A BOOK REVIEW
The Bible and the Qur'an: A Question of Integrity
(228 pages), OM publishing, 2001; ISBN: 1-85078-369-1
Author: Steven Masood
The ReadershipIn many colleges and universities of Europe and America, hundreds of Christian and Muslim students rub shoulders. A great number of Muslim students are involved in sharing the Islamic faith with non-Muslim students, especially Christians. Many of their discussions, and printed matter, attack key doctrines of the Christian faith rather than commend Islam.
In the author's experience, the whole Muslim argument depends on rejecting the validity of the Bible. Since the Bible is the primary source of all Christian doctrine, he decided to write on the question of integrity of both the Bible and the Qur'an. This book is aimed at Muslim students at colleges and universities in Europe and America, many of whom speak English as a second language. They will find the style of the book familiar, though it avoids the derogatory comments often found in Islamic apologetics. The book will be of help also to a reader working among Muslims and who has some principal knowledge of the Islamic faith.
A Short Summary of the Book
Muslims and Christians believe that God intervened in history to reveal "the straight path" to humanity. Both set great store by the records they hold. The truth of their faith is held to depend on the accuracy of their books and traditions. However, many Muslims claim that Christians and Jews have altered the Bible during the course of time. Christians believe and assert that the message of the Bible has not been corrupted and that the differences between the Bible and the Qur'an are due to the circumstances of the production of the Qur'an, not to changes in the Bible.
The author looks at the tests for scriptural integrity invoked by Muslims and Christians in their conversations and writings. He then applies these to both the Bible and the Qur'an. Dealing with questions such as variant readings, contradictions, omissions and the process of compilation, the author considers whether these problems affect the message. He makes use of Islamic and other sources to see what they have to say on these issues.
The author's intention is to concentrate on the essential issues, typical questions, and problems raised between Muslims and Christians. He tries to show the reader how some arguments can lead to serious error if they are used as a standard by which to question the authority of a scripture. The author's main goal is to show that both the Bible and the Qur'an have their messages well preserved. His conclusion is that the real question is not of preservation but of salvation, Najah; what do these scriptures say about what we are and our eternal destiny?