Steve wrote to me:
So I wrote back to him:
Here's a real STRANGE ONE -
I enjoy emails from everywhere in the world - it's a great chance to share, discuss and learn - what ideas, opinions and thoughts or dreams do you have? What about faith and belief in God (Allah)?
One day "Steve" wrote to me: "God told me to tell you . ."
But he was surprised when I answered him - He changed his mind about Allah and about Islam.
There's a chance Allah may guide him to Islam - like Allah guided me and so many others, inshallah.
Here's his email to me - (then READ MY ANSWERS TO HIM) . .
Subject: Christian to Muslim - More than just Comments
Look at these questions Steve wrote to me:
Hi Yusuf Estes,
I came across your website from a colleague at work, because he was trying to show me Islam is truly the true path to God.
Anyway I've only read about 1/2 of your story and I've stopped reading because there were too many words for me to express in my heart.
In fact, there is so much to say that I don't know where to start (I really hope that you read thru everything, and I'll try to keep it as straight to the point).
1) Many versions of the Bible:-
Point 1 - We know that Old testaments are from the Jews, originally in Hebrew, and the new testaments from Jesus' disciples in Greek. but did you know that the old testaments were translated from Hebrew to Greek somewhere around 200+-BC (the Septuagint)? (because the Greek was the common language) So if there was a version of the bible, that would surely be the first. (Greek was the most similar language to Hebrew in terms of grammar and meaning so if there was a lost of information or knowledge it would be kept to its minimum)
Point 2 - From what I understand, "the book of revelations" from the bible was finished somewhere in 60-90AD and the first bible was fully compiled somewhere around 200-300AD (not sure what language maybe Latin maybe Greek for some reason a lot of sites on the internet don't have the correct information) and was only translated into English in 1300s. "Wycliffe criticized abuses and false teachings in the Church"
Which leaves us with a question, were they only translations or were they modified as well? Because if they were only translations, surely it would still be words from God. (Example: "it's a red car" vs. "it's a red BMW" they would still get the message across but just said/translated differently)
2) Bible has been modified as claimed in the Quran:
Point 3 -Referring to point 2, lets assume that the bible has already been modified given that it's already been over 1000 yrs, maybe that's the reason that Wycliffe criticized the churches for "false teachings". So what was the solution of Wycliffe? What did he preach? Could it be that some Catholics were already teaching something wrong? Coz if they were then could it be that what you have learnt when you were young was wrong? As stated in the bible, Mathew 15:14 "they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit" (NIV Version)
***Which brings up an issue***
Are all that the catholic teach true? what is more important to Catholics? the traditions or God? They teach people how to respect God, but if you truly knew him, respect wouldn't need to be taught. It's like teaching a child what is happiness, the child understands the meaning but doesn't know what happiness is. But if the child has experienced happiness, no words would be needed. You have only been taught about Christianity but have you truly finished experienced it?
***Here is another issue***
Here's a thought:- Did you learn Christianity from a true Christian or did you simply follow blindly? Matthew 7:24-27 "The Wise and Foolish Builders" [link]
You might have been a dedicated Christian but where did you build your house on? A Rock (I was taught that rock represented a good understanding of God's words, or simply revelation of God) or on Sand?
Please read this or if you remember it and ask yourself the following question.
The name Peter in Greek is petra and it means rock.
The bible - written by many and compiled by many, but yet so consistent from beginning to the end.
The Quaran - a book of answers compiled by 1 man giving all credit to God.
Finally, the Quaran claims that the bible and the Jewish scriptures were in fact modified. If so let's take a look at a few facts.
Question) Since the Jews modified bits of their scriptures and the Christians modified bits of their scriptures would it not be safe to say that they both do not agree fully on the foundations of their belief? For example. Jews reject Jesus VS the Savior and Christians accept Jesus and the Savior.
If we both agree on this then please download this movie clip and watch it then tell me what you think.
P.S. God told me to tell you that this is your greatest Trial.
OK, Guys — first before we jump on these questions from Steve, I want to share something really AMAZING:
Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said, "Every child is born on the Fitra of ISLAM (natural inclination of submission and surrender to God's Will in peace) and it is their parents who raise them to be Jews, Christians or fire-worshippers”
A Sheikh once said, “Islam is what a true Christian is supposed to do — Muslim is what a real Christian is supposed to be”.
Allah Almighty said in Quran,
"And whoever desires a way other than God's Way, He will never accept from them and in the Hereafter, they will be amongst the losers (in Hell)." [Quran 3:85]
Here’s my answer to Steve —
thanks for taking time to write to me and for your effort to share what you feel about "God's Voice" to me
OK. Now to your good questions:
As regards your "Point #1" - You question whether I had any knowledge of the Bible.
I also have read from the Catholic Bibles which contain seven (7) more books than the Protestant Bible (is this only a minor difference of "red car" and "red BMW" - ?)
Steve, I am not saying the Bible is NOT from God - that's the opposite of my meaning.
I am saying, the ORIGINAL BIBLE IS FROM GOD - no doubt. Muslims must believe this. The Quran is from the very same God and it orders us to believe the original Bible is also from God. But the problem is, what you call the Bible is not the "orignial" from God, and you have confirmed that with your own words.
You admit in your email these are translations that are based on translations, so let's be fair. OK?
Can you honestly say you have studied the Bible in the Koine Greek (a dead language)? Or the Ancient Hebrew (no longer used)? Or even in Latin?
Again, be fair - is there a difference between the Bible of the early church (200 AD) and the Bible of the Catholic Church (325 AD) and the Bible of the later churches (England and Europe?)
Different books, different words, missing texts, added texts - HUGE DIFFERENCES.
Is there one single word - literally one word - from the Books of Moses that anyone could honestly swear came directly from Moses lips, in ancient Hebrew? (and if someone did swear to it, where is the proof?)
Can you show me any statement in the New Testament that Jesus actually said? Word for word - in Aramaic? Or is it just saying that "Jesus said"?
Who Wrote the Bible? - Please ask yourself what is the proof for anything here?
Bible scholars convinced me with their statements - the Bible that we hold in our hands today - is not - and cannot be - the same thing that came with the prophets, peace be upon them.
Again, you agreed with that in your letter.
Would you like me to prove what I say? - I am ready - please visit these sites:
www.BibleIslam.com - www.IslamTomorrow.com/bible - www.911Bible.com
Choose any article - written by scholars of Old Testament - references to New Testament scholars, some by me, and even the Church's own statements of how they came up with the Trinity and when they did it - and why they considered the earlier scholars and bishops preaching God is absolutely ONE and not three, to be wrong.
You asked me something strange about confessions. I believe when you take time to read (you said yourself you didn't read ½ of it), you will see, you have misquoted me.
I said, "I told him - I was not a priest and I do not accept confessions - and he said, "I know you are not a priest, because I am one."
How did you get from this, that I had said anything about me claiming to believe anything about confessions at all? I clearly said, Protestants don't do what the Catholics do.
Here is another strange thing; you then went on to quote from unreliable English translations of what you have, as if that is supposed to convince me that all of a sudden you have magically brought back the original Bible and I am going to just accept it now - because you have quoted it?
That really is strange.
If I won't accept the many different translations in my own personal library that I have had some of them for decades - then why all of a sudden will I accept an email of you quoting from your new version?
I have read, studied and discussed these issues with many people for more than fifty years.
My father before me, also had been a Bible student and read the entire Bible by age 10.
He was a Sunday school Bible teacher and knew if better than most folks I have know.
But he also said it was not the original book from God and that we will never know exactly what the original said because it no longer exists.
You made statements as though they would become true by virtue of you saying them.
Such as, you claimed the Quran was "complied by one man" - as the Bible was complied by many.
What kind of statement is this?
The Quran could not have been "compiled" as you have alleged - because that would mean that Muhammad, peace be upon him, collected and put it together himself.
Where did he collect if from? What was his source? Please think about what you are saying.
You said the Bible was "complied by many" - not true - of the original. The real "original" Bible was revealed directly from God Almighty to the men who were sent by God to their people (like: Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus - etc.)
People later on "complied" and put together from what they found - in different versions according to what they believed about the "original" and many of these DID NOT AGREE WITH EACH OTHER.
The way you made your statement - if you turned it around on yourself - you would be saying, "Moses 'compiled' the Ten Commandments."
- Are you saying that?
He was only one man - he went up on the mountain and stayed there, fasting and praying and came back down to his people to find them worshipping a golden calf (I am quoting from the Quran).
Do you accept that? Or do you have something else in your version of the "Bible"?
Do you make fun of the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, simply because he was doing exactly what Moses did?
The actual tablets Moses, peace be upon him, brought down the mountain never made it to the sancutary of the temple, because Moses, peace be upon him, threw them down and broke them when he found the Children of Israel worshipping a golden calf.
This is the story in the Bible itself.
He then went back up the mountain and came down again with something else (similar?) and even that did not last - right? (So obviously we don't have the "original").
Your own version of the Bible says all the contents of the Ark of the Covenant were lost when the Children of Israel were taken away into captivity into Babylon (14 generations after David and 14 generations before Jesus, peace be upon them).
The Bible you hold in your hand claims the original no longer exits.
Or do you now deny what your own book says?
Quran claims it is the Book wherein there is no doubt - but then immediately insists that true believers, desiring to be guided by God Almighty, have to believe in what is sent down (not complied by) to Muhammad, peace be upon him, and believe in what was send down before to the prophets Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and of course Jesus, peace be upon them all - (not complied by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, or early church fathers)
The Quran, still exists and is recited today just as it was when it was revealed, in the original Arabic language over 1,400 years ago.
It was revealed orally and transmitted orally and is still today memorzied and passed done in oral recitation form.
This is one of the biggest miracles of the Quran.
Over half of those who memorize and recite the Quran are not Arabic speakers and yet, they are memorizing it exactly word for word and letter for letter the exact same way all over the world.
More than ten million (10,000,000) Muslims living today have memorized the entire Quran and over one billion have memorized at least some chapters - all exactly the same, in ARABIC.
Can you think of anyone at all who has memorzied and can quote the entire Bible in the original language?
Scholars of the Bible are not even positive which were the exact verses, scrolls, books and even words used in the original Bible.
Does Quran insult the Bible? No.
The Quran does not insult the Bible - on the contrary, if very much compliments and makes clear areas of confusion contained in what is existing from the translations of the Bible today.
You made statements as though you thought by saying them it would make them come true. That is the way of many Christian preachers. However, it doesn't change the truth.
The translators you referred to, did not all agree on what should and should not be translated as certain things.
Did you just say that because it made you feel like that it must be true?
Islam does not permit Muslims to do this.
We are not allowed to quote from our feelings and dreams and we don't need to anyway.
The Quran is our foundation and it still exists exactly as it did when it was revealed.
Did you know the translators of the 1611 version of the King James Bible kept a diary? They did and there is a copy of it in the San Antonio, Texas library.
It is a reference book and you are not allowed to check it out. So, I read it right there in the building.
You see, these people kept a record of the difficulties and arguements they had with each other while translating the different scrolls and manuscripts they had access to.
Incidentally, the 1611 version of the Bible to English (often called the King James Version - by mistake) they referred to it as the "Authorized Version" not "King James Version").
The diary was very telling in that, you will find on sevearl occasions one individual refused to cooperate with the others.
While their opinion was clear on what a certain word should be, he held out and would not accept what they said, and they finally gave into him, just to shut him up and move on to the rest of their work.
That is a clear statement in a reference book in the San Antonio, Texas public library.
The Quran is still today read in Arabic by every single Muslim and the vast majority (over 85%) are not Arabs.
The recitation is done in several different styles, all used by Muhammad, peace be upon him, but never deviating in words or meanings - nor leaving out chapters, verses or having verses added 100 or 200 or 300 years later, or having 7 books dropped out 1,300 years later (see: Protestant Reformation).
You asked if I learned Christianity from a "real Christian" or just by blind following - a good question.
Maybe you were trying to attempt to discredit me or my knowledge of Christianity by yourÂ question (or was it supposed to be a statement?)
I grew up in the church in the days when everyone in the whole family all attended church services every single Sunday.
Our entire family on both sides all went to the same church in Cleveland, Ohio.
My grandfather laid the cornerstone for that church when it was built.
My grandmother and her sister were the two soloists, our family had members in the choir, and we went to Sunday school every Sunday.
We also attended Bible school in the summer. We sat at home with our family discussing the meanings of Christianity and the Bible.
My father was an ordained minister and he also taught Sunday school.
I always had a keen desire to learn more about God and about religion from a very early age.
After being baptized as a teenager, my sisters and I would attend Christian youth programs and be active in learning and being a part of church activities.
Later years I went on to visit other churches, Methodists, Baptists, Lutheran, Nazarene, Church of God, Church of Christ and others.
I listened to many preachers and evangelists over the years:
Katherine Coolman and Billy Sunday (1940s) - on the radio with my grandmother; Oral Roberts (and his son, Richard Roberts); Jimmy Swaggart; Paul Crouch; John Haggai (whom I met personally); Pat Robertson; Jerry Falwell; Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker; Benny Hinn; and of course Billy Graham.
I have also sat with the leaders of the Catholic, Lutheran and many Protestant churches to learn from them about what their particular faiths teach and how they try to resolve "difficult passages of the Bible."
Many of these people are well known to be "dedicated, knowledgeable and good Christians.
" I did not then, nor do I now, blindly follow anyone. I find the concept of "blind following" to be one most repulsive and useless to me.
But thanks for asking and giving me a chance to bring up this point.
You mentioned the Quran was "complied" by Muhammad, peace be upon him, and that...
he "read" other "stuff."
"Quran compiled by 1 man vs. Bible compiled by many"
If we look at God's Style, he kept sending many prophets and many messengers to us which is accepted in both religions.
Did the prophets and the messengers deny the previous scriptures?
The bible was compiled by many scholars which only took what was written and put them all together and maybe translate them a bit.
Whereas the Quaran was compiled by prophet Mohammad and said "yes the torah and the bible are words from God but don't chase after them, mine is the final words from God because the others have been modified."
I have already addressed this issue somewhat (above) but for further clarification - we do agree, God did send many prophets and messengers to people and none of them deny the previous scriptures, they actually confirm them?
You refer here to
"God's Style . ."
- yet at the same time, you admit the Bible you carry around is from human style, complied by them.
You go on to say,
"The Bible was complied by many scholars which only took what was written and put them all together and maybe translate them a bit..."
Why did God's Perfect Word need to be "complied by many scholars, which only took what was written and put them all together?" [Did they come apart?]
Didn't the message come complete and not need other books or writings to support it? [After all, it is from God - so it is perfect, right?] "and translated, maybe a bit?" [How much is a "bit?" Why did they have to translate God's Word? Wasn't it OK as is? What happened to the "originals" from God?]
Just another thought:
Could it be that he read the bible, read the torah, read a number of scriptures like stuff from the Buddhist (which claim to have been around since 300++BC), copied and amended things that he felt was what God asked him to do and called it the Quran?
Your statement here clearly indicates you have no knowledge and are only repeating what others have speculated without bothering to gather any facts at all.
For some people that is sufficient to build an entire philosophy on, but not for me.
Read this real close.... "Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was very famous and many people both Muslims and non-Muslims knew him.
They knew him as "The unlettered prophet" - because he could neither read - nor write."
Then you said,
"...copied and amended things..."
We have already established, he could not read nor write.
Where did he find these "scriptures? and stuff?"
He must have found some pretty good copies.
After all, there are very clear passages in Quran that correct misconceptions from the "complied and translated a bit" versions of the "scholars" you put so much faith in?
Then you said, "...that he felt was what God asked him to do and called it Quran?"
That is pitiful.
Why when you look to your "complied, rewritten and translated a bit" texts coming from centuries after the actual prophets, peace be upon them, do you consider it "revelation from God".
But when it is Muhammad, peace be upon him, who was well known for never having told a lie even once in his life, you discredit his statements and statements in Quran clearly attesting to it coming directly from God to the angel Gabriel and then to Muhammad, peace be upon him.
"he felt was what God asked him to do -"??
(I corrected your spelling - no extra charge)
Obviously, the thing you have attempted to accuse me of, you are somewhat guilty of yourself.
I mean by that, you have not read both books side by side; nor have your read them in the "original" languages; nor have you sat with a search tool and dictionary and concordance to gain a first hand knowledge of these great works.
Otherwise, you would know the word "Quran" is the word used by God IN THE QURAN - to very accurately describe it. "It is a Quran [a recitation] in the Arabic language..."
The word "Quran" [recitation] appears in the Quran more than 60 times. Let me only list a few examples for your enlightenment:
While before it there was the Scripture of Moses, an example and a mercy, and this confirms Scripture in the Arabic language, that it may warn those wrong doers and bring glad tidings for the righteous. [46:12]
Certainly, Allah has sent down the revelation, a Recitation (Quran) in Arabic, that you may understand. [12:2]
And Allah Knows well they say, "A man simply taught him." The speech of him (Muhammad, peace be upon him) whom they hint falsely is incredible, and this is clear Arabic speech. [16:103]
So, Allah has revealed it as a Recitation in Arabic, has displaced within certain threats, on the chance they might keep away from evil or it might cause them to pay attention." [20: 113]
"And certainly, this is revelation of the Lord of the Universe, which the Spirit (Angel Gabriel is known as the Spirit of Allah) has brought down to your heart, so that you will be one of the warners, in plain Arabic speech.
A Recitation in Arabic, containing no crookedness, that haply they may ward off evil. [39: 28]
A scripture wherein the verses are expounded, a Recitation in Arabic for people who have knowledge. [41: 3]
And so, Allah has inspired in you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) a Recitation in Arabic, so you might warn the mother town and those around it, and you would warn them of a day of assembling wherein there is no doubt. A group of them will be in the Garden (of Paradise) and a group of them will be in the Fire. [42: 7]
You said -
The Quran - a book of answers compiled by 1 man giving all credit to God.
Where did you come up with "Book of Answers?" I have never hear Quran referred to this way.
But you may be right as it certainly does contain the answers to questions no other religion can answer.
And you are correct again, when you say that Muhammad, peace upon him, gave all credit to Allah, as anyone who believes in Allah should do.
Does the first commandment in your "complied translation" still contain the words, "Thou shalt not have any other gods besides Me"?
Muhammad, peace be upon him, only gave credit and worship to the One God - the God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, peace be upon them all.
Then you said -
Finally, the Quran claims that the bible and the Jewish scriptures were in fact modified. If so lets take a look at a few facts.
(Question: First why would people want to modify scriptures?)
And Answer: To strengthen the belief of the followers to follow what the leader of the faith believes in. (correct?)
NO, Steve! Not correct.
This demonstrates exactly what I am talking about. You formulate something into a question and then you provide what seems to you to be the only possible answer.
Consider historical facts. People have always wanted to control other people by any means possible. Corrupting messages for individual or collective gain is common occurrence throughout ancient and recent history - right up to current events.
Another point, why would the "redactors" (that is scholarly term for those who 'redact' or reconstruct and put together scriptures) of the Bible want to alter or "improve" anything, if it was from God they would not need to "improve" it or "strengthen" it, would they?
Quran clearly tells us, when scripture is from Allah, and He is protecting it - no one can change it or 'strengthen" it.
Will they not then ponder on the Quran? If it had been from other
Look to what Allah said about people who claim God has partners, while He is only One, and those to whom Allah had given Scripture in the past and recognize Quran as being from the same source, yet deny it and make up lies against Allah, denying His Revelations?
Say, (ordering Muhammad, peace be upon him, to speak) "What carries the most weight in testimony?"
Say, "Allah is the Witness between you and me."
"And this Quran has been inspired to me, that I may warn you and whoever it may reach. Do you truthfully bear witness that there are other gods besides Allah?"
Say, "I do not bear such witness."
Say, "He is only One God. Certainly, I am innocent of anything you worship alongside of Him."
Those to whom Allah gave the Scripture (Old & New Testaments), recognize this (Revelation) as they would recognize their own sons. Those who destroy their own souls will not believe.
Who does a greater wrong than the one who invents a lie against Allah and denies His Revelations? Certainly, the wrongdoers will not be successful.
Then you said:
For example. Jews reject Jesus VS the Savior and Christians accept Jesus and the Savior.
You are stating "Jews and Christians both 'modified' their scriptures."
If they both did this, then obviously the conclusion would be they no longer full agree.
As far as what they believe about Jesus, the Christians accepted Jesus, peace be upon him, as the one foretold of in the Torah and the Zabur (Old Testament and the Psalms).
He was called in Hebrew, "Messiah" and the Greeks translated it to the word "Christos" and then later "compliers?" modified that word to "Christ."
It is simply a title for the one who would come and be the "anointed King of the Jews."
The Quran claims that Jesus was in fact, the "Messiah" - and that he was miraculous conception and birth without human father, Jesus, peace beupon, did miracles, healed the sick, cured the blind and even brought a dead man back to life.
But all of this was by the Permission of God, and that he only prayed directly to God and instructed his followers to do the same (Matthew, chapter 6 - Lord's Prayer).
If someone wants to believe the moon is made from cream cheese, or that little green men come from Mars in flying saucers, I defend their right to hold such opinions and beliefs - but I refuse to share such notions without at least some form of testable evidence.
The same is true about God and His communication with His Creation (us).
You are very smart and well educated, and you are free to make any choices you like.
I am happy to live in a world where people can do that. I support your right to make free choice.
But at the same time - please have the same courtesy for me and the other 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, who have made the choice to believe the Quran is from the same God that sent the "original" revelation to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Job, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus, peace be upon them all.
Allow us to believe as we choose, that the "original" Bible did not contradict itself, just as the Quran does not contradict itself.
Don't believe anything that you don't want to believe. It is your choice. Don't read anything you don't want to, again, your choice.
Don't bother to accept my offer of free books, articles and materials (all free from my own expense) - this is your choice.
Don't be a Muslim if you don't want to - absolutely your choice.
The only thing I am interested in with regards you, is that on the Day of Judgment, you will not say to Almighty God (Allah) that I stood by and didn't offer to tell you the message that God (Allah) did tell the angel Gabriel to tell Muhammad, peace be upon him.
The same message that he, in turn told his companions and ordered them to continue telling people for generations to come.
I believe God (Allah) did tell someone to tell me a message. I believe God (Allah) told the angel Gabriel to tell the prophets, peace be upon them, to tell their people, a very special message.
But I don't believe you are a messenger of God and I don't think God (Allah) told you to tell me anything.
Allah's Speech is the Holy Quran and He did tell Muslims what to tell others.
This is what God (Allah) told me (in the Quran) to tell you:
"There is only One God worthy to be worshipped (Allah) and that Muhammad, peace be upon him, is His last messenger to mankind."
And that is what God (Allah) told Muhammad, peace be upon him, to tell the world.
I ask your so-called 'god' to stop talking to you - and Allah (The only Real God) to guide you to the truth, Steve