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The Impossibility of Bible Corruption – Simple conclusion 5

Previously, we saw that the Quran never claims any incident of Bible Corruption. Rather it authenticates the bible and the real followers of Christ and Moses. Just because some perverts in Arabia did some unacceptable things, it should not be used to brush the entire community in the same paint. Look at what the Quran clarifies.

Yet they are not all alike: there are some among the People of the Book who are upright, who recite Allah’s revelations throughout the night, prostrating ˹in prayer˺. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, encourage good and forbid evil, and race with one another in doing good. They are ˹truly˺ among the righteous.

Quran 3:113-114

Practically it is IMPOSSIBLE to corrupt the Scripture, as people had spread all over the world and had copies of it. Many of them were even translated into different languages. If someone corrupted a copy in their possession there are thousands of untampered copies with other people. The Quran confirms that only certain unlettered Jews had done this wicked activity. Mohammad himself had access to reliable books of the Jews and the Christians. The Quran orders the Jews and Christians to judge by their book and they need not read the Quran (Surah 5:43, Surah 47, Surah 68).

Yet despite these claims of the Quran, there are Muslims who dare to believe that the Quran teaches that the book of the Jews and the Christians were corrupted. They have dared to add and change to the words of the Quran. By saying that the bible is corrupted, they are chopping off the branch in which they are sitting. Some give the excuse that though in the days of Mohammad bible was preserved, but later generations of Christians altered it.

To answer their claims we will show you manuscripts (handwritten documents) that prove that such accusations by ignorant Muslims are false.

Following are the bible manuscripts that existed before the days of Mohammad and they are the same as the bible we have now.

Examples of Bible Manuscripts

  • John Ryland papyrus(AD 117 to AD 138) – Fragment of John 18:31-33 – showing that the bible now is exactly same as that written in first 20 years after death of Jesus
  • Bodmer Papyri  (AD 200)– Gospel of John first 14 chapters & much of last seven chapters, 1&2 Peter, Jude  – showing that the Gospel of John, and other books of modern bibles (Peter Jude) are exactly same as that written 300-400 years before Jews and Christians of Arab corrupted them (as per Quran).
  • Chester Beatty papyrus (7 OT and 3 NT P-45, P-46 codex, P-47) – Most of the NT –  – showing that the almost all of the new testament books of modern bibles are exactly same as that written 200 years before Jews and Christians of Arab (During Mohammad times) corrupted them (as per Quran).
  • Codex Vaticanus  (AD 325 to 350 AD) – most of Old and New Testament – Showing that 150-200 bible of years before Mohammad and Bibles of Modern Christians are exactly the same and it had no effect on alteration done by few during Mohammad’s days (as per Quran).
  • Similarly we have Codex Leningrad , Codex Aleppo  belonging to 9th and 10th Century AD and Latin bibles, Septuagint (Greek), English bibles all from 10th century onwards to 21st century matching with each other exactly in meaning and doctrines, none corrupted.  
The Impossibility of Bible Corruption
The Impossibility of Bible Corruption

The Mountain of Evidence against Bible Corruption allegation

There is a mountain of evidence we have for the preservation of the bible. Following are the lists of bible Manuscript(handwritten documents) copies that we have today.

  • 10000 copies of copies of New Testament (all matching 99%)
  • 5824 copies of Greek New Testament fragment,
  • Twenty four thousand (24,000) copies of New Testament translated in other languages.
  • We have all these papyrus in fragments. Of these, we have 50 complete copies.
  • We have Great Scroll of Isaiah 1Q Isa (dating 150 BC)
  • Paleo Hebrew Leviticus Scroll (100 BC)

For more evidence, click here.

What about Variations in the Bible Manuscripts?

There are an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 accidental mistakes in these bible manuscripts (when compared one with another). These numbers at first seem to make Muslims laugh that bible is not preserved, but if they closely look at what these copying mistakes mean then they will realize that bible is perfectly preserved. These 400,000 mistakes are called variations in technical language that are as follows,

  1. Spelling variations: – Accidental error in spelling or choice of words (Jon or John). This does not change meaning. In ancient days there was no standard spellings)
  2. Inconsequential Word order (Jesus Christ vs. Christ Jesus) – In Greek, the Language of manuscripts any sentence could be said in 100 different ways by changing words order and replacing other words having same meaning. For example “John love Mary” could be said atleast 300 times by changing order of words and meaning and spelling )
  3. Meaningful non-viable variant (ex. Johannine comma) – a small comma does actually may possess change however bible has in other places same teaching taught where it can be verified that comma position does not change anything
  4. Meaningful and viable variant (much less than 1% of all variation) but none of Christian doctrines is affected because we have bible texts repeated in another book or another manuscript

You can notice that these spelling mistakes and other non-consequential mistakes are not impacting any Christain doctrine like Jesus is God or Scripture is the word of God, there is no God besides Yahweh and so on… What Muslims assume is that mistakes mean a complete change of scriptures, however, that is not so. However, that is not what variant reading in the manuscript means.

Here is Bart Erhman himself saying that variant reading of the Bible in no way affects Christian doctrines.

So, for anyone who is deeply committed to his or her theology, who is worried about how the textual variants of the New Testament might affect it, let me say it once again: none of your cherished doctrines appears to be in real danger because of variations in our surviving manuscripts (at least the variations that we know about). But that is not my claim and never has been my claim. 

Bart Ehrman

How then do Muslims believe that Quran is the original word of God that Jews and Christians altered?    

….to be continued

End of “The Impossibility of Bible Corruption – Simple conclusion 5

Part – 4
Part – 6

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