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The Torah: Revealed or Inspired?

Mansur Bakhtiari

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم

اللهم صل علی محمد وال وعجل فرجهم والعن عادائهم

السلام علیکم

Ok, so as you probably know, I started reading Maurice Bucaille's book, The Quran, The Bible and Science about 2 weeks ago. Alhamdulillah I've found it very interesting, I am finished the first 3 parts of the book, with the section on ahadith the only remaining part. However, one of my first observations while reading was that I remembered and someone agreed with the comment of brother @hasanhh on my first blog post on this topic, which criticised the book for being too simplistic. His study on the Torah was only a criticism of the book of Genesis for its scientific flaws in regards to the stages of the creation of the earth and how the authenticity could have been altered over time. Still, I will comment on that part.

Now, on page 2 I think he highlights a fundamental flaw in the thinking of most Christians. Many (though I think SC Christians might be a little more knowledgeable) Christians have no idea that multiple copies of the Torah existed. Around 300 BC (The book l'ancien Testament by Professor Edmund Jacob is quoted on this page) 3 copies eisted of the Hebrew text. Unfortunately it's hard to compare to figure out which text is the original as our oldest Hebrew texts date to around the 9th Century AD (page 3). 

Now here's the thing. The Torah, as a Holy text, has been collected (along with the Gospels) as an oral tradition at first. The Jewish people would sing these traditions which are recorded in the Bible. In Christian theology (and this is also a subject of discussion in Christian-Muslim debates conducted by polemicists such as Shabir Ally and Zakir Naik) that the Bible was not a revealed text. It's a text inspired by the Holy Spirit, to those Prophets who wrote them down. There are also collections of hymn's like the Book of Proverbs. I think it would be beneficial actually for a knowledgeable Christian like @LeftCoastMom to comment on this. Back to the subject of its authenticity, just like ahadith, since it's an oral tradition being passed on to compilers (Priests, in this case) if the compiler or the person passing on this tradition to the compiler is corrupt (like Abu Hurairah for example) then it's not hard for this collection to become a corrupt one.Let's refer to the Quran and see what it says in regards to the Bible, which I'm sure most are familiar with,

Sura 5:68 (Al-Maida)

"Say: 'People of the Book (Christians and Jews), you stand for nothing until you observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which is revealed to you from your Lord."

The word used in the Quran is inzila, from the root nzl. Different from the word for inspiration, which is from the root wahy. So the Quran recognizes that the Bible was revealed, just like the Quran, not inspired as Christian theology dictates.

I personally find this an interesting topic, whether or not the Torah is revealed or inspired. If we can get some Christians to engage in discussion with us in the comments that would be great and it would definitely be a good intellectual discussion for this website (happy @Jebreil???). 

So, let us have a discussion on this. Was the Torah revealed or inspired. Bring proofs via verses of the Torah and Gospels, and Inshallah it'll be a good debate in the comments! I will add some of my findings onto my next blog post Inshallah Ta'ala, and also that post will be revolving around the Gospels

note: I will be out of the country from the 18th to 27th of July, so there may not be any update on this for a while. Inshallah I will be able to do some writing though.



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"Inspired", as you wrote in paragraph 3, line 4, is one of those really undefined words that suggest there is some truth in imaginings. Your emotional response to this is supposed to be floating and anticipatory. Floatacious.  Like the Quran reveals, most people use religion as entertainment.

The Old and New Testaments are a collection of stories, altered, revised and politically oriented for their time of transcription. Easy example is in Genesis. Yusuf -a.s. gets into his chariot, but chariots didn't exist for about another two millennium. Another same thing is the William Houston Hypothesis which says the Bible has a "missing thousand years" is one portion of its narrative because it little correlates with the archeological record.

You are also miss-reading Sura Maida. The Testaments both have adherence to the 1st and 2nd Commandments even though this is usually glossed over. You also have the problem of "cannot the same story be 'inspired' the same way twice?"

Referring to the Bible has another problem: as Qur'an reveals 5:41 people distorted Quran as well as their own Books. Proverbs 30:6 (also note what was added in verse 4 in the KJV) and Amos 2:4  are two examples.

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19 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

You also have the problem of "cannot the same story be 'inspired' the same way twice?".

Yeah, seen that in a Shabir Ally debate. Thats a pretty good proof of Bibilical distortion.

21 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

"Inspired", as you wrote in paragraph 3, line 4, is one of those really undefined words that suggest there is some truth in imaginings. Your emotional response to this is supposed to be floating and anticipatory. Floatacious.  Like the Quran reveals, most people use religion as entertainment.

Inspired is a vague word, you're right, and if Allah swt only "inspired" a Holy book, that would mean that the Bible can not even really be considered a book of God. It also confuses me how clear jurisprudential laws could come from a "inspired" holy text.

However the point I wanted to make in that part of my entry is that the Quran makes it clear the Bible was not inspired, but revealed. If Mr. Bucaille had touched on this, that would have been great but unfortunately that didn't happen. Kind of like how Shia scholars prove Tashayyu through Sunni books, can our view on the inzila of the Torah be proven through the Torah itself?

27 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

Referring to the Bible has another problem: as Qur'an reveals 5:41 people distorted Quran as well as their own Books. Proverbs 30:6 (also note what was added in verse 4 in the KJV) and Amos 2:4  are two examples.

5:41

O Messenger, let them not grieve you who hasten into disbelief of those who say, "We believe" with their mouths, but their hearts believe not, and from among the Jews. [They are] avid listeners to falsehood, listening to another people who have not come to you. They distort words beyond their [proper] usages, saying "If you are given this, take it; but if you are not given it, then beware." But he for whom Allah intends fitnah - never will you possess [power to do] for him a thing against Allah . Those are the ones for whom Allah does not intend to purify their hearts. For them in this world is disgrace, and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment

I know its been pretty well established that there has been no Tahreef of Quran, as Allah promised to protect it. Though I do see the connection between this and what you said. "They distort words beyond their proper usages," could refer to those who cherrypick verses to promote terrorism and violence, people like that.

Proverbs 30 6

Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar

Somewhat that is actually happening today, with more openness in the Christian world and critical studies of Bibilical authenticity being conducted, no?

So in theory by exposing the distorters of the Bible this prophecy is technically coming true :)

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7 minutes ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

 

However the point I wanted to make in that part of my entry is that the Quran makes it clear the Bible was not inspired, but revealed. ...

Kept for emphasis:

So in theory by exposing the distorters of the Bible this prophecy is technically coming true :)

The Quran uses more than one verb with Musa-a.s.  In 6:91 it is "revealed", but in other Ayats within the Qur'an the verb "given" is used. [See //corpus.quran.com/wordbyword... which is a good lexicographic source.]

l reiterate that the Bible is an edited collection of stories. Some like Yusuf-a.s. is nearly exact as revealed in Quran; the essential elements of the Exodus are the same; and some things that happened during Isa-a.s. time were too famous to be ignored in the next two centuries. ln summation there are some anecdotal accuracies in the Testaments

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As far as I understand, in the 3rd century Common Era the "Bible" as we know it today was compiled on the Order of Constantine in a convening of Christian Clerics called "The council of Nicaea. However there are many theories as to what actually happened at this council'  "http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html

Whether the Quran states that the Bible is revealed or inspired is interesting. Thank you for bringing this subject forward for the rest of us simple ones to learn from.

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16 hours ago, hasanhh said:

The Quran uses more than one verb with Musa-a.s.  In 6:91 it is "revealed", but in other Ayats within the Qur'an the verb "given" is used. [See //corpus.quran.com/wordbyword... which is a good lexicographic source.]

l reiterate that the Bible is an edited collection of stories. Some like Yusuf-a.s. is nearly exact as revealed in Quran; the essential elements of the Exodus are the same; and some things that happened during Isa-a.s. time were too famous to be ignored in the next two centuries. ln summation there are some anecdotal accuracies in the Testaments

Given, revealed.... it still supports the concept that its a book, if you want to say "written," by Allah. It's not that Allah simply gives the ideas and the stories to the Prophet to write, rather that Allah sends it down to the Prophet, and he memorizes/copies it down word for word. In Arabic there seems to be a clear distinction between inspiration (why) and revelation (nzl), which is enough to say that the Islamic view on the Bible is against what Christian Theologians say.

I think that's 100% true, the second paragraph. There are some inaccuracies and also you can't forget that people may have had political motivations for distortion.

@MariyahLalehgoing to look into that link Inshallah!

Edited by Mansur Bakhtiari

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14 hours ago, MariyahLaleh said:

As far as I understand, in the 3rd century Common Era the "Bible" as we know it today was compiled on the Order of Constantine in a convening of Christian Clerics called "The council of Nicaea. However there are many theories as to what actually happened at this council'  "http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html

See: Eusebius, History of the Church, 4th Century. The edition l have has a lousy index so keep your own notes when you read it.

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13 hours ago, yasahebalzaman.313 said:

If the quran says it was revealed then simply put it was not inspired.To me the quran is sufficient as evidence.

Yes but in terms of Christian theology. Can it be proven from Christian sources what the Quran says just as Shiism can be proven from Sunni books.

I love Ilm ul Kalaam :)

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6 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

Yes but in terms of Christian theology. Can it be proven from Christian sources what the Quran says just as Shiism can be proven from Sunni books.

I love Ilm ul Kalaam :)

Interesting. I have an English Torah That has been re-translated to the English by The Jewish society of America. I will need to read parts of this volume of the five books of Moses (Musa)  to assess what was written about the account of Moses and get back to you. Why would it be important if the Christian Theology States whether or not if the Books of the Torah were revealed or inspired as the Torah is referring to  Musa of the Levite  tribe of Israel and was not written originally by any Christians? Paul in the Greek Scriptures of the Bible (New Testament) stated : Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2Timothy 3:16)

I have a duo translation of the "new testament" in the new english  side by side with  modern Standard Arabic if anyone is interested in me posting pics of the writings in this arabic.

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/5-bible-inspired-revelation-god

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On 16/07/2017 at 2:20 AM, MariyahLaleh said:

An easy internet source on the opinion of some Christians on how the Bible is a "inspired work revealed by God"

https://bible.org/seriespage/5-bible-inspired-revelation-god

hmmm the article seems kind of vague. For example:

In its theological usage inspiration is derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible where the verb inspire is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. The word inspiration is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 to translate qeopneustos, a word that occurs only here. Qeopneustos is derived from qeos, “God,” and pnew, “to breath.” Literally, it means “God-breathed” and expresses the concept of exhalation by God. More accurately, it emphasizes that Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The Scriptures are not something breathed into by God, rather, the Scriptures have been breathed out by God.

For me that sounds similar to the Qur'an which says Allah sent down or had given the Quran to mankind.

The following represent a few of the definitions of prominent evangelical theologians:

Those also seem pretty useless. Maurice Bucaille already mentioned in his book how so many Christian scholars already reject the full authenticity and trustworthiness of the Bible. The opinions of those scholars seem to have no Bibilical basis.

There are several important elements that belong in a proper definition of inspiration: (1) the divine element—God the Holy Spirit superintended the writers, ensuring the accuracy of the writing; (2) the human element—human authors wrote according to their individual styles and personalities; (3) the result of the divine-human authorship is the recording of God’s truth without error; (4) inspiration extends to the selection of words by the writers; (5) inspiration relates to the original manuscripts

Still very vague, but think about the last part. The original manuscripts are long lost to the bad motives of others. 

There appears to be some Bibilical proof for inspiration

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

Though ny the logic that only the original Bibilical manuscripts are inspired by God, then technically we don't know the authenticity of the majority of the Bible.

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On 7/17/2017 at 8:47 AM, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

hmmm the article seems kind of vague. For example:

In its theological usage inspiration is derived from the Latin Vulgate Bible where the verb inspire is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21. The word inspiration is used in 2 Timothy 3:16 to translate qeopneustos, a word that occurs only here. Qeopneustos is derived from qeos, “God,” and pnew, “to breath.” Literally, it means “God-breathed” and expresses the concept of exhalation by God. More accurately, it emphasizes that Scripture is the product of the breath of God. The Scriptures are not something breathed into by God, rather, the Scriptures have been breathed out by God.

For me that sounds similar to the Qur'an which says Allah sent down or had given the Quran to mankind.

The following represent a few of the definitions of prominent evangelical theologians:

Those also seem pretty useless. Maurice Bucaille already mentioned in his book how so many Christian scholars already reject the full authenticity and trustworthiness of the Bible. The opinions of those scholars seem to have no Bibilical basis.

There are several important elements that belong in a proper definition of inspiration: (1) the divine element—God the Holy Spirit superintended the writers, ensuring the accuracy of the writing; (2) the human element—human authors wrote according to their individual styles and personalities; (3) the result of the divine-human authorship is the recording of God’s truth without error; (4) inspiration extends to the selection of words by the writers; (5) inspiration relates to the original manuscripts

Still very vague, but think about the last part. The original manuscripts are long lost to the bad motives of others. 

There appears to be some Bibilical proof for inspiration

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

Though ny the logic that only the original Bibilical manuscripts are inspired by God, then technically we don't know the authenticity of the majority of the Bible.

I have to concur with your conclusion. Most of the sources available to us today are not verifiable. According to various (and often conflicting)  historical accounts of the activities of the Council of Nicaea, Certain manuscript were retained because they had values that corresponded with the beliefs of the sect in power; works provided by the gnostics (followers of Arius, who insisted the person of Jesus the Christ was not divine) were discarded, more than likely burned.  My uncle (dayi) has tried to access works locally in Instanbul and has recommended the following publication available online, i just have not signed up for this site yet.

http://www.worldlibrary.org/eBooks/WPLBN0001027053-Origin-and-History-of-the-Books-of-the-Bible-Both-the-Canonical-and-the-Apocryphal-Designed-to-by-Stowe-Calvin-Ellis.aspx?&Words=blble manuscripts

Edited by MariyahLaleh

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On 7/21/2017 at 11:15 AM, MariyahLaleh said:

I have to concur with your conclusion. Most of the sources available to us today are not verifiable. According to various (and often conflicting)  historical accounts of the activities of the Council of Nicaea, Certain manuscript were retained because they had values that corresponded with the beliefs of the sect in power; works provided by the gnostics (followers of Arius, who insisted the person of Jesus the Christ was not divine) were discarded, more than likely burned.  My uncle (dayi) has tried to access works locally in Instanbul and has recommended the following publication available online, i just have not signed up for this site yet.

http://www.worldlibrary.org/eBooks/WPLBN0001027053-Origin-and-History-of-the-Books-of-the-Bible-Both-the-Canonical-and-the-Apocryphal-Designed-to-by-Stowe-Calvin-Ellis.aspx?&Words=blble manuscripts

Yeah, it seems that sectarianism caused much of the Bible to be lost unfortunately. Its also mentioned in Maurice Bucaille's book that certain religious practices of the Jews (like the Sabbath) could have been fabricated by the Jewish clergy for one reason or another (he didn't elaborate much on the Torah, which really dissapointed me. Though reading the comments on here reminded me....

On 7/17/2017 at 11:47 AM, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

2) The extent of Inspiration. This is stated in the words, “All Scripture is inspired.” The term “Scripture,” the Greek grafh, is used exclusively in the New Testament of the sacred writings, of some portion of the Bible—sometimes of the whole Old Testament (Matt. 22:29; Mark 14:49; Luke 24:45; John 10:35), and sometimes of a specific passage (Matt. 12:10; Luke 4:21; John 13:8).

I wonder if it's mentioned in the Torah, and how Jewish theologians view this......

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To be clear, I do not speak or read Arabic. Unfortunately, I am at this point mono-lingual. I've read through an English translation Qur'an maybe three times over the years. I remember being surprised by reading a verse, I think it was in the fourth chapter/Sura, that mentioned the Torah and the Injeel being given as a guidance and a light. When people say that the Gospels were "corrupted" or changed, are they referring to copies of the Injeel before the writing of the Qur'an or after?

 

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Fascinating post.

I personally subscribe to the "maculate Torah" theory - namely the idea that a Revelation occurred at Mt. Sinai to Moses and the children of Israel, but that over time, that Revelation was corrupted.  To my mind, the most likely scenario for this is that whatever was from Moses was lost to us, either in the time of the wicked kings and queens or after the fall of the first Temple.  As the Israelites returned to the land under Persian rule and began rebuilding the Temple, a scribe (most likely Ezra) or group of scribes began to edit together the sources that they had on hand as an attempt to faithfully reconstruct the text.

I'm willing to take the leap that it's Ezra for a few reasons.  

A.) Ezra is the author attributed to Chronicles.  In Chronicles, there's a story of how the scroll of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple (seemingly out of nowhere with the entire Israelite population completely ignorant of its existence) and brought to King Josiah.  King Josiah has the whole people listen as the scroll of the Law is read to them, then they recommit to the covenant.  In spite of this, God still destroys Jerusalem and scatters Israel due to their years of ignorance of His covenant.

Ezra is in the position of providing unity and a spiritual vision to his people.  It's a little too convenient that he does exactly what Josiah did - namely listen to the book of the law, which has authority, not just because it's attributed to God, but because if the Israelites don't follow Ezra, God will destroy them, too.  

It's also just flat out odd that the Revelation given to Moses would simply be sitting in a scroll in the Temple with everyone unaware of its existence.  If people knew about Moses and the Exodus and the founding of their nation and their entire reason for having a Temple in the first place, then part of that story is that God spoke to Moses and gave the people a covenant.  Wouldn't someone ask,"Oh wait, where's that Covenant?"  Instead, this story seems to simply provide credibility to Ezra's redacted Torah or proto-Torah and course of action.

B.) There are definite hints of this in rabbinic tradition.

"Moses received the Torah at Sinai and conveyed it to Joshua, Joshua gave it to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly".

The Great Assembly was the group that began building what we know as Judaism today after the fall of the First Temple.  The Great Assembly is the group which codifies the Tanakh - giving the Torah its form, deciding which Prophetic writings were genuinely inspired, determining which historical writings gave necessary context to tell the full story of the Jewish people and their covenant with God.

Oh yeah, and they were convened by Ezra, who acts as a nexus figure.  By tradition, Ezra isn't just a scribe, he's also Malachi (literally "My Messenger" - just as easily a title or pseudonym) - the last of the Jewish prophets. He's literally the hand off point in the chain of Torah transmission, the one who delivers Torah to Judaism on behalf of Moses. 

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah.

Anyway, it's just conjecture, but it's reasonable conjecture, and is in response to the simple fact that the Torah is riddled with contradiction and seems clearly to be cobbled together from different sources.  And I say that as a faithful, observant Jew.

And Allah knows best, right?

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On 8/6/2017 at 4:48 PM, Joy-Elizabeth said:

To be clear, I do not speak or read Arabic. Unfortunately, I am at this point mono-lingual. I've read through an English translation Qur'an maybe three times over the years. I remember being surprised by reading a verse, I think it was in the fourth chapter/Sura, that mentioned the Torah and the Injeel being given as a guidance and a light. When people say that the Gospels were "corrupted" or changed, are they referring to copies of the Injeel before the writing of the Qur'an or after?

 

hmmm, I'm guessing it's referring to corruption before, because of course at the time the Quran was revealed the Torah and Injeel were considered corrupt books. I think even before the advent of Jesus Christ, there was corruption in the Bible. In the Bible, Quran and Science book I remember it mentioning how the sabbath and other religious rites could have been invented, though I don't remember much of it. But yeah, I think it refers to prior to the revelation of the quran.

2 hours ago, Ibn Maymun said:

Fascinating post.

I personally subscribe to the "maculate Torah" theory - namely the idea that a Revelation occurred at Mt. Sinai to Moses and the children of Israel, but that over time, that Revelation was corrupted.  To my mind, the most likely scenario for this is that whatever was from Moses was lost to us, either in the time of the wicked kings and queens or after the fall of the first Temple.  As the Israelites returned to the land under Persian rule and began rebuilding the Temple, a scribe (most likely Ezra) or group of scribes began to edit together the sources that they had on hand as an attempt to faithfully reconstruct the text.

I'm willing to take the leap that it's Ezra for a few reasons.  

A.) Ezra is the author attributed to Chronicles.  In Chronicles, there's a story of how the scroll of the Law was rediscovered in the Temple (seemingly out of nowhere with the entire Israelite population completely ignorant of its existence) and brought to King Josiah.  King Josiah has the whole people listen as the scroll of the Law is read to them, then they recommit to the covenant.  In spite of this, God still destroys Jerusalem and scatters Israel due to their years of ignorance of His covenant.

Ezra is in the position of providing unity and a spiritual vision to his people.  It's a little too convenient that he does exactly what Josiah did - namely listen to the book of the law, which has authority, not just because it's attributed to God, but because if the Israelites don't follow Ezra, God will destroy them, too.  

It's also just flat out odd that the Revelation given to Moses would simply be sitting in a scroll in the Temple with everyone unaware of its existence.  If people knew about Moses and the Exodus and the founding of their nation and their entire reason for having a Temple in the first place, then part of that story is that God spoke to Moses and gave the people a covenant.  Wouldn't someone ask,"Oh wait, where's that Covenant?"  Instead, this story seems to simply provide credibility to Ezra's redacted Torah or proto-Torah and course of action.

B.) There are definite hints of this in rabbinic tradition.

"Moses received the Torah at Sinai and conveyed it to Joshua, Joshua gave it to the Elders, the Elders to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Men of the Great Assembly".

The Great Assembly was the group that began building what we know as Judaism today after the fall of the First Temple.  The Great Assembly is the group which codifies the Tanakh - giving the Torah its form, deciding which Prophetic writings were genuinely inspired, determining which historical writings gave necessary context to tell the full story of the Jewish people and their covenant with God.

Oh yeah, and they were convened by Ezra, who acts as a nexus figure.  By tradition, Ezra isn't just a scribe, he's also Malachi (literally "My Messenger" - just as easily a title or pseudonym) - the last of the Jewish prophets. He's literally the hand off point in the chain of Torah transmission, the one who delivers Torah to Judaism on behalf of Moses. 

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah.

Anyway, it's just conjecture, but it's reasonable conjecture, and is in response to the simple fact that the Torah is riddled with contradiction and seems clearly to be cobbled together from different sources.  And I say that as a faithful, observant Jew.

And Allah knows best, right?

Wow, thats well detailed, thanks for that. Do you know of any Bibliical verses where it's mentioned that the Bible was revealed to Moses as opposed to being inspired?

2 hours ago, Ibn Maymun said:

Rabbinic tradition says that had Moses not existed, Ezra would've been worthy to receive the Torah

huh, sounds like

Imam Ahmad (17405), at-Tirmidhi (3686) and al-Haakim (4495) narrated via Mishrah ibn Haa ‘aan, from ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Aamir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say: “If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab.”

And yeah, Allah knows best :)

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@Mansur Bakhtiari

The above person focused on the question of the Torah, whether it was corrupted before the Qur'an. You seem to make the case that the Injeel was changed. May I ask on what evidence have you researched that this is the case?

Joy-Elizabeth

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Mansur,

20 hours ago, Mansur Bakhtiari said:

hmmm, I'm guessing it's referring to corruption before, because of course at the time the Quran was revealed the Torah and Injeel were considered corrupt books. I think even before the advent of Jesus Christ, there was corruption in the Bible. In the Bible, Quran and Science book I remember it mentioning how the sabbath and other religious rites could have been invented, though I don't remember much of it. But yeah, I think it refers to prior to the revelation of the quran.

Wow, thats well detailed, thanks for that. Do you know of any Bibliical verses where it's mentioned that the Bible was revealed to Moses as opposed to being inspired?

Sure.  I think the clearest example of this is Exodus 33:11 where the Torah claims that God spoke to Moses "face to face" (literally "faces to faces").  Exodus 31:18 makes the claim that the Ten Commandments were written "by the finger of God".

The Torah is riddled with the phrase "And the Lord said to Moses..." followed by a a commandment or a teaching.  Their relationship has a level of intimacy unmatched by all of our later prophets, part of that being a direct self-disclosure by God about Who He is and what He wants out of Israel.  That's pretty much what revelation is...

And if you want an example of contradiction cobbled together, start with Exodus 33:10 and read through to verse 20.

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Actually reflecting on it further, I'm not sure that your original question is an either/or.  The Torah (that we have today) is a mixture of revelation and inspiration.  

Something definitely happened at Sinai - God initiated a relationship with the children of Israel, disclosing some deeper sense of His reality to Moses than could simply be grasped with the senses and providing guidance to Israel.  The notion that nothing of that is preserved in the Torah we have today seems farfetched.

That said, the Torah is not as it was given to Moses.  Ezra and the Great Assembly redacted and arranged the sources that they already had on hand.  God brought clarity to their minds to preserve the essential meaning, if not the exact text delivered to Moses "by the finger of God". 

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On 8/11/2017 at 0:07 AM, Joy-Elizabeth said:

@Mansur Bakhtiari

The above person focused on the question of the Torah, whether it was corrupted before the Qur'an. You seem to make the case that the Injeel was changed. May I ask on what evidence have you researched that this is the case?

Joy-Elizabeth

I haven't researched this much, actually reading Maurice Bucaille's book has been the first look into the bible in comparison to Islam other that skimming some articles and debates by sketchy "dawah" guys on youtube, though Inshallah Ta'ala this won't be my last as I'm very interested in this.

In the book, it mentioned a lot of doubts over whether the writers of the Gospels were disciples of Jesus. It only mentions John as being an eyewitness, doesn't mention the status of Luke, but says Mark and Matthew are no longer considered disciples of Jesus by Christian scholars. I'm unsure if the Gospels have chains of narrations like Muslim ahadith, but I do know that there are a lot of pointers to the authenticity of shia hadith, especially in the fact that we had the twelve Imams to preserve the message of Islam. 

How do you verify the authenticity of the Gospels?

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    • Beating oneself in grieve is from shaitan?
    • Another interesting blog entry. I learn so much from you, Sister. Alhamdulillah for all your help. 
    • Peace be upon you O Uthman, the namesake of Uthman the son of Amirul Mumineen [Ali].
    • Wa Alaykum Salam.  What you have quoted from Tafsir al-Safi goes back to Tafsir al-Askari [a Tafsir which claims to originate from the Eleventh Imam]. This is the translation: قال رجل للصادق عليه السلام فإذا كان هؤلاء العوام من اليهود لا يعرفون الكتاب الا بما يسمعونه من علمائهم لا سبيل لهم إلى غيره فكيف ذمّهم بتقليدهم و القبول من علمائهم و هل عوام اليهود الا كعوامنا يقلّدون علمائهم فان لم يجز لأولئك القبول من علمائهم لم يجز لهؤلاء القبول من علمائهم فقال عليه السلام بين عوامنا و علمائنا و بين عوام اليهود و علمائهم فرق من جهة و تسوية من جهة أما من حيث استووا فان اللَّه قد ذمّ عوامنا بتقليدهم علماءهم كما قد ذمّ عوامهم و أمّا من حيث افترقوا فلا، A man said to al-Sadiq عليه السلام: If the common people among the Jews did not have any other way to obtain knowledge of the Book except through what they heard from their scholars - then why did He blame them for their following of the scholars and acceptance from them? Further, is it not the case that the common people among the Jews are like our common people for they [our common people] too follow their scholars, so if it is not permitted for them [the Jews] to accept from their scholars then is it not also impermissible for these [our common people] to accept what their scholars say? He عليه السلام said: Between our common people and our scholars and the laity among the Jews and their scholars there is a difference in one aspect and similarity in another aspect. As far as the similar aspect is concerned then just as Allah censured our common people for the blind following of their scholars He did the same in censuring their common people, but as for the divergent aspect then No [he did not censure it].   قال بيّن لي ذلك يا بن رسول اللَّه قال إنّ عوام اليهود كانوا قد عرفوا علمائهم بالكذب الصريح و بأكل الحرام و الرّشا و بتغيير الأحكام عن واجبها بالشفاعات و العنايات و المصانعات و عرفوهم بالتعصب الشديد الذي يفارقون به أديانهم و إنهم إذا تعصبوا أزالوا حقوق من تعصبوا عليه و اعطوا ما لا يستحقه من تعصبوا له من اموال غيرهم و ظلموهم من أجلهم و عرفوهم يقارفون المحرّمات و اضطروا بمعارف قلوبهم إلى أن من فعل ما يفعلونه فهو فاسق لا يجوز ان يصدق على اللَّه و لا على الوسائط بين الخلق و بين اللَّه فلذلك ذمّهم لما قلّدوا من قد عرفوا و من قد علموا أنّه لا يجوز قبول خبره و لا تصديقه في حكايته و لا العمل بما يؤديه إليهم The Narrator said: Explain it for me O the son of the messenger of Allah. He عليه السلام said: the common people among the Jews knew that their scholars used to lie outright, eat the forbidden wealth, were corrupt, changed the laws from what they should be based on intercession, favours and bribes. They also knew that their scholars were excessively partisan, that they used to split up their religion because of this rivalry and used to trample the rights of those they were against and give those they are partial towards what they do not deserve of the wealth of others, they used to oppress them [the enemies of their allies] to please their biases. They knew them to perpetrate the forbidden. They [the common people] knew it in their hearts [had intrinsic knowledge] that the one who does what they used to do is a Fasiq, and it is not acceptable to consider them truthful in what they attribute to Allah or to the intermediaries between the creation and Allah. That is why He censured them when they followed those they knew for a fact it was forbidden to accept their reports or consider them truthful in what they say, or to act based on what they instruct.   وكذلك عوام امتنا إذا عرفوا من فقهائهم الفسق الظاهر ، والعصبية الشديدة والتكالب على حطام الدنيا وحرامها ، وإهلاك من يتعصبون عليه إن كان لاصلاح أمره مستحقا ، وبالترفق بالبر والاحسان على من تعصبوا له ، وإن كان للاذلال والاهانة مستحقا فمن قلّد من عوامنا مثل هؤلاء الفقهاء، فهم مثل اليهود الذين ذمّهم الله تعالى بالتقليد لفسقة فقهائهم Likewise, the laity of our community, if they recognize signs of clear-cut Fisq from their scholars, extreme partisanship, their turning towards amassing the wealth of this world and its prohibited items, destroying the affair of the one they are biased against even though extending assistance to him is what is appropriate,  showing compassion, good-will and charity to the one they are biased towards even thought humiliating and chastising them is the appropriate response - then the one among our common people who follows such Fuqaha are like the Jews and those who are censured by Allah the Elevated because of their following of corrupt scholars. فأما من كان من الفقهاء صائناً لنفسه، حافظاً لدينه، مخالفاً لهواه، مطيعاً لأمر مولاه، فللعوام أن يقلدوه. وذلك لا يكون إلاّ بعض فقهاء الشيعة، لا جميعهم فان من يركب من القبائح و الفواحش مراكب فسقة فقهاء العامّة فلا تقبلوا منهم عنا شيئاً و لا كرامة لهم. As for the one among the Fuqaha who protects his soul, preserves his religion, opposes his caprice [desires], and obeys the command of his Master then it is upon the laity to follow him. There are only some of the Fuqaha of the Shia who are like this, not all. As for those who perpetrate the despicable and abominable acts the way the `Amma [proto-Sunni] scholars do then do not not accept from them about us anything and they are not to be honoured.
    • The following link will take you to part 2 - http://www.shiachat.com/forum/blogs/entry/315-the-impact-of-cognitive-distortions/
    •   This is what I learned from you Hameedeh.
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