The Qur’an never says the text of the Bible was corrupted

An excellent presentation by a former Muslim.

In the first videos, notice the difference between “lafz” لفظ (word) and “Ma’ani” معنی (meaning).  We have the Arabic word “lafz” لفظ in Farsi also, which indicates the “word” or text (متن = matn) has not been changed. And we have the word “ma’ani” معنی also in Farsi which means “meaning”. Some Christians and Jews changed the “meanings” of the text/word, by their wrong oral interpretations (“with their tongues” – Qur’an 3:78) but the text has not been changed or corrupted or lost.

He uses the exact same main verses that I would use to show that the Qur’an does not say that the text of the Bible was corrupted. (Surah Al Ma’ida 5:47; – “let the people of the gospel judge by what God has revealed therein . . . ”

Surah 5:68 –

Say, “O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord.”

Yunus 10:94 – “If you have any doubt about what we are revealing to you, go and ask the people of the book.”

Surah 10:64 – “There is no changing the words of Allah”

Here he quotes a lot of famous and early Muslims, to confirm this truth. Ibn Abbas, the cousin and one of the companions of Muhammad, Ibn Kathir, Imam Al Razi, Al Tabari (the historian of Islam), even Ibn Taymiyya. He says that the idea that the Bible was corrupt was started by Ibn Khazem (died in 1064 AD), which is way after the foundational period of Islam.

هیچ کس نمی تواند کلام خدا را تبدیل بدهد
(Farsi for “No one is able to change the word of God”)

وَلَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ

“And there is no changing the words of Allah” (This phrase is from Surah 6:34, and see 6:115 (116); 10:64 (65); 18:27 below)

We have this same word and various forms of “change” from Arabic (مبدل and تبدیل)in Farsi.

Surah 10:94 says that Muhammad should go and ask the people who have been reading the Book الکتاب  before him. The Book, or Revelation from Allah “before him” is the Bible, both the OT and the NT. Surah 2:136 says that all of the Revelation given before Muhammad was revelation from God; the listing of prophets from Abraham to Moses to Jesus shows that this includes the OT and the NT; “we make no distinction” between the previous revelations and the current ones. Muhammad thought there was no contradiction. He misunderstood what the OT was and he misunderstood what the NT was. I did not write that the word “Injeel” was in the Arabic text of Surah 10:94, but it surely includes it in the meaning and intention because it came before and it clearly uses the word “before” قبل (again, we have this word in Farsi and I can see it. “From before you” = من قبلک
من = (min) = from; قبل = (qabl) = before; ک on the end = “you”

Surah 2:136:

قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ
وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma´il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam).”

It is obvious that the Qur’an thought the previous revelations were not corrupt and at least 4 other times it says, “No one can change the words of Allah”. (Surah 6:34; 6:115 (116); 10:64 (65); 18:27)

Surah 6:34:

وَلَقَدْ كُذِّبَتْ رُسُلٌ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَصَبَرُوا عَلَىٰ مَا كُذِّبُوا وَأُوذُوا حَتَّىٰ أَتَاهُمْ نَصْرُنَا ۚ وَلَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكَ مِن نَّبَإِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers.”

The Arabic phrase here is key and a theological truth that in principle Christians and Muslims can agree with: “there is no changing the words of Allah”

وَلَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ

Surah 6:115 (or 116 depending on numbering of different Qur’an translations.)

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“ The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all.”

لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ
“No changing His words”

Surah 10:64 (or 65)

لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity.

لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ

“No change can there be in the words of Allah”

Surah 18:27:

وَاتْلُ مَا أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَابِ رَبِّكَ ۖ لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.

لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ

“No changing of His words”


Also, Surah 29:46 also says “Dispute not with the people of the book” . . . “But say, we believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which has come down to you.”

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ ۖ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَٰهُنَا وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

“And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).”

The people of the book are the Christians and the Jews. Surah 9:29-30 says this also. Many other verses in the Qur’an teach this.

I sincerely believe that the Qur’an and Muhammad misunderstood Christianity and that he really thought the previous revelations were not corrupted.   I am bringing forth evidence from the Qur’an itself that shows that at the time of Muhammad, he did not believe the Bible (OT and NT) was corrupt.

Obviously, Muhammad thought the revelations had the same basic message; and later, when Muslims began to study more of the details of the OT and the NT, they realized that there are differences in the teachings, so it is then that they had to come up with the idea of “Tahreef” تحریف , that the text of the previous revelations have been corrupted. But the Qur’an itself never says this.

On the 2 main texts that Muslims claim that does say the text was corrupted, Surah 2:79 and 3:78, see here. (see my comments that I have added after the video debate of David Wood vs. Shabir Ally.)

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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3 Responses to The Qur’an never says the text of the Bible was corrupted

  1. θ says:

    The New Testament is not two books that get religious validation or approval of authentication in Q.28, v.49. However Arabic Gospel known as Injil gets approval, per Q.5, v.47.
    The Tanach gets scrutinised by the long line witnesses of major and minor Prophets, hence the corruption can be strictly minimised.

  2. tarin akhtar says:

    The Bible is also pretty good at inaccurately depicting animals. Pretty odd since it is the supposed word of the being who created them.

    According to Leviticus 11:5-6 Rabbits (Coney) chew their cud and because of this they are unclean. Last time I checked, rabbits don’t chew cud.
    In Genesis 1:16 says “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” According to this, the moon is a light source just like the sun, only not as bright. If this was the case, we couldn’t land on the moon, it would be too hot.


    • Ken Temple says:

      The Bible uses “phenomenological language” – language as it appears to us humans – for example “the sun rises” or “the earth stood still” (in Joshua, see article below) – describes how it appears to us; not meant to be a scientific accurate statement.

      Since coneys and rabbits move their jaws sideways like ruminants, and they eat the same food, they give the appearance of chewing the cud. Even the naturalist Linnaeus at first thought they were ruminants.

      Here is a good article on phenomenological language:

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