The Challenge of Islam
Islam has become a major world religion that came from humble beginnings. Islam was founded by the prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century AD. Throughout its lifespan, Islam has engaged in great conflict with Christianity and Judaism and has had lasting effects into the modern era. Islam claims to be the one true religion. The purpose of this blog is to discuss five claims that Islam has made against Christianity: The original Holy Book has been distorted, Jesus was not crucified, Jesus is not divine, God is not triune, and Jesus was a prophet of Islam. This blog will show that these claims are simply not true.
Claim 1: The Original Holy Book Has Been Distorted
Believe it or not, Islam teaches that certain books outside of the Qur’an are divine Holy books. The Qur’an endorses the divine authority of the Old Testament and the Gospels (Qur’an 4:48; 136; 5:47-51, 68-71; 10:94). Here is the problem, the New Testament has been proven to be transmitted with integrity and the texts from Muhammad’s day are very similar to the texts that we read today. It is unsupported that the texts were changed in any way. There are over sixty known New Testament manuscripts in existence today, some dating to the first century AD, centuries before Muhammad was born, and are verifiably unchanged. Also, with the rapid dissemination of New Testament texts, it would have been impossible to alter them all. The Qur’an says to consult with the Scriptures, but if one truly did, nothing would line up.
Claim 2: Jesus Was Not Crucified
The Qur’an teaches that Jesus was not crucified, but was taken directly to Allah, to only return from heaven to die in the future (Qur’an 3:54-55). If the Qur’an instructs us to look to the Gospels for confirmation, one would find that Jesus was crucified in all four Gospel accounts (Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-47; Luke 23:26-43; John 19:28-30). The death of Jesus was also prophesied in the Old Testament (Isaiah 53). The Bible makes it quite clear that Jesus was crucified on the cross for the sins of many.
Claim 3: Jesus is Not Divine
Islam teaches that Jesus was not divine, nor the Son of God, but a prophet of Islam. Islam does affirm that Jesus was born of a virgin, sinless, the Messiah, and will come again, but Jesus is not divine. Once again, if one turns to the New Testament for proof, Jesus Himself claimed deity. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Islam will argue that Christians believe in polytheism because of statements like this, which brings me to claim number 4.
Claim 4: God is Not Triune
The Qur’an teaches that God is not triune, because this would be polytheism, and that Allah is absolutely one. The Qur’an misunderstands the nature of God. God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three-in-one, monotheism. They are not three separate beings. God the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for the sins of humanity. This ushered in the New Covenant releasing the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2 into the hearts of all believers.
Claim 5: Jesus Was a Prophet of Islam
There are many prophets in Islam, most of whom are from the Old Testament, such as Abraham and David, and Muhammad is Allah’s greatest prophet. The only problem, is that this does not hold up to the biblical accounts of the prophets or Jesus. Jesus Christ was not a prophet, but the Son of the living God.
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an Apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
In concluding, I just wanted to discuss five claims Islam makes against Christianity and show that they simply are not valid claims. Islam claims that the Qur’an replaces the Bible as God’s revelation while claiming to search the Bible for validation. This in itself invalidates these claims. The New Testament was written and affirmed centuries before the Qur’an became a thought and the Old Testament centuries prior to that. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth and died for the sins of many, only to be resurrected on the third day appearing to many. Believers are now indwelled with the Holy Spirit after the day of Pentecost, and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three-in-one.
Groothuis, Douglas. Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011.