4.6 The Qur’an Or The Bible?
4.6.1 Problems With The Qur’an
Roots In Paganism
Many versions of Christianity are so deeply mixed up with paganism that it is apparent that they are merely another form of paganism. Thus the pagan feast of December 25th, on which an evergreen tree was worshipped, was appropriated to fake Christianity and re-interpreted as the birthday of Jesus. The Bible is clear enough that the Lord Jesus was not born in December but probably some time in October. What happened was that existing pagan religious rites were mixed together with some Christian ideas to form another religion; but that is all that was created, mere religion, and not the truth of God.
Sadly there is evidence that the Qur’an did just the same in order to create the ‘new’ religion of Islam. Consider the following evidence:
- The cult of the Moon-god worshipped a god called ‘Allah’, using the crescent moon as its symbol. Islam has this very same symbol, and appopriated the term ‘Allah’ to describe the god of the new religion of Islam. Significantly, the Old Testament prophets, which Islam claims to accept, condemn worship of the moon god (Dt. 4:19; 17:3; 2 Kings 21:3,5; 23:5; Jer. 8:2; 19:13; Zeph. 1:5). This would explain why the Qu’ran is written on the assumption that its primary readers know exactly who ‘Allah’ is- they did, because there is archaeological evidence to show that ‘Allah’ was the well known Moon god.
- Islam’s assumption of the crescent moon as it’s symbol, being found on the flags and coins of many Islamic states and on top of mosques, as well as being the signal for Ramadan to begin, is proof enough that Islam’s root is in the cult of the Moon god; for archeaeologically there is firm proof that the crescent moon was the pagan symbol of this cult.
- “Allah is the greatest” implies that the Qu’ran was written against a background of polytheism. What Mohammed was saying was that the Moon god ‘Allah’ was to be accepted as the supreme of all other pagan gods. He therefore appealed to his pagan neighbours; whilst also claiming to Jews and Christians that this ‘Allah’ was the same as the God of the Old Testament.
- Mecca was a shrine for the moon god. It was the most sacred site of paganism in the Arabian peninsular at the time of Mohammed. The moon god was worshipped by praying towards Mecca a few times each day, by throwing stones at the devil; fasting for Ramadan; giving support to the poor; and by making a pilgrimage to Mecca. All these very things were picked up and inserted into the new religion of Islam.
There are many contradictions within the Qur’an , but these are considered to be “abrogations”, i.e. something better being substituted (2.106). Muslims themselves admit there are around 200 such abrogations within the book. And yet this whole concept surely contradicts 4.82: “Had the Qur’an been from other than God, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy”. But these “abrogations” are discrepancies… And there are major contradictions of fact, too.
Muslims are quick to point out contradictions of numbers within the Bible text. Many of these are perfectly explicable. Some [not all] are caused by variant readings of one letter of the Hebrew text. But the Qur’an has many such contradictions too. Thus the time period of “the great day of God” is said to be 1000 years in 32.5; and 50,000 years in 70.4. This isn’t a difference of one letter - a whole word is inserted (Khamsiina- 50). Likewise 50.38 says that the entire creation took 6 days; whilst 41.9-12 says it took 8 days. 2.136,285 say that all apostles are equal; but 2.253 says that the apostles were endowed with gifts “some above others”. 17.103 says that Pharaoh was drowned in the sea; whereas 10.90-92 says that he was converted and saved alive from the Red Sea. 7.124 has Pharaoh telling his magicians that he will crucify them - but crucifixion was not invented until about 1300 years later. And then there is the contradiction between 19.33 and 4.157 over whether or not Jesus died. Everything is supposed to be obedient to God, hence the idea of predestination (30.26); but some are disobedient (7.11). The sin of idolatry is supposedly unforgivable (4.48,116). But some idolaters are forgiven (4.153). Fasting can be avoided by feeding the very poor; and yet, fasting is an inescapable Muslim duty (2.184,185). Adultery is punishable by 100 lashes (24.2), life imprisonment (4.15), or death - according to a verse of the Qur’an which was supposedly later discovered. According to 2.62, Jews and Christians will be saved; yet 3.85 says that any other religion than Islam cannot give salvation. And are we to really believe that shooting stars are missiles being thrown at Satan (37.6-10; 67.5; 72.6-9)?
The claim that the Qur’an is written so perfectly, in ideal Arabic, and is unsurpassed for its literary beauty is all very subjective. The material is very haphazard in its presentation, issues are raised and left without conclusion, only to reappear later in a garbled form. And it has been observed that there are in fact grammatical errors in the Qur’an :
Incorrect plural (2.177)
Feminine plurals where masculine should be used (4.162; 7.160)
Wrong person used (3rd rather than 1st) (63.10)
And it is hard for Muslims to explain why the Qur’an repeats parts of Jewish Midrash [commentaries] almost word for word, even though they were evidently written well before the Qur’an . Thus Sura 21 about Abraham / Ibrahim in Babylon is almost verbatim out of the words of Jonathan Ben-Uziel in the Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 15:7.