Christians Accuse the Jews of Corruption of the Old Testament
This section shall highlight some of the corruptions made by the Jews in the Old Testament and how Christians accused the Jews of corruption.
The first example is what Justin Martyr (an early church father who died at about 150 AD) says in his dialogue with Trypho, a Jew:
Chap. LXXII. — Passages Have Been Removed by the Jews from Esdras and Jeremiah.
And I said, “I shall do as you please. From the statements, then, which Esdras made in reference to the law of the passover, they have taken away the following: ‘And Esdras said to the people, This passover is our Saviour and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble Him on a standard, and….. thereafter hope in Him, then this place shall not be forsaken forever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe Him, and will not listen to His declaration, you shall be a laughing-stock to the nations.’…… And again, from the sayings of the same Jeremiah these have been cut out: ‘The Lord God remembered His dead people of Israel who lay in the graves; and He descended to preach to them His own salvation.’ (Source here)
So Justin Martyr here is explicitly accusing the Jews of corrupting the Old Testament by hiding some verses talking about salvation. But is it that easy that verses are removed from the Bible?
Let’s also see what John Chrysostom (church father who lived in the 4th century) says in his Homilies on Gospel Matthew when he came to the verse quoting the Old Testament” which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.”:
And what manner of prophet said this? Be not curious, nor overbusy. For many of the prophetic writings have been lost; and this one may see from the history of the Chronicles. For being negligent, and continually falling into ungodliness, some they suffered to perish, others they themselves burnt up and cut to pieces. The latter fact Jeremiah relates; the former, he who composed the fourth book of Kings, saying, that after a long time the book of Deuteronomy was hardly found, buried somewhere and lost. But if, when there was no barbarian there, they so betrayed their books, much 56 more when the barbarians had overrun them. For as to the fact, that the prophet had foretold it, the apostles themselves in many places call Him a Nazarene. ” (Source here)
So John Chrysostom is not just accusing the Jews of being negligent who are not caring for their books, but also of destroying their own books. If these are accusations made by Christians, who are supposed to share the Jews their belief in the Old Testament, how could Muslims trust the Jews and consider that they were really honest and following God’s commandment to keep His books, not to add or remove or replace?
Not only that, we can see another interesting account by Adam Clarke, a Christian commentator where he shows another intentional corruption made by the Jews against the Samaritans. He said in his commentary on Deuteronomy 27:4 –
“Set up these stones – in Mount Ebal – So the present Hebrew text , but the Samaritan has Mount Gerizim. Dr. Kennicott has largely defended the reading of the Samaritan in his second dissertation on the present state of the Hebrew text , and Dr. Parry has defended the Hebrew against the Samaritan. Many still think Dr. Kennicott’s arguments unanswerable, and have no doubt that the Jews have here corrupted the text through their enmity to the Samaritans. “ (Source here)
So here again Adam Clarke didn’t just accuse the Jews for corrupting the manuscripts due to their hostility with Christians only, but also they did the same with Samaritans, and with Muslims when they changed the name of Abraham’s offered son to Isaac.
These may be just some examples of what I have seen in Christian writings, and may be if we dug more through other books, we may find other issues. Actually if we went through early and medieval Muslim writings, we shall find many quotes from Jewish and Christian writings talking about Prophet Muhammad in a very explicit way which is not present in the current Bible. But if the Jews are actually proven to behave the way described above, then I tend to believe Muslim scholars, especially that this is against both Christian and Jewish beliefs and they may agree on the way to show it without mentioning anything related to Islam.