The Bible And The Koran

There is little understanding between the Christian and Muslim world. Americans are beginning to get a glimpse of the cultural differences. The spiritual differences are not well defined in the minds of most Easterners.

Mohammad referred to Christians and Jews as “people of the book,” referring to the Bible. He felt bad that the Arabs did not have a book. In reality the Bible is intended for all races. In 610 AD Mohammad was convinced in his own mind he was called by Gabriel to be a prophet of Allah. Soon thereafter he began writing the Qur’an, or Koran, a book for his people. He was received by his followers as a prophet who spoke for Allah.

In Mecca he became persecuted and his message rejected. In 622 (year 1 of the Muslim calendar) he fled to Medina. From his base there he enjoyed his first major military victory in the battle of Badr on March 15, 624. By January 630 Mohammad conquered and took control of Mecca. Medina continued to be his home. There he died June 8, 632.

Muhammad learned of monotheism from Christian and Jewish merchants during his youth. Unfortunately these tradesmen were not theologically well versed. The Bible had not been translated into Arabic at the time.

Mohammad was not versed on orthodox Christianity or the Bible. This shows in portions of the Qur’an. For example, his text denies Christ as the Son of God, that Christ died on the cross, and the doctrine of the Trinity. It also seeks to disproves certain claims allegedly made by Christians, such as, Mary was a sister of Aaron and Moses (Sura 19:28) and that Mary was a part of the Trinity. The Bible and Christians who believe in it have never made these claims. Rather than admit Mohammed made an error his followers claim his text is correct and Christians have corrupted theirs in total.

Mohammed lived in a time when success was thought to be a sign of divine favor. This made the idea that God would let one of His prophets die of crucifixion unrealistic. The Qur’an makes light of the idea. Sura 4:157 speaks of those who boast “we killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God.” It then denies the crucifixion noting: “but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for a surety they killed him not.” This refutes Christian teaching regarding salvation.

When the Jews rejected his book he forced two powerful tribes out of Medina. The third group, the Quarayza, Islamic biographers say he “sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out in batches.” Christians were treated more benevolently at first. However, his campaigns against fellow Arabs and the massacre of the Qurayza established the ideological basis for later persecution of them.

The difference over the crucifixion in two books has been the basis of division between the three faiths.