Textual Variants Over the Sonship and the Resurrection, and the Purity of the Koran
Christians are always daring us Muslims to produce examples of the Bible’s corruption. I point out that many biblical scholars believe that the Pentateuch is actually four, alternating texts, the Elohim (E), Jahweh (J), Priestly (P) and Deuteronomy (D) texts, which accounts for the contradictions between Genesis 1 and 2, whether there were two or seven pairs of each animal on the ark, etc. Even most Christians today agree that while the blessed Moses was involved in the writing of the Pentateuch, he was not the only writer, and copyists and editors changed things, made errors, added and deleted things so that you had varying manuscripts (as with all of the Bible). This is especially significant to us Muslims since we are told by the Koran that the blessed Moses’s writings were revealed to him and him alone.
The same goes for the Psalms, the other part of the Bible that the Koran considers one of God’s earlier revelations (although the Gospels of the Bible obviously bear a great many parallels to the teachings and stories of the Koran, while the real Gospel, according to the Koran, was written by the blessed Jesus himself). The Koran says that the inspired ones were revealed to the blessed David, but there are also psalms not attributed to him, and even one that is unbelievably attributed to the blessed Moses. I discuss this more in my article on the Psalms on the “Bible and Koran” page.
What I’m going to point out here is a series of verses with their text notes from the New Living Translation of the Bible, Gift & Award edition, which all betray textual variants involving the question of the blessed Jesus’s divinity. None of these Gospels are the Gospel the Koran speaks of, as none are written from the viewpoint of the blessed Jesus himself, but I am writing this to show the Christian reader that there is a great deal of uncertainty over most of the verses which speak of the blessed Jesus’s alleged divinity, and thus such verses cannot be absolutely trusted and the Christians are reading scriptures which have undoubtably been added, altered and deleted in many key parts, especially over this critical issue. Finally, I will show how the Koran knew of these things and how it, unlike the Bible, has remained uncorrupted, untampered with.
The suspicious variants over the Sonship of the blessed Jesus
“However, no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)
Some manuscripts omit the phrase “or the Son himself.”
Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the son of God. (Mark 1:1)
Some manuscripts do not include “the son of God.”
“I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God.” (John 1:34)
Some manuscripts read “the chosen One of God.”
Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is baptizing and making more disciples than John.” (John 4:1)
Some manuscripts read “The Lord.”
All of this becomes more significant when you remember that, as I pointed out in “The Trilemma Refuted” on the “Missionary Claims” page, the blessed Jesus never actually claimed to be God, and all the things he said which Christians take that way are easily explainable as misunderstandings.
Suspicious variants regarding the Resurrection
Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. They worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And they spent all of their time in the Temple praising God. (Luke 24:50-53)
Some manuscripts do not include “and was taken up to heaven”. Some manuscripts do not include “worshiped him and”.
The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, saying nothing to anyone because they were too frightened to talk.”
The most reliable early manuscripts conclude the Gospel of Mark at verse 8. Other manuscripts include various endings to the Gospel. Two of the more noteworthy endings are printed here.
No resurrection scene in the most reliable early manuscripts? Various endings, out of which two are selected? Does anyone know what happened? Does all this confusion not fit with the Islamic belief that he wasn’t crucified but rather a miraculous illusion made people think he had been? That would also explain why there are more contradictions in the Resurrection accounts than in any other part of the Bible. Read all four accounts in the four Gospels and see how many details are the same between all four. You might be surprised at how low the number is.
The Koran: its purity and its promise
The Koran knew about the lies of the early church fathers regarding the blessed Jesus’s sonship:
They say, “God has taken to Him a son.” Glory be to Him! He is All-sufficient: to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; you have no authority for this. What, do you say concerning God that you know not?
(- 10:68 -)
Say: “Those who forge against God falsehood shall not prosper.”
(- 10:69 -)
It is a Book that has promised to be free from textual additions and deletions:
It is Who who have sent down the Remembrance, and We watch over it.
(- 15:09 -)
Nay, but it is a glorious Koran,
(- 85:21 -)
In a guarded tablet.
(- 85:22 -)
And this promise has been kept: the book is free from textual variants that are not dialectic or synonymous in nature, and that is a fact well known outside of Islam. Take it, for instance, from The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions:
While a few non-Muslim scholars have questioned the antiquity of the received text, these have found little acceptance for their ideas, and the Qur'an remains of all the major scriptures the one with the clearest textual history. This is largely due to the voluminous records and scholarship of the Muslims from early times. They have always recognized...that the faultless preservation and transmission (tawatur) of God's Word must be assured by the community (Umma) and its consensus (Ijma'). The Divine Speech had to be preserved in human hearts, recited on human tongues, and written by human hands. The Muslims themselves, collectively, through every generation, are the bondsmen for the inviolate integrity of the Divine Word; to understand this is to understand in good part the close identification of the umma with its scriptural revelation. (1)
I’ll stop right here and leave all this as food for thought.
(1) Page 593 of The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. Keith Crim: General Editor. Roger A. Bullar and Larry D. Shinn: Associate Editors. HarperSanFranciso, A Division of HarperCollinsPublishers.