There is a common misconception among Christians, which is that Muslims believe that all the scriptures of Jews and Christians are corrupted and that they contain nothing true, which is not accurate. Muslims believe that these scriptures (including the Bible) may contain true and false scriptures as they have been subjected to corruption either by addition or by omission or by replacement and there is a lot of historical evidence proving that, and this will be shown in the entire Bible section.
Evidence of Corruption (Tahrif) from Quran and Sunna
God said in the Quran in the context of talking about Jews:
Woe, therefore, to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, `This is from ALLAH,’ That they may take it for a small price. Woe, then, to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for what they earn.( Holy Quran 2:79)
Ibn Abbas, the Prophet ﷺ’s disciple said:
“O Muslims! How could you ask the People of the Book about anything, while the Book of Allah (Qur’an) that He revealed to His Prophet ﷺ is the most recent Book from Him and you still read it fresh and young Allah told you that the People of the Book altered the Book of Allah, changed it and wrote another book with their own hands. They then said, `This book is from Allah,’ so that they acquired a small profit by it. Hasn’t the knowledge that came to you prohibited you from asking them By Allah! We have not seen any of them asking you about what was revealed to you.”
And Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said in Bukhari:
Do not believe the People of the Book and do not deny them. Say: “We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.”
And said in Abu Dawood:
The Apostle of Allah ﷺ said: Whatever the people of the Book tell you, do not verify them, nor falsify them, but say: We believe in Allah and His Apostle. If it is false, do not confirm it, and if it is right, do not falsify it.
Also there was another Hadith in Bukhari that that Humayd bin `Abdur-Rahman heard Mu`awiyah talking to a group of Quraysh in Al-Madinah. He mentioned Ka`b Al-Ahbar, and said:
“He was one of the most truthful of those who narrated from the People of the Book, even though we found that some of what he said might be lies.’
He meant that Ka’b didn’t intend to lie, but he was telling what unintentionally was interpolated by the People of the book which was against the Quran and Islamic teachings.
Does the Quran testify for the Bible?
Some people think that the Quran endorses the Bible as it talks about the Torah and the Gospel as books of God. Our Muslim belief in the Bible is that God sent the Torah to Moses (Peace be upon him), and the Gospel to Jesus (Peace be upon him), but this doesn’t mean that the Pentateuch or the four Gospels present now are the real Torah and Gospel sent to Moses and Jesus (Peace be upon them).
The case is that the Torah, the Gospel and books of other prophets’ have been subjected to corruption and to many interpolations that the true verses are mixed with the false ones, that’s why God sent the Quran to Muhammad ﷺ who is the final prophet, where it was saved from corruption as it is the final book, and contains the absolute truth. So we consider the Quran as a judge on the Bible, we accept the Bible verses which agree with the Quran, and reject the Bible verses which disagree with the Quran. As for the verses the Quran didn’t talk about, we neither agree nor disagree.
God can’t protect His books?
Some might object and say: “Isn’t God able to protect His Book?” Of course God can protect His books, but the Quran tells us that God left His book to the People of the Book, so as to test them, but they disobeyed God and interpolated in the Book:
Surely, WE sent down the Torah wherein guidance and light was. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to US, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law, because they were required to preserve the Book of ALLAH, and because they were guardians over it. . (Holy Quran 5:44)
And this was very clear even in the Bible itself:
Deuteronomy 4:1 And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah, the God of your fathers, giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you.
This verse clearly tells that interpolation in the Bible can happen, and it is not impossible because if it was impossible, there would have been no need that God warns them against it. For example, God ordered the Israelites not to worship idols, but we found some Israelites worshiping idols, this is because worshiping idols is accessible to the ones who want to do it. In the Quran, nowhere did God order Muslims not to add or diminish from it, but He simply promised to preserve it as explained in the previous section.
The Quran orders the Muslims to ask the people of the Book?
Some Christians have a misconception of a verse in the Quran saying that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to ask the people of the book when he has any doubt, so the people of the Book must be on the true way. Holy Quran says:
So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. (Holy Quran 10:94)
However, this verse actually has a different context. Arab pagans used to exclaim how a human being could be a prophet from God and they thought that the prophet should be an angel. The Quran answers this point by saying that the Jews and Christians used to have prophets among them and you can simply go and ask them about that, especially when it was common among the Jews in Arabia at that time to say that this is the time of raising a prophet but they never thought that he would be among the Arabs. This was the context of the verse but it has nothing to do with endorsing the false beliefs of the people of the Book exposed in many other verses in the Quran.
Who corrupted the Bible and when and how?
These are other common questions among Christians asking about the details of corruption. However, there is a problem with the questions themselves. If I saw a dead man on the road and I brought a doctor to examine him and it was confirmed that this man is dead, then someone came and said: “You show tell me who killed him and how and when so that I believe that he is really dead.” would this seem to be logical
We must distinguish between the fact that the Bible has many difficulties and unanswered questions as will be shown in the next articles and the way it happened and who was responsible for it. This man was proven to be dead because his heart and his organs stopped. To know who killed him and how, this is the job of the police and it won’t change the fact that he was dead. In the case of the Bible, a detailed analysis shall be shown in the next articles.