I had two experiences recently. The first experience was on a Muslim apologetics blog and looking at the comments. There was this really anti-Christian Muslim commenting on Christianity. He essentially said that Christianity doesn’t care about Law and good works. After challenging him, he started to misquote the Bible and naturally blamed this on Paul.
He said in his response that Paul referred to good works as filthy rags. I laughed when I read this because Paul said no such thing. The verse about filthy rags actually comes from Isaiah 64:6. The Muslim had never read Paul or Isaiah, which probably means he hadn’t read any of the Bible. The most he had probably read is Bart Ehrman, if he had even read that. I actually pointed this mistake out to him and he said: So what if Paul did not write of filthy rags? He trashes good works in many other ways. There was no humility, apology or reflection on his part. He didn’t admit that he hadn’t read Paul, he just went into massive damage control.
The second experience involved the Muslim community in my city. My city is over 5% Muslim. There is a Mosque that is only a three minute walk from my house. Their presence is known and felt in the city. However, a large amount of the Muslims have been snowed by western secularism as shown by our Muslim mayor marshalling the Pride Parade some years back. There isn’t much of a Dawah scene but there is a Dawah website for my city.
When I explored the homepage of the website I saw an article entitled: Was the Bible Changed? A Distinguished Scholar Explains. I laughed when I saw this. Before even clicking on the article, I knew who the “distinguished scholar” was. It was none other than Muslim hero Bart Ehrman. A bit inconsistent to quote an anti-supernaturalist who would deny the Quran as well on the same grounds but I’ve stopped expecting consistency from Muslim apologists or those that give Dawah.
I reflected on a sad truth that I’ve known for some time. When a Muslim looks at the Bible, it is very different than how a Christian looks at the Quran. When I read the Quran, Hadith, or Sira literature, I’m looking at it to see what Muhammad and the early Muslims taught. I want to know the teachings of the religion that they founded. I want to know how they view God, Jesus, the Bible, and previous Prophets.
This is completely different than how a Muslim views the Bible. When a Muslim reads or even thinks about the Bible, all they wonder is what Islamic teachings remains after the supposed corruption of the Scripture. They wonder how they can torture the text to make Jesus into a Muslim, to say nothing about the other Prophets. Nothing is off limits to help their case. The happy agnostic Bart Ehrman becomes their best friend when combating Christian orthodoxy such as the inerrancy of the Bible and deity of Christ. Of course when he says things that deny Islamic orthodoxy, his opinion suddenly becomes completely worthless. After all, Ehrman believes the crucifixion of Jesus to be an indisputable fact. Islam denies the crucifixion.
Some Islamic teachings are found in the Bible. After all, Christianity and Islam do share some similar beliefs. However, when the Bible diverges from Islam, it’s supposedly corrupted! No interest is shown in discovering the true teaching of Jesus Christ and his apostles.
To all Muslims reading this post, I invite you to read the Bible and try to discover who Jesus Christ is. Leave the Quran aside and read the Bible how you would read the writings of Aristotle. In other words, to discover the teachings of Christ and his apostles. You just might be surprised and like what you find.