s sister, a child of Amram (Sura 3:35-48; 19:27-28), despite the 1500 plus years which separate the two. They claim that a Samaritan sculpted the golden calf at the foot of Sinai (Sura 20:85-88) despite the fact that Samaritans didn’t come into existence until several hundred years after the Exodus (at which time the calf was made, Exodus 32:1-4).