What do we, as Muslims need to know about Christianity today?
Are these the People of the Book? And what about the "Book"?
Is the Bible of today the "Book" referred to in the Quran?
So, let's ask:
Are these translations of the Bible, the same words or meanings as revelation coming to previous prophets?
Was this what Moses actually heard on Mount Siani?
Is it what David actually sang out in Psalms?
Can we know for sure it is the very same words coming from the followers of Jesus, peace be upon him and Yahya, peace be upon him (John the Baptist)?
We want to know about the many Versions Of The Bible.
There are 1,000's of Bibles in many languages on earth and more than 100 different versions of the Bible today - Just for English.
There are many inconsistencies, errors, mistakes and contradictions in today's Bible, so many inconsistencies that many scholars of the Bible loose their faith in Christianity and chose to become agnostic or even atheist.
There are also many divisions amongst church denominations, each teaches something quite different from their version of the Bible.
Here is a real discussion from someone trying to defend the reality of variations, errors and contradictions in the Bible.
[Christian's words are in RED]
We asked about all the different kinds of Christian churches and many different variations of the Bible.
Here are some of the answers he gives ...
"Well, yes. There are many denominations of Christians, but don't blame that on many versions of the Bible. There are thousands of Bibles in all the languages of the world. And more than 100 different kinds of Bibles in English.
Yet, there is only one Bible."
Huh? If there are over hundred versions in English alone, how could there only be 'one Bible'?
He tried to explain it like this:
"Well, when it says a "version" it just means "translation".
The word "version" does not mean "translation" no matter how much you try to give it this meaning."
"And the Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek"
Actually, according to Bible scholars, the 'Torah' and the 'Talmud' were written in ancient Eber 1 were from original scrolls in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, peace be upon him.
Then over the centuries the Aramaic versions suffered at the hands of translators of various books of the Bible, into ancient Koine Greek (not the Greek we know today).
If every man could read Hebrew and Greek, then we would have no need for an "English version". So, we have experts who have translated from the original manuscripts to English.
This statement makes it seem like we still have the original writings of Moses, David, Solomon, the prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus, peace be upon them all.
Yet, the scholars of the Bible themselves tell us, nothing of the orginal scrolls, manuscripts or writings has survived and nothing exists today of anything original of the Old Testament even at the time of Jesus, peace be upon him.
"We rely upon men who are experts in their field and fully fluent in the languages of the ancient Bible, as well as in English and Greek. These scholars read the original Greek Bible and come up with an English equivalent. This process is called translation and gives us our modern day version.
Then once again, this person is making the serious mistake of thinking the original works still exist and that is simply not true.
There is nothing existing today of anything original of the manuscripts written by any of the prophets, nor is there even an accurate copy of a copy of a copy of anything from those writings.
"We've all seen how a foreign diplomat gives a news conference in different languages, through the help of a translator. One translator might choose different words or sentences, but the message is identical.
So, translation is a reliable science of communicating between different languages.
Remember, it was God Himself who created all the language barriers in Genesis 11 at the Tower of Babel. God is satisfied that His inspired word can be maintained although translated into over 200 languages.
This now becomes totally incorrect in every aspect as to the subject of 'versions' or 'translations' because it pretends there are extant, original documents that just anyone could pick up at the local Barnes & Noble or Books R Us book shops. And that is simple not true.
"Although the exact choice of words or the way something is said might be slightly different from one translation to another, the meanings are all almost exactly identical"
This statement is coming from ignorance of scriptural criticism, as it is not possible, because the different 'versions' are not based on the same manuscripts and in most cases the missing words from these ancient writings must be substituted with the 'best guess' opinion of scholars familiar with the antiquated languages.
"Salvation is by belief in Jesus and baptism. Read the words of Jesus in Mark 16:16 from three "versions" as an example; NIV: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved" KJV: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved - " NAS: "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved"
Different words and sentences but the meaning is identical. To blame religious division on the fact there are different Bible versions, therefore, is incorrect. The view that each translation of the Bible conveys a different message is also incorrect. There is only one Bible message that has been given to us and it is the message of the New Testament, Mark, 16:16.
*1(Old Hebrew) and the New Testament Gospels translated into hundreds of different languages. This is mentioned in chapter 16, verse 16 in the Gospel of Saint Mark"
Actually, there really was NO VERSE 16, in chapter 16 at the time of the real Gospel of Mark, in the oldest manuscripts!
It simply did not exist.
It was added later.
The proof? It's in the Bible at the end of the chapter*1.
The last verses of the Gospel of Mark, in chapter 16 (including the verse he quotes) are the most condemning of all verses in the entire Bible as to the fact - The Bible Contains Serious Inconsistencies, Errors, Mistakes, Additions & Deletions
This is the quote from BIBLE GATEWAY website, at the end of chapter 16:
1. Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book by adding after verse 8 the following: But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this, Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation;
Other authorities include the preceding passage and continue with verses 9–20; In most authorities verses 9–20 follow immediately after verse 8; A few authorities insert additional material after verse 14 This is published right in the book for all to see. Let's think about it for a minute, shall we? 1. The oldest manuscripts (ancient authorities) DO NOT HAVE THE EXTRA VERSES FOUND IN MOST OF TODAY'S BIBLES!
2. One 'authority' adds two verses that have different words and endings than the rest.
3. A few other 'authorities' do have those verses, but then they add the verses 9-20.
4. Most 'authorities' have added verses 9-20 after verse 8 as we are accustomed to it today
5. But still, a few 'authorities' do insert some extra 'material after verse 14'.
That says it all - clearly in the very chapter, this person has quoted to make it appear there are only differences in spelling or choice of words. We ask, "Is this really logical?"
From the beginning we see, it is quite clear whoever makes such statements is either entirely ignorant of the facts or is purposely trying to hide the facts as to what really exists today.
What is contained in museums and private collections around the world, from two thousand years ago are mere pieces of parchments of writings with missing texts, partial pages, variant readings, lost pages and torn pieces of copies of translated copies of letters, notes, telling us in many cases of personal beliefs, experiences and curious attitudes held by various people for several millenniums.
"The Bible Is 100% ACCURATE"
The Bible we know today, did not exist at the time of any of the ancient prophets, and not even at the time of Jesus, peace be upon them all. Bible scholars tell us clearly, even though there exist over 14,000 pieces of manuscripts, many pieces are just small fragments, some only 1/2 inch in size and even most of larger pieces are difficult to make our and many are just totally illegible. So, how is this considered "100% accurate"?
"Because there are over 14,000 manuscript copies of the New Testament we can absolutely be confident of its accuracy."
There are NOT 14,000 copies of manuscripts. There are over 14,000 of fragments of parchments, pieces of scrolls and a very few complete manuscripts, which by the way DO NOT AGREE with each other 100%!
With this large number of manuscripts, comparing manuscripts easily reveals any place where a scribe has made an error or where there is a variation.
Again, there are no large number of complete or original manuscripts, and it does not easily reveal places where scribes wrote different things, made mistakes, had errors in copying or came up with totally different variations.
"There are approximately 150,000 variations in the manuscripts we have today."
"150,000 variations"? Again, this time the person does not try to hide behind the word "translation" and comes right out and tells us, of all the manuscripts existing today (he also said 14,000) they have ten times as many "variations" as they have manuscripts.
"However, these variations represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament (if the same word was misspelled in 3,000 manuscripts, that is counted as 3,000 variations.)"
Question - Why shift the subject to the New Testament now?
The Old Testament is as much a part of the Christian Bible as the Old Testament. Right?
And we're still hearing about "10,000 places" where there exist "variations".
"Of these 10,000 places, all but 400 are questions of spelling in accord with accepted usage, grammatical construction, or order of words."
Who says this? That would mean there were 9,600 spelling mistakes, and yet that still leaves "400 questions of variations".
Of the remaining variations, only 50 are of significance (such as two manuscripts leaving out Acts 2:37).
What about the other 350? "Only 50 are of significance"?
Leaving out verses?
What about verses claiming the exact opposite of each other? (read above).
:But of these 50, not one alters even one article of faith which cannot be abundantly sustained by other undoubted passages."
This one statement proves significant number of contradictions and not the so-called "100% Accuracy" claimed in the beginning.
Even if these fifty (50) "significant variations" were the only differences, they are still "significant variations".
Notice - This time the person did not use the word "translation", as he knew full well this has nothing to do with translations.
"There are some manuscripts that date as early as 130 AD, very close to the completion of the New Testament. These manuscripts are very nearly identical to those dating 900 years later, thus verifying the accuracy of the scribes."
Manuscripts dating after Jesus, peace be upon him, by 130 years are definitely not from him or anyone who even knew him.
And even then he admits the New Testament was still NOT COMPLETE?
Not really! So who really is the one to complete it?
Then he says -
"Those 130 years after Jesus, peace be upon him, are "nearly, almost" identical.
The word "nearly" does not mean "identical" and almost means "NOT EXACTLY".
Certainly this indicates these scribes were NOT 100% accurate, and in many cases - not even close.
Obviously, it could not have been "nearly" or "almost", since it is well established the New Testament was still being added to in the third and fourth century after Jesus, peace be upon him.
"Besides this, Jesus, peace be upon him, promised that His words would not pass away. (Mat 24:35) .. "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Really? How do you know he was talking about your English Bible? What if he was talking about the Words of Allah in the Quran?
And just one example - what about the words at the end of chapter 16, verse 16 you mentioned (above)?
Those words certainly seem to have "passed away"?
"Well, experts take the most authentic of all of the non-identical and un-accurate and separate these from the accurate ones according to what the scholars and scribes have verified, and that is the Bible".
Now this is what we have come to expect from such a person who makes claims of total accuracy in the beginning only to admit openly to "un- accurate" variations and non-identical works of scribes.
His last words are a simple attempt to have us forget about the "inconsistencies" and "inaccuracies" in his own presentation as well as his modern day Bible. These words at the end would have us accept words from a source he has already admitted contains inaccuracies and errors. But anyway, it's his Bible and his belief in it - no matter what.
Any by the way, when you ask someone to accept that something is true, just because - it says it is true - That is called "circular logic" - and it's not! (logical).
*1. Eber (ֵע ֶבר , ISO 259-3 ʕebr, Standard Hebrew Éver, Tiberian Hebrew ʻĒḇer) is an ancestor of the Israelites, according to the "Table of Nations" in Benesis 10-11 and 1st Chronicles 1. He was a great-grandson of Noah's son Shem and the father of Peleg born when Eber was 34 years old, and of Joktan. He was the son of Shelah, a distant ancestor of Abraham. According to the Hebrew Bible, Eber died at the age of 464 (Genesis 11:14:17) when Jacob was 20. The Hebrew calendar synchronizes this date with 1817 BCE.
The Quran (Recitation) in Arabic, still exists today, just exactly as it did when it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. And the best part is - all of us can still access it and understand the teachings and meanings.
It is still preserved by the One who revealed it in the first place - Allah. He is the One who sent down the previous revelations as well to all the other prophets: Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist and to Jesus Christ, peace be upon them all.
And many Christian leaders are coming to the Quran for understanding and direction in their lives. Shouldn't you be asking, "Why?"
Find out now for yourself - www.WhatsIslam.com - I dare you!