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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Is the Qur’an ALL inspired by God?

Before I answer this question let me ask you: Is the Bible all inspired by God? And what does that mean? Christians do believe that the Bible is inspired, but not nearly everyone is clear as to what that means. We read in the Bible:

2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

Is that means that God dictated the Bible word for word in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and that the writers were simply secretaries who recorded those words? I don’t think so, as we look at the writing styles of the various human authors, it is clear that their personalities are very much in evidence in what they write. For example, while the Gospel of John also covers the life of Jesus, his description of Jesus' life, words, and deeds comes from a much different point of view than Luke. Yet both were transmitting the inspired message which God gave them.

We read in many of the Psalms (and other passages) the cries of imperfect, suffering people, who are voicing their own complaints or praises to God. They are words and thoughts emanating directly from the hearts of God's people, which he in turn allowed to be placed in the Bible so we could identify with these complaining, suffering or rejoicing people who are so much like us. God used their words and thoughts.

In the Qur’an there are verses telling that its words are the inspired God's word like:
Qur’an 6:19 “this Quran has been revealed to me"  
Qur’an 53:4 “it is only an Inspiration that is inspired.”
Qur’an 18:110 “It has been inspired to me”

According to these verses the Qur’an inspired God's words, where Al-mighty God is the speaker and Muhammad is the receiver, but there are other verses having other indications, in them it seems that Muhammad is the speaker, like:

Qur’an 6:104 “…and I (Muhammad) am not a watcher over you.”
Qur’an 6:114 “Shall I seek a judge other than Allah…”
Qur’an 11: 2-3 “Serve none but Allah. Lo! I am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of good tidings. Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favor his favor. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day”
Qur’an 27:91 “I (Muhammad) am commanded only to serve the Lord of this land which He hath hallowed, and unto Whom all things belong. And I am commanded to be of those who surrender (unto Him)”
Qur’an 42:10 “…Such is Allah, my Lord in whom I put my trust,” 

So if they were God' words, he wouldn't say the verses as if he is the speaker.

Islamic scholars explained that saying, it seems that God is saying “O Muhammad say I am so and so” but that's irrational as how could anyone dare to insert words not actually present in the original text into the verses, and what about those words inserted, do they exist in the preserved tablet before the beginning of time?

And we read in chapter At-Takwir 81 verses 19-21.

81:19 Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger,
81:20 Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,
81:21 Obeyed there [in the heavens] and trustworthy;

Here the Qur’an is “the word of a most honorable Messenger”. The Messenger who is endued with Power and Obeyed there in the heavens is the speaker and Muhammad is the receiver. So who is this Messenger (sent by God) that he is most honorable, Endued with Power and Obeyed in heaven?

I believe the Bible so clear about who is “Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne and Obeyed there (in the heavens) and trustworthy. And please remember that the Qur’an is confirming the Bible.

Depending on my understanding of the verses I quoted above, I believe that the Qur’an is inspired word of God as the Bible is. I believe that God provided the precise thought to the human author, and he then wrote it down in terms of his own vocabulary, culture, education, and writing style.

I believe that inspiration should be described as thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word. The human writers provide God's message in terms of their own personalities and historical circumstances, and yet they transmit the message fully and exactly as God desired.


Qur’an 3:7 “He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.”

I believe the verses I quoted above shows that all scriptures are from God, regardless of the format, whether in direct command form or multiple forms.

3 comments:

  1. I appreciate your honest discussion of what it means for Scripture to be inspired by God and whether both the Bible and the Quran fall into that category.

    I grew up in the Adventist Church. So I always revered the Bible, but also believed that God continued to reveal Himself past the first century. I have come to accept the idea that the Quran is also inspired by God. But it is difficult to study. It is not something you can casually pick up and understand. Unfortunately, Christian scholars treat the Quran dissmissively. And Islamic scholars tend to do the same with the Bible. It is very difficult to find material that treats both the Bible and the Quran as relevant. That is one of the reasons I really enjoy your blog.

    Keep up the good work.

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  2. During the Jew Roman war 66AD, many Jewish scriptures were burnt by Romans. Among them are the early Aramaic-Hebrew scriptures used by Nasoreans (Earliest followers of Jesus) . One interesting fact is that Nasoreans disagreed with Paul, for he introduced a new doctrine that is to abolish Jewish rites and sufficient to only have faith.

    Thus, this solidify the fact that Nasoreans never used Greek scriptures (as all of them were written after the war 66AD).

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  3. Words cannot come out without breath. Breath comes from a Person, so when you receive a word you are also receiving the life of the person who spoke those words. By the Word of God is the universe itself created and everything in it. Look at the lives of those who truly received the words of Jesus Christ: Peter, John, Matthew the tax collector, Simon the zealot and Paul (both of whom we now politely refer to as violent religious extremist)and what they became. they gave their lives for others and never was anyone's lives lost through them. Compare that with the followers of Mohamed and he himself. A tree is known by its fruit.

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