Understanding the Bible and the Quran

The key issue is context. You have to read the Quran in its context as you read the Bible in its context.

Some key differences:

  • The Bible was written over a period of several thousand years and covers about 4-5000 years of history. It was written by a large number of authors, and yet remains consistent in it’s message.
  • The Quran covers about 23 years of history, largely written by Muhammad’s followers from either dictation or memorisation, though the claim is also made that it has no author, or that Allah is it’s author.
  • Bible history moves from creation to fall to abject human sinfulness to flood to God choosing Abraham to captivity in Egypt to Passover and trek to nation state to falling repeatedly into sin to exile to return to waiting for the promised Saviour. The Jesus came, lived the life we should have lived, died for our sin and was raised in glory. So our way to God is clear. We do not contribute to our salvation. The Bible moves from laws – in Leviticus, etc, – to the fulfilment of those laws in Jesus Christ. Therefore they do not apply directly to us. They need to be seen through Jesus. Jesus said that people would know his followers by their love.
  • Quranic history moves from Mohammad as a preacher in Mecca for a period of 12 years from 610 to 622. This was a relatively peaceful time in which he gathered about 150 followers. In 622 he was forced out of Mecca by the locals and moved to Medina. This became a very warlike time. A time of killing and plunder. It is fair to say that Islam conquered the Arabian peninsula by the sword rather than the word.

Note the movement in both:

  • The Bible moves from a nation state establishing itself by the sword to Jesus demonstrating God’s love by giving himself. His true followers would be known by their love.
  • The Quran moves from a relatively peaceful preacher in Mecca to a warlike leader in Medina, who used the sword to conquer. His true followers would be known by their willingness to fight with the sword.

That movement is continued in both religions today.

  • Christians are still to serve God by caring for people in love.
  • Muslims are to serve Allah by conquering with the sword and imposing Sharia law.

You can see these things working themselves out in the world today.