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Today’s post was inspired by an ongoing debate with someone that cherry picks verses from the Bible in an attempt to validate Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad. And as you’ll see, approaching the Bible with preconceived notions and trying to force it to fit an already false interpretation is the wrong way to go about it. With that said, the one thing that I do respect and appreciate about the discussion with Alex is that he did bring scripture to the table, unlike many people that just leave claims without any scripture references to back those claims. In that regard, many believers can learn a lot from him.
Disclaimer #1: Some of the conversation has been reordered in order to address everything topic by topic vs a play by play response, because it did go from subject to subject and back again.
Disclaimer #2: I believe in the Bible, but I also believe that there are historical truths in other books such as the Quran, Book of Mormon, etc. However, while I do view other books as valuable for historical reference, I do not put the same stock in them spiritually as I do scripture.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33
The Confusion of Islam
The problem with interpretation is that many people start off with a belief and then try to find anything to support that belief INSTEAD of reading for understanding and then letting the context of what they’ve read decide their beliefs. If we all did that, we could avoid many of the false teachings that people attempt to push. Let’s get started.
“First, I would like to address that I am human, and being human, I am subject to error. With that being said I am inclined to share truth as God has allowed me to discern it.
I notice that people have difficulty worshiping and believing in God without humanizing the All mighty.
From the beginning (Genesis) we notice the initial humanization of the Most High:
“And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” – Genesis 2:2-3
In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” – John 5:17
Jesus did 2 things in this verse, he cleared the debate regarding the Sabbath, and He detached God from human attributes.
I would also like to add that the Quran offers an even more clear correction:
“And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched us no weariness” – Quran 50:38
I would also like to add that the Quran offers over 200 plus corrections to biblical errors.
The Quran corrects matters such as, “seeing God” or man being made in the “image” of God.” – Alex
Here we encounter the first group of errors, which ends with the ASSUMPTION that the Quran is offering corrections instead of adding errors and confusion. The areas I’m going to focus on are in bold.
Error #1 – Disregarding What The Bible Says
Anyone that claims a book has 200 errors and then still attempts to use it in a debate has already failed their debate. Why use it at all? That’s my biggest issue, but let’s move on.
Error #2 – Assumption of The Humanization of God
The statement that human beings have a hard time worshiping or believing in God without humanizing him is a little backwards. This is an incorrect line of thinking. Humans were made in the image of God, which means God is deifying us and it’s not us humanizing him.
“Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?” – John 10:34
And addressing the issue of God’s humanity, the Bible says the following:
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19
The Bible doesn’t attempt to humanize God. It explains that humans are gods made in the image of God, and will be ultimately transformed into immortal beings with abilities similar to what Christ exhibited after his resurrection. Alex’s error is that he started off under the assumption that the attempt was to humanize God, when in fact the Bible states that we were made in God’s image, which is more of a deification of man than the other way around.
Clarification: When I say that “humans are gods”, I’m not talking about mankind being equal to God or worthy of worship, but in the sense that our father is God, and therefore as children of him, we are gods as well. In our mortal state we’re human, but what we will be changed into fits the common idea of what a god is.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” – 1 John 3:2
Error #3 – Misinterpreting The Sabbath
“But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” – John 5:17
Let’s address the following errors in assumption made by Alex:
- The Bible doesn’t say that God always rests on every Sabbath or that he would never do any work again.
- Christ addressed what he and the Father do, and not what mankind was told to do.
The purpose of the Sabbath is also explained in the book of Mark:
“And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” – Mark 2:27-28
In context, Christ points out examples of people working on the Sabbath, and not just God. The claim that Christ was correcting what Moses wrote in Genesis has no real basis. He was correcting the misunderstanding of the Pharisees, and not scripture.
Error #4 – Contradiction In Belief
I’m glad that Alex decided to mention John 5:17 because that brings us to a HUGE problem with Islam, which occurs in the very next verse:
“Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” – John 5:18
- Muslims want to use the Bible in an attempt to prove parts of the Quran.
- Muslims want to disregard any portion of the Bible that disproves the Quran.
Either Christ was telling the WHOLE truth or he was mixing lies with the truth. There’s no middle ground. If Christ can’t be trusted, then using the Bible to prove the Quran is pointless. If Christ was telling the truth, then the Quran is a lie when it denies that he is equal to God. Believers in the Quran should clear that up if they want to be taken seriously when it comes to their version of Biblical interpretation.
The Quran Preaches A Different Gospel
As the debate continued, once again, we’re confronted with more attempts at getting the words of the Bible to fit a preconceived belief and incorrect interpretation.
“The Bible has a clearer warning about idolatry, it resonates louder, and is mentioned far more often than the warning you just mentioned. I believe there is a verse in revelations that refutes your Galatians verse:
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Revelations 14:6-7
Literally states that an angel would deliver a GOSPEL. Certainly fits the description, this is exactly what is preached in Quran. Besides we didn’t have a problem when Gabriel visited Mary… but visit the seed of Ishmael and now there is a problem.
The Revelation verse refutes the Galatians verse for the simple fact that the Revelation verse doesn’t mention GOSPEL of Christ. You choose not to see it, and you choose not to see Mohamed’s coming prophesied in the Bible, and you choose not to see Islam in the Bible, just like you chose not to see the 2 creation stories in the Bible. And for the record, you have to believe in Jesus to be Muslim and you have to believe he is the Messiah to be Muslim.” – Alex
Error #5 – Half Reading Verses and Stripping Context
The verse in Galatians that Alex is referring to is the following:
Anyone that takes the time to read for understanding can see that the warning is about an angel preaching a DIFFERENT gospel. The angel in Revelation is not mentioned as having a different gospel, nor does it say that the angels had “a gospel”, as Alex wrongly rewords the verse to suit his belief. It says the angel had “the everlasting gospel”. This is the same gospel that is referenced 101 times in scripture.
Alex strips several things from context here.
- The angel mentioned by Alex is #1 of 7 angels, which means that if he wants to apply the interpretation of this angel as the coming of Muhammad, he then also has to interpret the remaining 6 angels as prophets that will come after Muhammad, which he doesn’t.
- Muhammad didn’t fly through the air or preach to every nation, kindred, or tongue. The only way around the straight forward reading is to change angels into something else, change flying into something else, and ignore all references to what the everlasting gospel is.
- The following 6 angels are LITERAL angels, which means that in context angel #1 would be a literal angels as well, and not a prophets in the future.
Alex also claims that the verse in Revelation contradicts Galatians because it doesn’t specifically mention the Gospel of Christ. This is easily proven to be false by simply reading what the angel preached:
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” – Revelation 14:7
The angels is telling the world to worship the creator, which is CHRIST. We know this because Christ is called the creator multiple times all over the Bible… a message which the Quran does NOT teach, which is more proof that the Quran is a different Gospel.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
We know that John was referencing Christ in both the book of John and Revelation (the same guy wrote both), which means that his message is consistent. We can also verify that this is not a different gospel because of how Christ identifies himself.
- Alpha and Omega
- Beginning and Ending
These phrases are the New Testament Greek equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew phrases “first and the last” and Aleph and Tau, which were intentionally left untranslated and removed from Genesis 1:1 and Zechariah 12:10.
“Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.” – Isaiah 48:12-13
Either Christ is lying in Revelation or he’s telling the truth. If he’s telling the truth about his identity, then he is the creator, which means that the angel that appears later is telling the world to worship Christ… which we know Islam does not do and has NEVER done… which again brings us back to the Quran being a different gospel.
Error #6 – The Assumption of A Gabriel Visit
The Bible offers a clear warning against angels that preach another gospel. The Quran is NOT the same gospel as the Bible. The denial of Christ as the son of God and savior of mankind is a different gospel. So therefore, it is beyond a stretch to claim that the angel in Revelation is preaching a different gospel simply because one wants to twist scripture to suit their own belief.
The problem doesn’t lie with Gabriel or any other angel visiting the seed of Ishmael as Alex falsely claims. The problem is with an angel that may or may not be Gabriel, pushing a blasphemy that denies Christ as the son of God and the savior… which as was pointed out earlier, is clearly taught in the Bible.
“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” – 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
Any angel that came preaching a different gospel is cursed. The only way around that curse is if the Bible is a lie, which means using it to defend or try to prove the Quran is pointless. If it is true, then we must also admit that anything received from that angel is cursed, and so are those that follow and preach the false doctrine contained within the pages.
Error #7 – Lack of Understanding
The book of Revelation deals with the last days on earth. It has nothing to do with the Quran at all whatsoever. Those that try to push this false belief have clearly ignored the books of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Joel, etc. When the Bible is read as a WHOLE nothing Alex has to say can even be remotely passed off as truth.
Nothing in the Bible has anything to do with the coming of Muhammad. That’s a lie made up by Muslims in order to justify their book given to them by an angel that was mostly likely NOT Gabriel. It’s not about choosing not to see what’s not there. There’s nothing to see in regards to anything related to the Quran in the Bible.
The False Teaching of Multiple Creations
People that quickly skim the Bible without reading for understanding, often fall into the trap of completely making things up. One such thing is the false teaching of multiple creations.
“Let me show you something, that a Baptist pastor of 40 years showed me.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” – Genesis 1:26-31
“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” – Genesis 2:4-7
Two creation stories.
So just because the Bible says, “man made in God’s image” doesn’t translate to God has a body. No. God made the created spirit/soul of man in chapter 1 and then placed that inner man in to what God formed from clay in chapter 2.
With that being said, I would personally argue that God is above comparison.” – Alex
Error #8 – The Assumption of Chronological Order
For those that have studied the Bible, we see clearly that Genesis 2 is a detailed version of the account on day 6, and not an entirely different or even contradictory story. NOTHING at all is created in chapter 2 except people and animals, which is exactly what happened on day 6. Furthermore, we can also read for ourselves that the garden was PLANTED and not created in Genesis 2.
- Genesis 2 is a more detailed description of the day 6 creation.
- Job 38 is a more detailed description of all the days of creation.
- John 1 is a more detailed description of Genesis 1:1
Scripture explains itself in clarity when we allow it to. We run into trouble when we fail to read the ENTIRE text for context, and immediately espouse a belief based on a single verse or even a few verses.
Error #9 – Contradicting Their Own Teachings
According to Alex, God made man’s body in Genesis 2, but made his spirit in Genesis 1. The problem for Alex is this is NOT what the Bible says at all, but is something completely made up. According to the words that Alex himself provided from Genesis 2:4-7, both the body and spirit were made at the same time, even if he wants to hold to the claim of another creation in Genesis 2.
Alex also claims that these verses do not mean that God had a body, and yet we see God creating humans with both body and spirit. The teaching that God doesn’t have a body is the same as calling both the Bible and God a lie… and if they’re lies, why is Alex debating either one, and why is he attempting to use a book of lies to validate the Quran? The logic doesn’t hold up. The fact is God himself describes his body parts all over the Bible:
- God has a mouth: Isaiah 48:3
- God has hands: Exodus 33:22
- God has back parts: Exodus 33:23
- God has a face: Exodus 33:23
- Good has arms: Jeremiah 27:5
These verses are clear that God describes HIMSELF as having these body parts. The Bible says that God made man in HIS image, and not the other way around. Human beings look similar to God. The only thing the Bible is not clear about is whether God chose this form or if it’s his natural form. In addition to that, having a body does not make one a man or a human.
All have body parts, but none of them are human. To assume that God doesn’t have a body is in complete and intentional contradiction of scripture, for the sole sake of being contradictory to scripture.
The Seal of God and The 144,000
The seal of God isn’t really a mystery. When we read the Bible in full context, its easy to see how it’s used and who it is used on, especially in the book of Revelation. However, once again, Alex doesn’t care about the complete context of what he’s talking about.
“So are you quick to say I cherry pick. When you do it to an even more severe degree. And I don’t cherry pick, I cross reference verses.
Like how I cross referenced these verses:
Rev 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” – Revelation 9:4
And what is the seal of God? It is the mark that is received on the forehead who frequently prostrates to their Lord. They use an interesting term , “seal” and in Islam, Mohammed (PBUH) is the “seal” of the prophets. Notice how the term “servents” of God is used?” – Alex
Error #10 – Cherry Picking Verses
There is a HUGE difference between cherry picking and cross referencing. Cherry picking is finding a single verse WITHOUT context and then attempting to use it to prove your point regardless of the context of the rest of the text… similar to what Alex did in his arguments about the creation, the Sabbath, and here again in reference to the seal of God.
Error #11 – Ignoring Clear Explanations
Revelation 7 explains itself in detail, so how Alex came up with his interpretation of who the sealed of God are can only be found in the deception of the Quran or the deception of Islamic teachings. Islam isn’t the only group to get this wrong either. There are some Christian denominations that get it wrong as well.
“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” – Revelation 7:4
Alex mentioned that he cross references, and yet he didn’t cross reference the very verses that explain his entire wrong explanation of the sealed. If Alex was really studying for understanding, he wouldn’t have stopped at Revelation 7:3 and would’ve simply accepted the explanation of the very next verse, but he didn’t. He intentionally stripped the context in order to make it fit his preconceived belief. This is error and self deception. The 144,000 are HEBREWS… and the rest of Revelation 7 goes through great lengths to make sure that we understand that fact.
- 12,000 from the tribe of Judah (Revelation 7:5)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Reuben (Revelation 7:5)
- 12,000 from the tribe Gad (Revelation 7:5)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Asher (Revelation 7:6)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali (Revelation 7:6)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh (Revelation 7:6)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Simeon (Revelation 7:7)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Levi (Revelation 7:7)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Issachar (Revelation 7:7)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Zebulon (Revelation 7:8)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Joseph (Revelation 7:8)
- 12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin (Revelation 7:8)
The Bible spends five verses explaining Revelation 7:3 in order to ensure that we get the interpretation correct, which means it takes strategic and purposeful effort to ignore the truth. Israel is not Ishmael, so there is no connection to anything remotely related to Islam, the Quran, or anyone from the lineage of Ishmael in these verses. There’s no mention of prostrate believers at all. After being corrected, Alex then responded with the following:
“My comment about the seal on the forehead really doesn’t make sense without the references that I made in my original comment where I did address many of your questions.
I will address your rebuttal.
I am in agreement with you about the seal being a protection from God, and that is clearly stated in the verse I referenced.
We disagree in who receives the seal. You think the Christian’s receive, I think the Muslims receive it.
In Islam, we have what is called the mark of prostration which is given to a person who sincerely and humbly bows and prostrates to their Lord. It is not necessarily a physical marking on the forehead; some scholars think it is more of a light or radiance that is found on the face of that person. However, an actual discoloration can occur on the forehead dependent upon the surface the person prostrates on.
In Islam, we believe that the mark of prostration is protection from the fire. There are several authentic hadith’s that claim that the mark of prostration cannot be burnt.
So we don’t really different on our defining the seal, so to speak. However, we differ on who the true worshipers are.
I do apologize for the confusion. And as long as you are willing to maintain a conversation with me, I will attempt to answer your rebuttals and questions as thoroughly as I am able, and as my Lord has granted.” – Alex
A full and legitimate study of the Bible’s explanation of the seal of God also reveals that it is only used two other times outside of Revelation, both of which occur in the Old Testament.
Example #1 – God’s Mark To Protect Cain
Here we see God using his mark to protect Cain. Cain was a believer, but his sacrifice wasn’t right, which led to God rejecting it. Cain also shows repentance in his words, which is why God placed a mark of protection over him (read the entire chapter for context). While Alex is right about the mark being placed on believers, at no point do we see Cain receiving the mark because he was a prostrate worshiper.
Example #2 – God’s Mark To Protect Loyal Hebrews
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” – Ezekiel 9:4-6
Once again, we see a mark placed on people at the command of God. The people that are sealed are upset about what is going on, but there is no mention of prostration or Muslims. Alex’s belief on the 144,000 does not come from the Bible, but his own private interpretation.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” – 2 Peter 1:20
Error #12 – Making Things Up
I also want to address two things that Alex completely fabricated in his response.
- The seal in Revelation makes perfect sense without any cross reference because as pointed out, it explains itself without the help of the Quran or anything else.
- I have never said or taught that these 144,000 are Christians. This is something Alex made up himself and tossed into the conversation, which makes me question how serious he is about actually understanding the Bible.
Inserting lies into the conversation in order to make a point is not only self deception, but deception in general, and also false witness. Neither of these statements have any truth to them whatsoever. If you don’t know what someone believes or teaches, ask them instead of just making up something to say because its what you assume they believe.
Error #13 – Our Belief Doesn’t Matter
What Alex believes about who the sealed are is IRRELEVANT because the Bible clearly tells us who they are… Hebrews from the tribes of Israel. Anyone saying anything different is a false teacher and a deceiver.
A More Accurate Description of Islam
While Alex chooses to cherry pick verses without context, intentionally leave out verses that oppose his interpretation, and make up random claims about what I believe, he didn’t consider that the Quran, Islam, and Muhammad may fall under the following warnings:
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” – Matthew 24:11
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” – Matthew 24:24
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” – 2 Peter 2:1
As Alex himself has demonstrated, Islam only embraces the Bible when its convenient, while ignoring it any time it’s inconvenient to the point they want to make. Islam denies Christ is the son of God, even though the Bible says he is. I personally know practicing Muslims and teaching Christ as the savior has NEVER been their focus.
Do the adherents of Islam teach that Christ is the son of God or do they deny it? If they deny it, they fall into the above category. Attempting to use the Quran to interpret the Bible is an error that has clearly led to being deceived by a book given to a man by an angel ASSUMED to be Gabriel. I’ll leave everyone with this:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1
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