The Muslim notion that the Bible is corrupted rests not on personal opinion, but rather on historical facts and evidence manifest within the Bible itself. My intention regarding this post is to simply point out that the main reasons as to why Muslims (and many others) believe the Bible is corrupted and isn’t reliable – at least as the inerrant Word of God.

1. Missing verses
Jesus refers to a previous scripture in John 7:38 when he says “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them”. But the scripture Jesus was quoting from verbatim is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. Jesus displays a pattern in which he always quoted verses verbatim fro the Old Testament.

Some examples are Luke 4:4 / Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:8 / Deuteronomy 6:13; Luke 4:12 / Deuteronomy 6:16; John 10:34 / Psalm 82:6; Matthew 21:16 / Psalm 8:2. Unless Jesus concocted that statement as being “scriptural”, the only explanation is that passage is missing from the Old Testament.
1 Corinthians 2:9 is yet another example of someone quoting a passage verbatim, that is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking passages are missing from the Bible?

2. Verses added later
Mark 16:9-20, is a crucial has been acknowledged by Christians themselves as having been inserted later. (See Mark 16:9-20 @ Biblegateway). That particular passage has given rise to the dangerous practice of snake handling. The popular Christian website gotquestions  says in an article regarding snake handling: it is not wise to use anything from Mark 16:9-20 as the sole basis for a doctrine or practice. Snake handling is one such example of a dubious concept from Mark 16:9-20″

In Christendom, a similar controversy surrounds Matthew 28:19, which is used as prooftext for the trinity. The fact that these controversies exists imply that the authenticity of that verse is on shaky ground. If we are not to use shaky scriptures as the basis for doctrine/practice, then the ending of Matthew 28 cannot be used as prooftext for the trinity.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking many verses were added later into the Bible?

3. Irreconcilable contradictions
Did Judas buy the field with the silver and then fall to his death in it
– OR –
Did he throw the silver and hang himself before somebody else bought the field in which he was buried?

Even a child can understand they are 2 different sequences of events. So why can’t adults, especially those interested in theology? Both can’t be simultaneously true; it would be insulting to anybody’s intelligence to claim they are both the same event. Judas’ death is but one example; there are many more which I will not get into here.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking the Bible contains irreconcilably contradictory messages?

4. Usage of Greek, a non-Semitic language
The Biblical books pertaining to Jesus’ life and teachings were not written in the original language of Jesus and his followers – Aramaic and Hebrew. Yet, the earliest manuscripts of the Gospels (and other books) are in Greek, implying they were written not by the original Hebrew apostles, but rather by Greek converts for Greek converts, or for the purpose of converting Greeks. It is illogical to conclude that Jesus’ disciples and followers, spoke in one language and wrote in another.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking the original message of Jesus in the Bible was distorted or lost in translation to Greek?

5. Second or third hand accounts

Luke admits his account was “handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses…” (Luke 1).

Another thing to consider is that none of the disciples were present during many key events recorded in the gospels – Jesus’ prayer at Gethsemane, the trial before the Sanhedrin, the conversation with Pilate and to an extent, the crucifixion. The details of these events could have only made it to the final text via second and third hand accounts.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking the Bible contains second/third hand accounts?

6. Apocryphal books

Since the Bible was compiled over a long period of around 2,000 years, many books have been written about with regard to the Israelite religion or the teachings of Jesus. Yet, not everything made it to the final canon; today we call them “Apocrypha”. Whether or not they made it into the final canon rested on the whims of a few who had the authority to decide on this matter. So when you claim the modern Bible is the inspired Word of God, you are basically endorsing the decisions of those who approved the final canon. How many of the non-Canonical apocryphal books are genuine yet were denied a place in the final canon? How many of them are still waiting to be discovered?

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking that the Bible may not contain the entire truth? And that the truth may lie in the books outside of Biblical canon?

7. Roman handling of scripture

This is by far the most important reason – at least for me – to reject the Bible as a reliable scripture. It is a historically established fact that the Romans took complete control of a religion whose scripture originated in the Middle East. The Romans pretty much owned Christianity for centuries:

– They usurped Christianity as a state religion
– They completely violated even the basic commands not to make images for worship
– They held the council of Nicea to determine crucial aspects of doctrine by vote
– They declared Latin as the official language of (what was originally) a Semitic religion
– They brutally crushed all rebellion against the RCC
– They kept the Bible out of public hands

In light of the above, it is simply delusional to expect that the Romans, who for centuries enforced control over Christianity, miraculously stopped short of altering it by adding to or mutilating it. The implication of Roman involvement in Christianity is that the Israelite religion fell into the hands of a pagan people who had a history of brutally persecuting Christians. The Romans took control over an Israelite religion and then completely defiled it in whatever way they willed.

Can you honestly blame Muslims for thinking that the Bible was further corrupted by the hands of the Romans? And that the Bible (and Christianity) we have today is a legacy of the RCC?

I am not saying the Bible does not contain truth in it. However, given the points raised in this thread, my only contention is that the Bible contains truth albeit mixed with falsehoods that resulted from translation errors, textual distortions, additions, erroneous accounts etc. In light of all the points raised in this thread, any person – regardless of his religious background – reaches the conclusion that the Bible is unreliable.

So can you honestly blame Muslims for holding that the Bible is an essentially unreliable scripture?