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A Muslim on the Gospel

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  • A Muslim on the Gospel

    Had a really interesting discussion today on another forum with a Muslim. He said that Islam believes that the OT and NT are both valid revelations, hence the "People of the Book" thing. I had not realized that; I just thought "People of the Book" came from the fact that they consider Moses and Jesus to be prophets. But no, this person said that they feel the OT and NT are both valid revelations. I asked him how come, if that was the case, Muslims reject the divinity of Christ? It is, after all, revealed in the NT. He replied that he felt that wasn't really part of the revelation because Jesus never actually said he was God. I pointed him to Matthew 16:15-17, and reminded him of the teaching of the resurrection and the moment when the dove came upon Jesus and God spoke and said "This is my son." How, if they want to argue that the NT is valid, can they avoid the conclusion that Jesus is to be worshipped?

    He replied that there were many gospels besides the ones that made it into the canon, and Christians were discussing these matters years before Islam existed, and one scholar even said he thought Islam was a Christian heresy. In other words, he implied that those other gospels might have been better, more accurate, than what became canon.

    And I was like, But if you think these 'other gospels' are better than what made it into the canon, then you aren't really accepting the NT as a valid revelation, are you? But I didn't actually say it because I wanted to be polite.

    Has anyone else dealt with this apparent contradiction in Muslim thinking?

  • #2
    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    He replied that there were many gospels besides the ones that made it into the canon, and Christians were discussing these matters years before Islam existed
    There are indeed many so-called gospels but none of them were written by an apostle or the associate of an apostle and none of them date to the 1st century.

    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    one scholar even said he thought Islam was a Christian heresy.
    True, and no doubt there is more than one.

    Originally posted by almostgreta View Post
    In other words, he implied that those other gospels might have been better, more accurate, than what became canon.
    The church as a whole has never accepted any other Gospels but the four in the N.T. All others were rejected for obvious reasons.

    Sounds to me as if you are going a great job.
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    • #3
      Thank you! I hope the discussion will continue, it is very interesting.
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      • #4
        Found it. This might be of some help. John of Damascus (675-749) was the first to suggest that Islam is a Christian heresy. In his work On Heresies, he stated:

        From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man, after having chanced upon the Old and New Testaments and likewise, it seems, having conversed with an Arian monk, devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration.
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        • #5
          Thanks for reminding about this. In 2008 I read The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins. That was not the first time I had heard of the claim but it was the first time I really did any research on the matter. The Arian monk that John of Damascus refers is named Bahira and he is mentioned by early Muslim historians. Here is a link to wikipedia. Normally I do not recommend anything from wikipedia but I have checked it out and it is accurate.

          Bahira - Wikipedia

          Fascinating!
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          • #6
            Thank you! That's really fascinating. I also read something very interesting suggesting that, in fact, nothing is known about Islam's origins before the year 800: Page not found - Leithart The scholarly consensus has fallen apart. They're looking at a void.
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