Six Points Establishing that the Quran Does Confirm the Holy Bible

Responding to some More Muslim Polemics Against God’s Word

Sam Shamoun

Another Muslim has taken it upon himself to show that the Quran does not confirm the authority, authenticity and preservation of God’s true Word, the Holy Bible. Our readers can find the claims made by this particular Muslim on this page.

The author titles this particular section:

Six Reasons Why "The Law" and "The Gospel" Are Not the Old and New Testaments

As can be seen from the subheading, the author presents six reasons why he believes that the Quran does not uphold the integrity of the Holy Bible that is in the hands of the Jews and Christians. The author believes that the Quranic references to the Law and the Gospel do not refer either to the Old or New Testaments.

The focus of this paper will be to examine all six reasons and see whether they hold any weight.

Since the translation of the Quran made by A.J. Arberry is the translation of choice by the Muslim author (see his credits section), we also will be using it here for our response, unless noted otherwise. Arberry translation is available online ([1], [2]). We will be following the versification adopted by the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his translation (e.g., here).

Before we proceed to our analysis of the claims of this particular Muslim, we need to first qualify our use of the Quran in substantiating the authority of the Holy Bible. We here at Answering Islam view the Quran as an early historical record highlighting the beliefs and practices of the first Muslims. As such, our use of the Quran is to document from the oldest extant Islamic writing available that the first Muslims did not believe that the Holy Bible had been tampered with. If this is the case, then the Muslims who claim to follow the example of Muhammad and his followers must also adopt the same view of the Holy Bible that they had. If it can be conclusively shown that the Quran presupposes, and that the early Muslim community including Muhammad himself held to, the integrity of the previous divinely inspired Scriptures then any Muslim who attacks the Holy Bible is no longer a true believer.

Yet this leaves the Muslims in a major dilemma, since by coming to the conclusion that the Quran does confirm the Holy Bible they would then be forced to reject Muhammad and Islam. The Quran contradicts the Holy Bible on key, essential doctrines, showing that these books cannot have originated from the same source. Since the Quran confirms the Holy Bible, while at the same time contradicting its core essential teachings, the Muslim must therefore reject the Quran.

Now we realize that just because the Quran may affirm that the Holy Bible is God’s preserved Word, this doesn’t necessarily prove that the Jewish and Christian Scriptures are genuinely from God. In reality, the Bible can be a corrupt book that falsely claims to be from God, which would then mean that the author of the Quran was incorrect regarding the origin and authenticity of the previous Scriptures. This too leaves the Muslims in a dilemma!

And now to the arguments.

The author begins his discussion by noting:


The most common argument against Islam I’ve heard from Christian missionaries and apologists is that the Koran validates the Bible, and the Bible (in many of the epistles by St. Paul the Innovator) deifies the blessed Jesus and speaks of his alleged death and resurrection as our only salvation. To support this claim, they cite verses of the Koran which say that it confirms the Law and the Gospel, and add to this claim the claim that the Law is the Old Testament and the Gospel is the New Testament. In this paper I am going to outline, in detail, why that interpretation of these words is incorrect.


To begin with, the blessed Apostle Paul didn’t innovate anything, but accurately passed on the true revelation of God. All the evidence is in support of Paul’s legitimacy:

Even some of the earliest Muslim writers spoke approvingly of him:

The fact of the matter is that it was Muhammad who was the Innovator by claiming to be a true prophet and yet distorting the true teachings of God’s real spokespersons and messengers:

Furthermore, Paul wasn’t the only one who spoke of the Deity of the Lord Jesus, or of his death and resurrection. The other Apostles also taught these essential truths, as did the OT prophets:

And for the overwhelming historical evidence in support of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, as well as some responses to common objections, please see these articles:

Third, the word Law in a strict sense refers to the revelation given to Moses. Yet, it is also used in a much broader sense to refer to the entirety of God’s revelation, i.e. the Old Testament scriptures, or to specific books of the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact, Christians aren’t the only ones who believe that the Law can also refer to the Old Testament, since the first generations of Muslims also believed this:

"... Al-Bukhari recorded it from 'Abdullah bin 'Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari [up to the word] forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of 'Abdullah bin 'Amr then he said: ‘It was COMMON in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures AS THE TAWRAH, as some Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.’" (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 4, (Surat Al-Ar'af to the end of Surah Yunus), abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, Riyadh, Houston, New York, Lahore; First Edition: May 2000], p. 179; online edition; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Another Muslim, Shibli Zaman, writes:

What is the "Torah"?

"In Jewish tradition the word 'Torah', which literally means 'teaching', is often used to describe the entire gamut of Jewish religious learning. When so used, 'Torah' refers not only to the five books of Moses, but also to the Prophets, Holy Writings, Talmud, and Midrash -- In fact all religious writings from earliest times to the present." [This is the Torah, Alfred J. Kolatch]

The word "Tawrah" in the Arabic language is used for the Old Testament and all Jewish scriptures. "Zaboor" is used for the "Psalms" (from the root "Zibrah" or "Zimrah" in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic) within the Old Testament. This is how it has been understood by the Jewish nation historically and this is how it was understood by the Arabs and early Muslims. (Source; bold emphasis ours)

For more on this issue, please read the following paper:

Finally, Gospel refers to the Good News of God’s Son, that God sent forth his Son to save the world through his life, death and resurrection. What we find in the New Testament is the inscripturation of that Good News which was first made known in the OT scriptures, manifested in the advent of the Lord Jesus, and initially preached orally by Christ and his followers. More on this below.

The author continues:

The Reasons

1. Put simply, "There is no evidence of any parts of the Bible having been translated into Arabic before Islam" (1) Even so, the Koran repeatedly says or implies that the Gospel was known to the local Jews and Christians in Arabia at the time of the Koran’s writing (c.f. 3:65, 5:47, 5:63-68, 7:157).

And in the footnote he provides this reference for his claim:

(1) Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings, with the assistance of John A. Selbie, M.A., D.D. and Louis H. Gray, M.A., Ph.D., Volume X (Picts-Sacraments), page 540. New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons.


Let us quote the text in question, adding the immediate context for clarification:

From these quotations and borrowings it would not be permissible to infer that the author of the Qur’an had direct access to the Bible, Apocrypha, and Talmud; still less would it be permissible to infer from their inaccuracies that he had no such access; for the limits to inaccuracy in quotation cannot be fixed, and even in our own time, when numerous appliances make the verification of quotations exceedingly easy, we find experts in Homer confusing Andromache with Penelope, etc., and Biblical experts confusing Joseph with Daniel, etc. When verification was a cumbrous process, the standard of accuracy was far lower. Now, the Qur’an exhibits intimate acquaintance with the books of Genesis and Exodus, out of which it reproduces numerous chapters - sometimes, it is true, mixed up with Midrashic matter; and this reproduction is often accompanied with serious inaccuracy, as when Moses is said to be sent to Pharaoh, Haman, and Qarun (Corah). In both matters its method resembles that of the NT, where, e.g., Stephen confuses Abraham with Jacob (Ac 716), and Paul uses Midrash as though it were Scripture (1 Co 104), though doubtless it differs in degree. The latter practice seems to come from the constant association of certain comments with the text, and has its parallel in professedly scientific works of our own time, where, e.g., the statements of the Homeric poems are mixed up with inferences drawn from them by later authors. The most natural conclusion would be that the Prophet had at some time studied those two books (Genesis and Exodus) with the aids current among the Jews, and had afterwards reproduced his information without verifying his references. His acquaintance with other parts of the OT is much slighter, yet he displays some with the books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings. In these cases, too, Midrash is mixed up with Biblical matter, and the attempt to reproduce the story of the scene between David and Nathan (xxxviii. 20-23) suggests that he had known the story at one time, but had afterwards forgotten its context and many important details.

The difficulty of assuming that the Biblical matter of the Qur’an was got at first hand from books lies in the fact that there is no evidence of any parts of the Bible having been translated into Arabic before Islam - even the tradition that Khadijah’s relative Waraqah translated a Gospel is obscure, and may mean merely that he copied it - and none of the Prophet having studied any language but his own, coupled with the circumstance that both the proper names and the names of religious technicalities in the Qur’an belong to some four different languages. Thus Jahannum (Gehenna) is Hebrew, Nuh (Noah) Syriac, Alyas (Elias) and Yunus (Jonas) Greek, Shaitan (Satan) Ethiopic. Of the form used for Jesus no satisfactory explanation has as yet been given. The Prophet had gone to school (vi. 105), that he had assistants (xxv. 5), or one foreign teacher (xvi. 103), and that his helpers dictated to him morning and night, though probably containing some truth, fail to account for all the facts. (Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings, with the assistance of John A. Selbie, M.A., D.D. and Louis H. Gray, M.A., Ph.D., Volume X (Picts-Sacraments), Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, p. 540)

Besides the error regarding Stephen and Paul (dealt with here and here), this source unabashedly states that Muhammad committed gross errors in transmitting biblical history. Hastings attributes these mistakes to Muhammad receiving information orally, without verifying the accuracy of this oral information. His statement regarding there being no evidence for Arabic versions of the Bible is written in light of this context, i.e. that this perhaps accounts for all the gross errors and inaccuracies Muhammad made regarding biblical stories and prophets.

Now we should note two things from Hastings’ comments. First, Hasting’s claim that no evidence exists for any parts of the Bible being translated in Arabic before Islam is not an ironclad statement. The most this proves is that there is NO RECORDED EVIDENCE or EXTANT DATA to show that there were Arabic versions of the Bible before Muhammad’s time. Thus far, scholars haven’t found any Arabic manuscripts that stem from before Muhammad. Yet, who knows what future discoveries may uncover, i.e. the finding of an Arabic version of one of the biblical books made before Muhammad.

In fact, there are some references to biblical books being translated into Arabic right around Muhammad’s death:

"The Gospels were translated into Arabic from the original Greek as well as Coptic and Syrian versions. Barhebreus writes of an Arabic translation made by a monophysite named Johannes, by the order of an Arab prince in A.D. 640. Oldest extant fragments of Arabic translations from the Greek date from the early ninth century. The oldest extant translation in the Syriac also dates back to the same time. It is likely, however, that portions of the Gospels were rendered into Arabic at a much earlier date that that mentioned above. George, a bishop of the Arabs of Mesopotamia, wrote a Scholia on the Scripture around the sixth century. But it appears that Christian teaching and preaching in the sixth century (A.D.) Arabia was done mainly by quoting from the Syriac or Ethiopic scripture and then giving a free rendering of it in Arabic ..." (Abdiyah Akbar Abdul-Haqq, Sharing Your Faith with a Muslim [Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis MN, 1980], p. 29; bold emphasis ours)


"A Coptic version of the New Testament was current toward the end of the third century... The Gospels were translated into Arabic from the Greek, Syriac, and Coptic versions. Barhebraeus speaks of such a translation made between A.D. 631-640. George, bishop of Arab tribes of Mesopotamia, a friend of James of Edessa (d. A.D. 578) wrote a Scholia on the Scriptures. According to Al-Baidhawi and other Muslim commentators, their prophet received instruction from learned Christians like Warqa b. Naufal, Jubra and Yasara (Baidhawi on Sura 16:105). Also, traditions relate how the prophet used to stop and listen to these two men as they read aloud the Books of Moses (Torah) and the Gospels (Injil). Apparently there was a translation of portions of the New Testament that was extant in Mecca during the rise of Islam. Such a translation must have existed along with the full versions of the New Testament in Syriac and Syriac Lectionaries." (Ibid., p. 56; bold emphasis ours)

These quotes leave open the possibility that there may have been earlier attempts of translating the Bible into Arabic.

We do know that there definitely were Arabic apocryphal Gospels available during Muhammad’s time:

"In addition to translations of the canonical Gospels, there were numerous Arabic translations of the New Testament apocrypha. Some of the better known of these like Protoevangelion of James, Gospel of the Infancy, Apocalypse of Paul, and the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles were available in Arabic translation before the Koran ..." (Ibid., p. 29)

More on this below.

This leads us to our second point. Hastings himself mentioned, but tried to brush aside, the Islamic traditions which speak of the existence of an Arabic Gospel during Muhammad’s time. We present those traditions here:

Narrated 'Aisha:
The Prophet returned to Khadija while his heart was beating rapidly. She took him to Waraqa bin Naufal who was a Christian convert and used to read the Gospels in Arabic. Waraqa asked (the Prophet), "What do you see?" When he told him, Waraqa said, "That is the same angel whom Allah sent to the Prophet) Moses. Should I live till you receive the Divine Message, I will support you strongly." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 605)

... Khadija then took him to Waraqa bin Naufil, the son of Khadija's paternal uncle. Waraqa had been converted to Christianity in the Pre-lslamic Period and used to write Arabic and write of the Gospel in Arabic as much as Allah wished him to write... (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 478)

... Khadija then took him to Waraqa b. Naufal b. Asad b. 'Abd al-'Uzza, and he was the son of Khadija's uncle, i.e., the brother of her father. And he was the man who had embraced Christianity in the Days of Ignorance (i.e. before Islam) and he used to write books in Arabic and, therefore, wrote Injil in Arabic as God willed that he should write... (Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0301)

These traditions support the fact that even though we have no extant MS evidence to indicate that there were Arabic versions of the Bible during the seventh century, this doesn’t mean that no such version existed.

More importantly, there is absolutely no logical connection with the Quran confirming the Holy Bible and the latter not being available in Arabic. So this is nothing more than a red herring.

Is the author trying to say that the Quran cannot be confirming the Holy Bible since there were no Arabic translations of it at Muhammad’s time? Obviously not, since he himself admits that the Quran speaks of the existence of the Gospel in Arabia during Muhammad’s life. Then why even bother mentioning that there is no (or a lack of) evidence of an Arabic translation of the Gospel during that time period?

Besides, one doesn’t need an Arabic translation of the Holy Bible in order to know its contents, since there were converts who could have informed Muhammad of what was written in the previous Scriptures. In fact, Muhammad even had some of his scribes learn the language of the Jews and Christians so as to avoid being deceived by the Jews:

Narrated Zayd ibn Thabit:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) ordered me (to learn the writing of the Jews), so I learnt for him the writing of the Jews. He said: I swear by Allah, I do not trust Jews in respect of writing for me. So I learnt it, and only a fortnight passed that. I mastered it. I would write for him when he wrote (to them), and read to him when something was written to him. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 25, Number 3638)

Narrated Zayd ibn Thabit
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered him to learn Syriac. One version says he ordered him to learn the writing of the Jews, saying, "I do not trust the Jews about what is written." He said he learned it in less than half a month, and then wrote the Prophet's communications to the Jews and read what they had written when they wrote to him.

Transmitted by Tirmidhi. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 1213– ALIM CD-ROM Version)

Since there were men like Zaid who could read the language of the Scriptures, then there was no need for Arabic translations of the Holy Bible. In fact, according to noted Muslim historian and commentator, al-Tabari, Muhammad even commanded Zayd to study the Jewish Scriptures:

Al-Waqidi says: In this year, the Messenger of God married Umm Salamah bt. Abi Umayyah and consummated the marriage in Shawwal (which began March 6, 626). In this year also, the Messenger of God commanded Zayd b. Thabit to study the Book of the Jews, saying, "I fear that they may change my Book." (The History of Al-Tabari - The Foundation of the Community, translated by W. M. McDonald, annotated by W. Montgomery Watt [State University of New York Press, Albany 1987], Volume VII, p. 167)

But it seems that even this precaution didn’t prevent Muhammad from confusing biblical material with non-biblical traditions, since the Quran is filled with references from the Talmud and Apocryphal myths and fables. For more on this subject, please read the following articles:

But all this is beside the point. The lack of evidence for Arabic translations of the Bible does nothing to refute those Quranic passages that say it was "sent down" to confirm the previous revelation. It even says that it was sent down to confirm them in Arabic!

He has revealed to you the Book with truth, VERIFYING that which IS before it, and He revealed the Taurat and the Injeel aforetime, A GUIDANCE FOR THE PEOPLE, and He sent the Furqan. Surely they who disbelieve in the communications of Allah they shall have a severe chastisement; and Allah is Mighty, the Lord of retribution. S. 3:3-4 Shakir

Yet before it was the Book of Moses for a model and a mercy; and this is a Book CONFIRMING, in Arabic tongue, to warn the evildoers, and good tidings to the good-doers. S. 46:12

{Note: This last passage stating that the Quran confirms in Arabic the previous Scriptures presupposes that there were no known Arabic versions of the Bible, agreeing with what the author mentioned above. Yet this poses another problem, namely, that these statements contradict the Islamic traditions which specifically mention Waraqa translating the Gospel in Arabic! We leave it to the author to fix this mess.}

2. There are events recorded in the Koran which involve biblical characters but are not found in the Bible, such as the account in 3:49 of the blessed Jesus making a bird out of clay and bringing it to life. This is paralleled in the Infancy of Thomas but not in the New Testament. Don’t you think it would be a little odd that "the Gospel" is confirmed in the Koran and the Koran contains this story, if "the Gospel" is the New Testament?


The author’s argument here only proves that Muhammad was mistaken, and confused the genuine revelation of the Lord Jesus with the apocryphal fables and myths which were written centuries later. The author is assuming that Muhammad was a true prophet and so must have been confirming a genuine event in Jesus’ life. In point of fact, that Muhammad even quoted this apocryphal legend actually proves that he wasn’t a genuine prophet of God. It shows that he tried to convince his contemporaries that he was a prophet by citing the legends and myths which they were believing. Little did he realize that this would actually backfire against him since it proves that he wasn’t actually God’s spokesperson!

Furthermore, even if we take for granted that the Gospel that the Quran confirms is the infancy Gospel of Thomas, then the author would still be left with problems. This Gospel is thoroughly Orthodox in its Christology, affirming the Deity of the Lord Jesus, contradicting the Quran. Since there are three versions of the infancy Gospel, we will quote from all three:

The stories of Thomas the Israelite, the Philosopher, concerning the works of the Childhood of the Lord.

I. I, Thomas the Israelite, tell unto you, even all the brethren that are of the Gentiles, to make known unto you the works of the childhood of our Lord Jesus Christ and his mighty deeds, even all that he did when he was born in our land: whereof the beginning is thus:

II. 1 This little child Jesus when he was five years old was playing at the ford of a brook: and he gathered together the waters that flowed there into pools, and made them straightway clean, and commanded them by his word alone. 2 And having made soft clay, he fashioned thereof twelve sparrows. And it was the Sabbath when he did these things (or made them). And there were also many other little children playing with him.

3 And a certain Jew when he saw what Jesus did, playing upon the Sabbath day, departed straightway and told his father Joseph: Lo, thy child is at the brook, and he hath taken clay and fashioned twelve little birds, and hath polluted the Sabbath day. 4 And Joseph came to the place and saw: and cried out to him, saying: Wherefore doest thou these things on the Sabbath, which it is not lawful to do? But Jesus clapped his hands together and cried out to the sparrows and said to them: Go! and the sparrows took their flight and went away chirping. 5 And when the Jews saw it they were amazed, and departed and told their chief men that which they had seen Jesus do.

VII. 1 Now when Zacchaeus the teacher heard such and so many allegories of the first letter spoken by the young child, he was perplexed at his answer and his instruction being so great, and said to them that were there: Woe is me, wretch that I am, I am confounded: I have brought shame to myself by drawing to me this young child. 2 Take him away, therefore I beseech thee, my brother Joseph: I cannot endure the severity of his look, I cannot once make clear my (or his) word. This young child is not earthly born: this is one that can tame even fire: be like this is one begotten before the making of the world. What belly bare this, what womb nurtured it? I know not. Woe is me, O my friend, he putteth me from my sense, I cannot follow his understanding. I have deceived myself, thrice wretched man that I am: I strove to get me a disciple and I am found to have a master. 3 I think, O my friends, upon my shame, for that being old I have been overcome by a young child;- and I am even ready to faint and to die because of the boy, for I am not able at this present hour to look him in the face. And when all men say that I have been overcome by a little child, what have I to say? and what can I tell concerning the lines of the first letter whereof he spake to me? I am ignorant, O my friends, for neither beginning nor end of it (or him) do I know. 4 Wherefore I beseech thee, my brother Joseph, take him away unto thine house: for he is somewhat great, whether god or angel or what I should call him, I know not.

VIII. 1 And as the Jews were counselling Zacchaeus, the young child laughed greatly and said: Now let those bear fruit that were barren (Gr. that are thine) and let them see that were blind in heart. I am come from above that I may curse them, and call them to the things that are above, even as he commanded which hath sent me for your sakes ...

IX. 1 Now after certain days Jesus was playing in the upper story of a certain house, and one of the young children that played with him fell down from the house and died. And the other children when they saw it fled, and Jesus remained alone. 2 And the parents of him that was dead came and accused him that he had cast him down. (And Jesus said: I did not cast him down) but they reviled him still. 3 Then Jesus leaped down from the roof and stood by the body of the child and cried with a loud voice and said: Zeno (for so was his name called), arise and tell me, did I cast thee down? And straightway he arose and said: Nay, Lord, thou didst not cast me down, but didst raise me up. And when they saw it they were amazed: and the parents of the child glorified God for the sign which had come to pass, and worshipped Jesus.

X. 1 After a few days, a certain young man was cleaving wood in the neighbourhood (MSS. corner), and the axe fell and cut in sunder the sole of his foot, and losing much blood he was at the point to die. 2 And when there was a tumult and concourse, the young child Jesus also ran thither, and by force passed through the multitude, and took hold upon the foot of the young man that was smitten, and straightway it was healed. And he said unto the young man: Arise now and cleave the wood and remember me. But when the multitude saw what was done they worshipped the young child, saying: Verily the spirit of God dwelleth in this young child.

XVII. 1 And after these things, in the neighbourhood of Joseph, a little child fell sick and died, and his mother wept sore. And Jesus heard that there w as great mourning and trouble and he ran quickly and found the child dead: and he touched his breast and said: I say unto thee, Child, die not, but live and be with thy mother. And straightway it looked up and laughed. And he said to the woman: Take him up and give him milk, and remember me. 2 And the multitude that stood by saw it and marvelled, and said: Of a truth this young child is either a god or an angel of God; for every word of his is a perfect work. And Jesus departed thence, and was playing with other children.

XIX. 1 And when he was twelve years old his parents went according to the custom unto Jerusalem to the feast of the passover with their company: and after the passover they returned to go unto their house. And as they returned the child Jesus went back to Jerusalem; but his parents supposed that he was in their company. 2 And when they had gone a day's journey, they sought him among their kinsfolk, and when they found him not, they were troubled, and returned again to the city seeking him. And after the third day they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors and hearing and asking them questions. And all men paid heed to him and marvelled how that being a young child he put to silence the elders and teachers of the people, expounding the heads of the law and the parables of the prophets. 3 And his mother Mary came near and said unto him: Child, wherefore hast thou so done unto us? behold we have sought thee sorrowing. And Jesus said unto them: Why seek ye me? know ye not that I must be in my Father's house? 4 But the scribes and Pharisees said: Art thou the mother of this child? and she said: I am. And they said unto her: Blessed art thou among women because God hath blessed the fruit of thy womb. For such glory and such excellence and wisdom we have neither seen nor heard at any time. 5 And Jesus arose and followed his mother and was subject unto his parents: but his mother kept in mind all that came to pass. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and grace. Unto him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Gospel of Thomas Greek Text A; Source)

The Writing of the holy Apostle Thomas concerning the conversation of the Lord in his childhood.

I. I, Thomas the Israelite, have thought it needful to make known unto all the brethren that are of the Gentiles the mighty works of childhood which our Lord Jesus Christ wrought when he was conversant in the body, and came unto the city of Nazareth in the fifth year of his age.

III. 1 Now Jesus made of that clay twelve sparrows: and it was the Sabbath day. And a child ran and told Joseph, saying: Behold, thy child playeth about the brook, and hath made sparrows of the clay, which is not lawful. 2 And he when he heard it went and said to the child: Wherefore doest thou so and profaneth the Sabbath? But Jesus answered him not, but looked upon the sparrows and said: Go ye, take your flight, and remember me in your life. And at the word they took flight and went up into the air. And when Joseph saw it he was astonished.

VI. 1 And on the morrow he took him by the hand and led him to a certain teacher, Zacchaeus by name, and said unto him: Take this child, O master, and teach him letters. And the other said: Deliver him unto me, my brother, and I will teach him the scripture, and I will persuade him to bless all men and not to curse them. 2 And when Jesus heard that he laughed and said unto them: Ye speak that ye know, but I have knowledge more than you, for I am before the worlds. And I know when the fathers of your fathers were begotten, and I know how many are the years of your life. And every one that heard it was amazed. 3 And again saith Jesus unto them: Marvel ye because I said unto you that I know how many are the years of your life? Of a truth I know when the world was created. Behold, now ye believe me not: when ye shall see my cross then will ye believe that I speak truth. And they were astonished when they heard all these things.

XI. 1 And when he came to the eighth year of his age Joseph was required by a certain rich man to build him a bed, for he was a carpenter. And he went forth into the field to gather wood, and Jesus also went with him. And he cut two beams of wood and wrought them with the axe, and set one beside the other and measured and found it too short; and when he saw that he was vexed and sought to find another. 2 But Jesus seeing it saith unto him: Set these two together so that the ends of both be even. And Joseph, though he was perplexed concerning this, what the child should mean, did that which was commanded. And he saith again unto him: Take firm hold of the short beam. And Joseph took hold on it, marvelling. Then Jesus also took hold of the other end and pulled the [other] end thereof and made it also equal to the other beam, and saith unto Joseph: Be no more vexed, but do thy work without hindrance. And he when he saw it was exceedingly amazed and said within himself: Blessed am I for that God hath given me such a son. 3 And when they departed into the city Joseph told it to Mary, and she when she heard and saw the wonderful mighty works of her son rejoiced, glorifying HIM with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and for ever and world without end. Amen. (Gospel of Thomas Greek Text B; Source)

IV. What Jesus did in the city of Nazareth.

It is a glorious work for Thomas the Israelite (Ismaelite) the apostle of the Lord to tell of the works of Jesus after he came out of Egypt unto Nazareth. Hear (understand) therefore all of you beloved brethren, the signs which the Lord Jesus did when he was in the city of Nazareth: as it is said in the first chapter.

2 Again, he took of the clay which came of that pool and made thereof to the number of twelve sparrows. Now it was the Sabbath day when Jesus did this among the children of the Hebrews: and the children of the Hebrews went and said unto Joseph his father: Lo, thy son was playing with us and he took clay and made sparrows which it was not right to do upon the Sabbath, and he hath broken it. And Joseph went to the child Jesus, and said unto him: Wherefore hast thou done this which it was not right to do on the Sabbath? But Jesus spread forth (opened) his hands and commanded the sparrows, saying: Go forth into the height and fly: ye shall not meet death at any man's hands. And they flew and began to cry out and praise almighty God. But when the Jews saw what was done they marvelled and departed, proclaiming the signs which Jesus did.

VI. How Jesus was treated by the Master.

2 But when Jesus heard Joseph saying these things, he said unto Zacheus: Verily, O master, all things that proceed out of my mouth are true. And I am before all men, and I am Lord, but ye are the children of strangers: for unto me is given the glory of them (or of the worlds) but unto you nothing is given: for I am before all worlds. And I know how many are the years of thy life, and when thou shalt raise that standard (i. e. the cross) whereof my father spake, then shalt thou understand that all things that proceed out of my mouth are true.

3 But the Jews which stood by and heard the words which Jesus spake, marvelled and said: Now have we seen such wonders and heard such words from this child, as we have never heard neither shall hear from any other man, neither from the chief priests nor the doctors nor the Pharisees. 4 Jesus answered and said unto them: Wherefore marvel ye? Do ye think it a thing incredible that I have told you the truth? I know when ye were born, and your fathers: and if I should say more unto you, I know when the world was created, and who sent me unto you.

8 Now when Zacheus saw that he so divided the first letter he was confounded at such names, and at his teaching, and cried out and said: Woe is me, for I am confounded: I have hired shame unto myself by means of this child. And he said unto Joseph: I beseech thee earnestly, my brother, take him away from me: for I cannot look upon his face nor hear his mighty words. For this child is able to subdue the fire and to restrain the sea, for he was born before the worlds. What womb bare him or what manner of mother brought him up I know not. 10 O my friends, I am astray in my wits, I am mocked, wretched man that I am. I said that I had a disciple, but he is found to be my master. I cannot overcome my shame, for I am old, and I cannot find wherewithal to answer him, so that I am like to fall into heavy sickness and depart out of the world or go away from this city, for all men have seen my shame, that a child hath ensnared me. What can I answer any man, or what words can I speak, for he hath overcome me at the first letter! I am confounded, O ye my friends and acquaintances, and I can find neither first nor last to answer him. 11 And now I beseech thee brother Joseph, remove him from me and take him unto thine house, for either he is a sorcerer or a god (Lord) or an angel, and what to say I know not.

VII. How Jesus raised up a boy.

1 Now on a day, when Jesus climbed up upon an house with the children, he began to play with them: but one of the boys fell down through the door out of the upper chamber and died straightway. And when the children saw it they fled all of them, but Jesus remained alone in the house. 2 And when the parents of the child which had died came they spake against Jesus saying: Of a truth thou madest him fall. But Jesus said: I never made him fall: nevertheless they accused him still. Jesus therefore came down from the house and stood over the dead child and cried with a loud voice, calling him by his name: Zeno, Zeno, arise and say if I made thee fall. And on a sudden he arose and said: Nay, Lord. And when his parents saw this great miracle which Jesus did, they glorified God, and worshipped Jesus.

VIII. How Jesus healed the foot of a boy.

1 And after a few days a certain boy of that village was cleaving wood, and smote his foot. 2 And when much people came unto him, Jesus also came with them. And he touched the foot which was hurt, and forthwith it was made whole. And Jesus said unto him: Arise and cleave the wood and remember me. But when the multitude that were with him saw the signs which were done they worshipped Jesus and said: of a truth we believe surely that thou art God.

IX. How Jesus bare water in his cloak.

1 And when Jesus was six years old, his mother sent him to draw water. And when Jesus was come unto the well there was much people there and they brake his pitcher. 2 But he took the cloak which he had upon him and filled it with water and brought it to Mary his mother. And when his mother saw the miracle that Jesus did she kissed him and said: Lord, hearken unto me and save my son.

XV. How Jesus raised up a boy.

After a few days a child that was his neighbour died, and his mother mourned for him sore; and when Jesus heard, he went and stood over the child, and smote him on the breast and said: Child, I say unto thee, die not, but live. And immediately the child arose: and Jesus said unto the mother of the child: Take up thy son and give him suck, and remember me. 2 But the multitudes when they saw that miracle said: Of a truth this child is from heaven, for now hath he set free many souls from death and hath saved all them that hoped in him.

All these things have I, Thomas the Israelite (Ismaelite), written and recorded for the Gentiles and for our brethren, and likewise many other things which Jesus did, which was born in the land of Juda. Behold, the house of Israel hath seen all these from the first even unto the last, even how great signs and wonders Jesus did among them, which were good exceedingly. And this is he which shall judge the world according to the will of his Father, immortal and invisible, as the holy Scripture declareth and as the prophets have testified of his works among all the peoples of Israel: for he is the Son of God throughout all the World. And unto him belongeth all glory and honour everlastingly, who liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. (Gospel of Thomas Latin Text; Source)

In light of the foregoing, does the author want to say that this is the Gospel which the Quran confirms? And is the author now suggesting that the Gospel isn’t simply what God gave Jesus to preach (the common Muslim view) but also includes the very life and deeds of Jesus as well? The author obviously doesn’t believe this since he writes elsewhere:

... Note that: the real Gospel was one Jesus (peace be on him) himself wrote, not one of the third person accounts you have in the Bible ... (Source)

Thus, according to the author, the Gospel is what Jesus wrote down. Then why is the Quran quoting a Gospel not written by Jesus but by pseudonymous authors writing centuries after Christ's death, resurrection and ascension into heaven?

No matter how he answers these questions, the author is left with major problems.

3. Nowhere in the New Testament is the phrase "the Gospel" used to refer to scripture. The only verse you could even make a case for in that respect is Mark 1:1, where the phrase stills seems to go by its literal meaning of "good news".

4. In the book of Romans, the distinction between "Law" and "Gospel" is about the following of the Old Covenant and the preaching of the supposed salvation through the blessed Jesus's [sic] supposed death. Both terms refer to religious abstractions, not tangible scriptures. For example, Romans 2:15 says, "They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts." And since this is the only place in the Bible where "the Law" and "the Gospel" are made distinct from each other, therefore there is no biblical evidence for these terms being used together to refer collectively to the older and newer scriptures.


The author’s comments are brimming with errors. First, Romans 2:15 is indeed referring to the Law given to Moses, as the immediate context shows:

"For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles who have not the law do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or perhaps excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. But if you call yourself a Jew and rely upon the law and boast of your relation to God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed in the law, and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -- you then who teach others, will you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’ Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law; but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then those who are physically uncircumcised but keep the law will condemn you WHO HAVE THE WRITTEN CODE and circumcision but break the law." Romans 2:13-27

What Paul is saying in context is that the moral code revealed in the Law of Moses has also been revealed within the hearts and consciences of the Gentiles, so that they too know the good and bad and will be judged because of it.

Second, the Old Covenant does in fact refer to "tangible scriptures" as the following passage proves:

"But if the ministry that produced death, carved in letters on stone tablets, came with glory so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory that was fading away), how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be? For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory! For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it. For if what was fading away came with glory, how much more has what remains come in glory! Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness, and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the end of the glory that was fading away. But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they HEAR THE OLD COVENANT (diatheekees) READ. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away. But until this very day whenever Moses IS READ, a veil lies over their minds, but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed." 2 Corinthians 3:7-16 NET

The Greek word for Covenant (diatheekees) is the same word where we get Testament. In fact, notice how the KJV renders the above verse:

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the OLD TESTAMENT; which vail is done away in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Here, Paul refers to the Hebrew Scriptures, specifically the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, as the Old Covenant/Testament!

Third, a careful reading of Paul’s words will show that he was contrasting the written Law with the Gospel which he was now setting forth in his epistle:

"What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, AS IT IS WRITTEN: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one.’ ‘Their throat is an open grave, they use their tongues to deceive.’ ‘The venom of asps is under their lips.’ ‘Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood, in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they do not know.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now we know that whatever THE LAW SAYS it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus." Romans 3:9-26

After speaking of what is written in the Law, Paul proceeds to quote a litany of OT texts to support his position! This shows that Law here definitely refers to the Hebrew Scriptures, to the inspired writings. And Paul’s entire purpose of writing Romans was to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ through written means! Thus, Law and Gospel do refer to tangible Scriptures.

Here are some other references supporting the point that the Gospel does at times refer to the written form of the proclamation of Christ:

At all times we are obligated to thank God for you, brothers who are loved by the Lord, because God chose you to be the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through faith in the truth. With this purpose in mind, he called you through OUR PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL so that you would obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm, and cling to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or BY OUR LETTER." 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15

Paul refers to the Gospel that was passed down both orally and through writing. The Apostle John wrote:

"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not recorded in this book. But these have been recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and so that through believing you may have life in his name." John 20:30-31

The very purpose of the Gospel is to lead people to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God's power for the salvation of everyone who believes, of the Jew first and of the Greek as well. For in it God's righteousness is being revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’" Romans 1:16-17

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message about the cross is nonsense to those who are being destroyed, but it is God's power to us who are being saved... Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. He is a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is God's power and God's wisdom." 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, 22-24

Since this was John’s stated purpose, to preach faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, this essentially means that John knew he was writing down the very Gospel of God!

Christians are not the only ones who understand that John was writing down the Gospel, since there have been a few Muslims who also believed this. For instance, the first Muslim biographer, Ibn Ishaq, quoted the Gospel of John and claimed that this was the very same Gospel given to Jesus:

"Among the things which have reached me about what Jesus the Son of Mary stated in the Gospel which he received from God for the followers of the Gospel, in applying a term to describe the apostle of God, is the following. It is extracted FROM WHAT JOHN THE APOSTLE SET DOWN FOR THEM WHEN HE WROTE THE GOSPEL FOR THEM FROM THE TESTAMENT OF JESUS SON OF MARY: 'He that hateth me hateth the Lord. And if I had not done in their presence works which none other before me did, they had not sin: but from now they are puffed up with pride and think that they will overcome me and also the Lord. But the word that is in the law must be fulfilled, "They hated me without a cause" (i.e. without reason). But when the Comforter has come whom God will send to you from the Lord's presence, and the spirit of truth which will have gone forth from the Lord's presence he (shall bear) witness of me and ye also, because ye have been with me from the beginning. I have spoken unto you about this that ye should not be in doubt.’

The Munahhemana (God bless and preserve him!) in Syriac is Muhammad; in Greek he is the paraclete." (Alfred Guillaume, Life Of Muhammad [Oxford University Press, Karachi, tenth impression 1995], pp. 103-104; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Ibn Ishaq was quoting John 15:23-16:1, and had no qualms identifying this Gospel, from which the citation was taken, as the very Gospel of Jesus!

Fourth, the Gospel wasn’t written down for the first time during the life of the Apostles and their companions. Both Jesus and his followers taught that the Gospel of Christ was already revealed within the pages of the Old Testament Scriptures:

"And he said to them, ‘O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning himself." Luke 24:25-27

"Then he said to them, ‘These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that EVERYTHING WRITTEN ABOUT ME IN the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus IT IS WRITTEN, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.’" Luke 24:44-48

"From Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who according to the flesh was a descendant of David, and who according to the spirit of holiness was declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead - Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 1:1-4

"Now I'm making known to you, brothers, the gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you have taken your stand, and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you - unless, of course, your faith was worthless. For I passed on to you the most important points of what I received: Christ died for our sins in keeping with the Scriptures, he was buried, he was raised on the third day in keeping with the Scriptures - and is still alive!" 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

"Because the Scripture saw ahead of time that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, it announced the gospel to Abraham beforehand when it said, ‘Through you all nations will be blessed.’" Galatians 3:8

"The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look." 1 Peter 1:10-12

Again, we are not the only ones to see it this way, since there are some Muslims who agree. Ibn Ishaq, commenting on surah 2:113, wrote:

When the Christians of Najran came to the apostle the Jewish rabbis came also and they disputed one with the other before the apostle. Rafi said, 'you have no standing,' and he denied Jesus and the Gospel; and a Christian said to the Jews, 'you have no standing' and he denied that Moses was a prophet and denied the Torah. So God sent down concerning them: 'The Jews say the Christians have no standing; and the Christians say the Jews have no standing, yet they read the Scriptures. They do not know on the day of resurrection concerning their controversy,' i.e., each one reads in his book the confirmation of what he denies, so that the Jews deny Jesus though they have the Torah in which God required them by the word of Moses to hold Jesus true; while in the Gospel is what Jesus brought in confirmation of Moses and the Torah he brought from God: So each one denies what is in the hand of the other. (Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 258; bold and italic emphasis ours)

Renowned exegete Ibn Kathir agrees. He commented on S. 61:6, saying:

Isa said, "The Tawrah CONVEYED THE GLAD TIDINGS OF MY COMING, and my coming CONFIRMS THE TRUTH OF THE TAWRAH. I convey the glad tidings of the Prophet who will come after me. He is the unlettered, Makkan, Arab Prophet and Messenger, Ahmad." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged), Volume 9, Surat Al-Jathiyah to the end of Surat Al-Munafiqun, abridged under a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors Riyadh, Houston, New York, London, Lahore; First Edition: September 2000], p. 617; online edition; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Modern Muslim scholar and writer Mahmoud M. Ayoub quotes another renowned Muslim commentator, Ar-Razi:

Razi then raises the following question: ‘It may be argued that latter statement contradicts the one before it. This is because it clearly indicates that he came to make lawful some of the things which were unlawful in the Torah. This would mean that his legislation was contrary to that of the Torah, which would contradict his saying, "I shall confirm the Torah which was before me."’ Razi, however, holds that ‘there is actually no contradiction between the two statements because confirming the Torah can only signify the belief that all that is in it is true and right. If, moreover, the second purpose [of Jesus’ apostleship] is not mentioned in the Torah, his making lawful some of the things which are unlawful in it would not contradict his having confirmed the Torah. Furthermore, SINCE THE TORAH CONTAINS PROPHECIES CONCERNING THE COMING OF JESUS, then neither his coming nor his law would be contrary to the Torah.’ (Ayoub, The Quran and Its Interpreters, The House of Imran [State University of New York Press, Albany 1992], Volume II, p. 150; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Thus, if the Torah contains prophecies of the Lord Jesus, then this means that the prophets like Moses knew of the Gospel which Jesus would preach and pass on!

Finally, it is irrelevant whether the New Testament uses the term Gospel to refer to the writings found within its corpus. What is relevant is that the Quran and early Muslim traditions speak of the Torah and the Gospel as something known and available during Muhammad’s time:

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus son of Mary, confirming the Torah before him and We gave to him the Gospel, wherein IS guidance and light, and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition unto the godfearing. So let the People of the Gospel judge according to what God has sent down THEREIN. Whosoever judges not according to what God has sent down -- they are the ungodly. S. 5:46-47

"those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet of the common folk, whom they find WRITTEN down (maktooban) with them in the Torah and the Gospel, bidding them to honour, and forbidding them dishonour, making lawful for them the good things and making unlawful for them the corrupt things, and relieving them of their loads, and the fetters that were upon them." S. 7:157

Narrated Khaythamah ibn AbuSabrah
I came to Medina and asked Allah to grant me a good companion to sit with and He granted me AbuHurayrah. I sat with him and told him I had asked Allah to grant me a good companion to sit with and that he suited me. He asked where I came from and I replied that I belonged to al-Kufah and had come desiring and seeking good. He then said, "Do you not have among you Sa'd ibn Malik whose prayers are answered, Ibn Mas'ud who looked after the water of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) for ablution, and his sandals, Hudhayfah who was the confident of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) confidant, Ammar to whom Allah gave protection from the Devil at the tongue of His Prophet (peace be upon him), and Salman who was a believer in the TWO BOOKS?" meaning THE INJIL and the Qur'an.
Tirmidhi transmitted it. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 1651– ALIM CD-ROM Version)

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah
Umar ibn al-Khattab brought to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) A COPY OF THE TORAH and said: Allah's Messenger, THIS IS A COPY OF THE TORAH. He (Allah's Messenger) kept quiet and he (Umar) began to read it. The (colour) of the face of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) underwent a change, whereupon AbuBakr said: Would that your mother mourn you, don't you see the face of Allah's Messenger? Umar saw the face of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) and said: I seek refuge with Allah from the wrath of Allah and the wrath of His Messenger. We are well pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as religion, and with Muhammad as Prophet. Whereupon Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, even if Moses were to appear before you and you were to follow him, leaving me aside, you would certainly stray into error; for if (Moses) were alive (now), and he found my prophetical ministry, he would have definitely followed me.
Transmitted by Darimi. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 69– ALIM CD-ROM Version)

Notice that even though Muhammad was upset at Umar for reading the Torah, he never says that what Umar had in his possession was corrupted. He only states that his revelation has superseded Moses’ revelation. Here was a golden opportunity for Muhammad to have called into question the textual integrity of the Torah, but doesn’t, showing that Muhammad did not believe in the textual corruption of the Holy Bible.

Narrated Salman al-Farsi:
I READ IN THE TORAH that the blessing of food consists in ablution before it. So I mentioned it to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He said: The blessing of food consists in ablution before it and ablution after it. (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 27, Number 3752)

Now the questions that our Muslim author must answer are, What Torah and Gospel are these passages referring to? What were the contents of the Torah and Gospel which Muhammad knew and which his contemporaries had in their possession? Can he provide documentary evidence that these books were different from what we hold in our possession today, or differed from what was written before Muhammad’s time?

The obvious answer to all of the above is that the Torah and the Gospel, which both Jews and Christians had during the time of Muhammad, are no different from what we hold in our possession today, i.e. the Holy Bible.

In fact, the traditions also mention individuals who were reading the book of Psalms:

... Abu 'Abdullah said: The word Saba'a means "The one who has deserted his old religion and embraced a new religion." Abul 'Ailya said, "The Sabis are a sect of people of the Scripture who recite the Book of Psalms." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Number 340)

Again, the only Psalms which have always been in the possession of the Jews and Christians are those found in the Holy Bible!

5. Christians today do not refer to the New Testament as "the Gospel", and as far as I know, they never have in all of history.


As we stated above, if the New Testament is the inscripturation of the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ given to his Church, the inspired record of the Gospel God gave to the true believers, then the New Testament can be rightly called the Gospel.

It seems that the author is operating under the erroneous assumption that the Quran confirms ONLY the books which it explicitly mentions such as the pages of Abraham, the Torah, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel, nothing else. This is wrong for several reasons.

In the first place, the Quran specifically claims that there are many messengers which it does not mention:

"And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spake directly unto Moses;" S. 4:164 Pickthall

Verily We sent messengers before thee, among them those of whom We have told thee, and some of whom We have not told thee; and it was not given to any messenger that he should bring a portent save by Allah's leave, but when Allah's commandment cometh (the cause) is judged aright, and the followers of vanity will then be lost. S. 40:78 Pickthall

According to Islamic theology, messengers are given inspired books to pass on to others. Renowned Muslim exegete Al-Zamakhshari, considered to be one of Islam’s premiere commentators, while commenting on surah 22:52, wrote:

We have never sent any messenger or prophet: (This) is a clear proof that a distinction exists between a messenger (rasul) and a prophet (nabi). (It is related) from the Prophet that he was asked about the prophets, whereupon he said: ‘(There are) one hundred and twenty-four thousand.’ When he was then asked how many messengers there were among them, he answered: ‘The great host of three hundred and thirteen.’ The distinction between the two is that a messenger is one of the prophets to whom, together with the verification miracle (mu‘jiza), the Book is sent down. A prophet, on the other hand, who is not a messenger, is one to whom no book is sent down, but who was commanded only to restrain the people on the basis of the earlier revealed law (shari‘a). (Helmet Gätje, The Qur'an and its Exegesis [Oneworld Publications, Oxford 1996], p. 54; bold emphasis ours)

(Interestingly, the title Apostle corresponds to the Arabic word for Messenger, meaning that Paul and the other followers of Christ are actually Messengers of God. They are not merely followers of Jesus, but inspired spokespersons of God Almighty, and it is little wonder that some of these men wrote inspired books!)

If this is the case, then this means that there are many more revealed books than those mentioned within the Quran, which opens the door for Muslims to accept the possibility that the NT books are authoritative Scripture. The Quran even warns those who reject what God sent his Messengers with:

Hast thou not regarded those who dispute concerning the signs of God, how they are turned about? Those who cry lies to the Book and that wherewith We sent Our Messengers -- soon they will know! When the fetters and chains are on their necks, and they are dragged into the boiling water, then into the Fire they are poured; then it is said to them, 'Where are those you associated, apart from God?' They shall say, 'They have gone astray from us; nay, but it was nothing at all that we called upon aforetime.' Even so God leads astray the unbelievers. S. 40:70-74

Hence, Muslims need to fear that by attacking the NT documents they may be attacking the revelation that God sent Jesus’ Messengers/Apostles with!

The only real reason why any Muslim will even object to this fact is because the NT books conflict with the theology of the Quran and Islam. But, as we noted above, all this proves is that the author of the Quran mistakenly assumed that the previous Scriptures agreed with his theology, and thought that by confirming them he would be providing some support or even proof for his own claims.

Furthermore, the following passages exhort Jews and Christians to uphold the Torah and the Gospel and all the revelation given by God:

Had they performed the Torah and the Gospel, and what was sent down TO THEM from their Lord, they would have eaten both what was above them, and what was beneath their feet. Some of them are a just nation; but many of them -- evil are the things they do ... Say: 'People of the Book, you do not stand on anything, until you perform the Torah and the Gospel, and what was sent down to you from your Lord.' And what has been sent down to thee from thy Lord will surely increase many of them in insolence and unbelief; so grieve not for the people of the unbelievers. S. 5:66, 68

The expression, what was sent down to them, obviously refers to all the inspired Scriptures which the Jews and Christians had received from the Prophets and Apostles. The author will obviously say that this most definitely includes the Psalms and the Quran, even though they are not explicitly mentioned here. Likewise, the expression implies that whatever books the Jews and Christians received as inspired revelation must be accepted, irrespective of whether the Quran mentions them by name or not.

Noted commentator Ibn Kathir agrees since he writes:

As for Allah's verse, <and if only they had observed the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been sent down to them from their Lord>, Ibn Abbas said: it means the Qur'an. <They would surely have eaten from above them and from beneath their feet>, that is, if they had followed the Shari'ah ordained in their Books, as it had been revealed to their Prophets, without modifying, altering or distorting the truth in them, they would surely have been guided to follow the truth and abide by the laws revealed to Muhammad from his Lord. Without doubt, THEIR BOOKS confirm the advent of Muhammad, belief and obedience of his Message...

Allah says: "Say, O Muhammad, <O people of Scripture!> You have nothing" of the religion until you believe in ALL THE BOOKS revealed to your Prophets, and act according to the faith and principles in them, including the belief in Prophet Muhammad, following him and obeying his Shari'ah... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Part 6, Surat An-Nisa, ayat 148-176 Surah Al-Ma'idah, ayat 1 to 81, abridged by Sheikh Muhammad Nasib Ar-Rafa'i [Al-Firdous Ltd., London 2000: First Edition], pp. 200, 205; capital, underline and italic emphasis ours)

Related to this point is the fact that the Quran often appeals to the BOOKS (not just Book) which were in the possession of the Jews and Christians during Muhammad’s time:

The Jews say, 'The Christians stand not on anything'; the Christians say, 'The Jews stand not on anything'; yet they recite the Book. So too the ignorant say the like of them. God shall decide between them on the Day of Resurrection touching their differences. S. 2:113

Those to whom We have given the Book and who recite it with true recitation, they believe in it; and whoso disbelieves in it, they shall be the losers. S. 2:121

The Messenger believes in what was sent down to him from his Lord, and the believers; each one believes in God and His angels, and in His Books and His Messengers; we make no division between any one of His Messengers. They say, 'We hear, and obey. S. 2:285

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. S. 10:94 Pickthall

And they say: If only he would bring us a miracle from his Lord! Hath there not come unto them the proof of what IS IN the former scriptures? S. 20:133 Pickthall

"in a clear, Arabic tongue. Truly it IS in the Scriptures of the ancients." S. 26:195


Narrated Ziyad ibn Labid
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) spoke of something and said: It will happen when knowledge will be no more. I said: Allah's Messenger, how will knowledge vanish despite the fact that we will be reciting the Qur'an and teaching its recitation to our children and our children will teach its recitation to their children up to the Day of Resurrection? Thereupon he said: Ziyad, may your mother weep over you. I was of the opinion that you were one of those who have greatest understanding of religion in Medina. Do these Jews and Christians not RECITE THE TORAH AND THE BIBLE but not act according to WHAT IS CONTAINED IN THEM?
Transmitted by Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi. (Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 105- ALIM CD-ROM Version)

These citations mention Books (plural), not just Book (singular), which were with the Jews and Christians at that time. Now the only Book these two groups had was the Holy Bible, which contained a list of Books. And yet these Books included more than just the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel! As was already noted, the Books that the Jews and the Christians had during Muhammad’s time were those found within the Old and New Testaments respectively. It is purely wishful thinking to assume that these quotes refer to some other Scripture besides the Holy Bible. In fact, the onus is on the author to prove that all these citations are not referring to the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, but to something different.

Yet, the author has actually conceded this fact by candidly admitting that the Quran does confirm the Holy Bible. He writes:

... And “the Book” in question IS DEFINITELY THE BIBLE, although the Koran sometime uses that phrase to refer to itself too. You can tell that from this verse:

2:113 The Jews say, “The Christians stand not on anything”; the Christians say, “The Jews stand not on anything”; yet they recite the [same] Book.

What book do the Christians and Jews share? THE BIBLE. The Bible has been corrupted, as has God’s revelations outside it, as the above verses say ... (Source; capital emphasis ours)

Apart from his erroneous assumption that the Bible has been corrupted, by making this candid admission the author doesn’t seem to realize that he has now indirectly conceded that the Quran DOES CONFIRM ALL THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. This also includes the epistles of Paul as well! The Quran doesn’t simply confirm only the books of Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus, but all the books found within the Bible which was in the hands of the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s time.

6. While the phrase "the Gospel" has a single, definite meaning, the phrase "the Law" is a little more ambiguous, when you take into account the information in #4 and the fact that in both Hebrew and Arabic the terms for "Torah" are the same terms used for the word "law".


It seems that the author is indirectly retracting his statements, or trying to qualify them, since he now admits that "the Law" can be somewhat ambiguous. Well, if it "is a little more ambiguous", then on what grounds does he wish to argue that the Law cannot refer to the entire Old Testament Scriptures? Since we have already addressed his claims regarding the precise meaning of Gospel and the manner in which it is used, there is no need for us to address these points again.

The author concludes:

It would be too easy for a Christian to be able to refute the Koran simply by citing their own scripture, wouldn’t it? But as I have shown, such is not the case. The Koran does not claim to confirm the Bible at all, but only certain parts of it, and "the Gospel" isn't necessarily one of the canonical Gospels (see It might be nice if life would always give us definite answers and have everything drawn in black and white, but such is not the case, here or elsewhere. The Koran does not confirm the Bible as a whole.


It is actually quite easy for Christians to refute the Quran simply by citing our own holy Scriptures, since Muhammad fails every test for prophethood that is presented within the Bible:

Furthermore, as we demonstrated throughout this article, the Quran does claim to confirm the Holy Bible, and not just certain parts of it. The Quran also provides the data to conclude that it is actually referring to the canonical Gospels since this is the only Gospel that the true followers of Christ have ever known. And the Holy Bible gives us the definite answers, in black and white, to life’s most important questions, i.e. God, salvation, eternal happiness etc.

Even the author’s own sources provide indirect attestation to our claims. For instance, the author provides a link to the Understanding Islam website, run by Mr. Moiz Amjad. When we go to the website to see what Mr. Amjad believes is perhaps the Gospel referred to in the Quran, we find him making the following rather amusing admission:

The Qur'an, by the names 'Torah' and 'Injeel' refers to what was called 'Torah' and 'Injeel' in the environment in which the Qur'an was revealed. It is obvious that had the Qur'an implied something else by these words, it was then necessary to clarify that the words were being used to imply something different from what they were commonly used in the environment. It should be kept in mind that the implication of words in a good piece of literature cannot be against the common usage of such words. If such is the case, it can only be considered a flaw of that piece of literature...

... Furthermore, it should be interesting to note that the Qur'an has referred to the Christians in its environment, by the name of "Nasaara", while, it is known that the general (mainstream) Christians had come to be known as "Christians" or "Maseehee" from a very early period of Christianity (as is mentioned in the Biblical book "Acts of the Prophets"). In view of this fact, it seems quite plausible that the Christians living in the Arabian Peninsula at the time of the revelation of the Qur'an were generally those who ascribed to the Nazarene creed. The Nazarenes were a Syrian Judeo-Christian sect that came to be recognized in the fourth century AD. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Although they [the Nazarenes] ACCEPTED THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST and his supernatural birth, the Nazarenes also maintained strict observance of Jewish laws and customs, a practice that had been dropped by the majority of Jewish Christians. They used a version of the Gospel in Aramaic called the Gospel According to the Hebrews, or the Gospel of the Nazarenes.

However, it is extremely unfortunate that the Injeel according to the Hebrews or the Gospel of the Nazarenes (which was probably the book referred to as 'Injeel' in the environment in which the Qur'an was revealed) is nowhere to be found anymore, as has been mentioned in the quote of the Encyclopedia. (Source; bold and capital emphasis ours)

Regarding the Nazerene's belief in Jesus' Deity, Mr. Amjad writes:

I generally agree with the idea expressed by your Muslim friends that the Qur'an has primarily referred to the particular Christian school, which existed in the Arabian Peninsula during the time of the revelation of the Qur'an - the Nazarene creed. It is also clear that some of the beliefs and many of the practices of the Nazarene creed were different from those of the Pauline Christians. Nevertheless, it is clear from the Qur'an that the Nazarenes, like the Pauline Christians, ascribed to the belief that Jesus (pbuh) was a son of God, rather than His prophet (Al-Maaidah 5: 17) and to the concept of Trinity (Al-Nisaa 4: 171). (Source; underline emphasis ours)

Mr. Amjad’s position that the Gospel which the Quran refers to is that possessed by the Nazarenes discredits the Quran. As Mr. Amjad’s own source states, the Nazarenes held to the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ, which strongly suggests that their Gospel did also, and yet this is the Gospel that Mr. Amjad feels the Quran confirms. Therefore, the Quran references a Gospel which confirms the Deity of the Lord Jesus, a teaching which the Quran vehemently denies!

Elsewhere, Mr. Amjad has translated the Arabic word for Gospel, Injil, not in the singular sense, but in the plural:

God is the one besides whom there is no other deity; He is the Living,[3] the Maintainer [of all that exists].[4] [He not only provides for the maintenance of your physical existence, but also for your moral existence. Thus, O Prophet] He has revealed upon you this book with the Truth, confirming the prophesies that preceded it - and [for the same purpose] He had revealed the Torah and the Gospels before it,[5] a guidance to humankind - and He [it is, Who] has [now] revealed this Criterion [to decide between the right and the wrong in the name of His guidance]. (Source)

In note 5, he writes:

[5] i.e. this is not the first time that God has revealed His guidance to man. Torah and the Gospels were also revealed for the same purpose.

Mr. Amjad doesn’t speak of the Gospel (singular), but of the Gospels and affirms that they are God’s revelation (i.e. "were also revealed...").

Thus, Mr. Amjad’s own translation, along with his earlier comments that the Gospel had a specific meaning to the first addressees of the Quran, supports our claim that the Quran is actually referring to the canonical Gospels.

We therefore conclude that, contrary to what the author would want to believe, the Quran DOES CONFIRM the Holy Bible as a whole, and because it does, this is all the proof one needs that the Quran cannot be from the true God. It contradicts the essential teachings of the very Book which it confirms to be from the one true God of all.

For more on this subject, we recommend the following links:

The Muslim author responded to the above article and Sam Shamoun's answer is available in this article.

The Qur'an About the Bible
Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page