In the Name of God, the Most Gracious; The Most Merciful.
Alhamdulilah – All praise is due to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the One to whom we turn to for hikma (wisdom), hidaya (guidance) and rahma (mercy).
When Christians give their message to Muslims, it is often a very simplified statement, such as: “God loved the humans so much that he sent his son, who died for your sins. And, in verbalizing your belief in this you will be saved.” Or, the Christian may try to encourage a sense of doubt in the mind of the Muslim regarding his/her religion. In both of these methods, there are deficiencies; the following will simply discuss the questions Christians ought to consider, or the aspect of Christian theology that Muslims should understand.
At the most basic level of a religion is the source of knowledge, and for Christians this source is the Bible. However, when a Christian is asked if the Bible is the word of God or not, they might have a difficult time. This is a vital and basic aqeedah issue that the Christian community can not agree upon. The question is difficult for Christianity because both answers (yes or no) pose great theological problems. Let us examine them briefly:
(1) Yes, the Bible is the word of God. This poses a grave problem because the Bible has many self-contradicting statements within. Let us leave aside some controversial issues like the status of Jesus and deal with some simple numbers: What was the age of Ahaziah when he began to rule (second Kings 8:26 – says 22, or 42 in second chronicles 22:2)? How many stalls of horses did Solomon have? (first kings 4:26 says 40,000 stalls of horses or 4,000 in second chronicles 9:25)? And, there are many, many more examples of simple number discrepancies.
(2) No, the Bible is not the exact word of God. This poses an even greater problem for the Christians because at this point the Bible becomes very subjective and “truth” is really only in the eyes of whoever is reading; this is because some parts are “inspired” by God while other parts are simply editing mistakes and human errors – who decides what falls into which category is a slippery slope that Christians don’t want to fall into.
Let us speak with wisdom and patience and allow the truth to stand clear from falsehood.
And, Allah knows best.