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A Manual of the Leading 

Miiliammadan Objections 
to Christianity. 




" Of all men . . . thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest 
in affection to them (i.e. to Muslims) who say, We are 
Christiana ."(Silrah Al Mdidah, V., 85.) 

"Aftab amad dalll i aftab; 
Gar dalllat bayad, az vai ru ma tab." 


NiilUMI .MlU:i{|..\NI) \\IMK, W.C. ; 4;J, Ul KKV VICTORIA STUEKT, E.t . 

BitioiiTox : 129, NORTH Sim i i 




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JAN 2 IS }) 


I. AN English reader, unacquainted with the 
East and with the Muhammadan controversy, will 
be inclined, on reading this book, to think that the 
arguments heie used on the Christian side are in 
sufficient, being weakly stated and based too 
much upon the Qur an. It is hoped that mission 
aries of experience will not think so. The reason 
why at first sight the work may seem open to these 
ctions is that the Christian controversialist has 
limit his choice of proofs to those which lie 
within the range of a Muhammadan s knowledge, 
nd this is generally extremely limited. To appeal 
j the history of the Jews, of the world at large, of 
his own nation, to criticism of whatever nature, to 
the Bible, to the opinions of European writers, or 
anything of the kind, would for the most part 
be to refer to that of which a Muslim has no know 
ledge, or at least very little indeed. Should he 
have read the Bible (except certain extracts torn 
from their proper context and wrested to support 
the foregone conclusions of Muhammadan con 
troversial writers), he still denies its authenticity, 
genuineness, and authority, except again in the 
case of the most enlightened of the Indian Muslims. 
It is evident, therefore, that no appeal to the Bible 


can have any weight until the objections which 
Muslims bring against it are removed. The best, 
nay, almost the only way to do this is, as ex 
perience has proved, to show that these objections 
are opposed to the Qur an s own clear statements 
and to the views of eminent Muhammadan com 
mentators of the past. Of course Muslims know 
that the Christian missionary does not accept the 
Qur an in the sense in which Muhamraadans accept 
it. In appealing to the testimony of the Qur an 
it must not be supposed, however, that we are 
building upon sand. We do not appeal to its 
evidence as of any real weight in support of the 
claims of the Bible upon men. But we quote its 
testimony to show that the arguments which Muslims 
now bring against the Bible are confuted in large 
measure by the statements of the book which they 
themselves believe to be God s best and final 
revelation to man, and to be God s own Word, 
inscribed upon the " Preserved Tablet " in Heaven 
ages before the creation of the world. In quoting 
it we acknowledge merely that it has been handed 
down from Muhammad, and that he claimed for it 
the lofty position which Muslims accord to it. 

Our choice of arguments is limited by our 
opponent s lack of knowledge ; because arguments 
founded upon circumstances with which he is 
unacquainted not only fail to hit the mark but 
are injurious, since Muslims fancy that we are 
endeavouring to shirk the question at issue, and 


they are thus confirmed in their belief as to the 
strength of their position. 

2. I have tried to arrange Muhammadan ob 
jections as simply and clearly as possible, indicating 
the line of argument which I think the best to 
adopt in answering them. I most gratefully ac 
knowledge my indebtedness to those missionaries 
and others who have kindly, in compliance with 
my request, ^communicated to me the objections 
they have actually had to meet, and have suggested 
what seemed to them the best answers to give. 
I have endeavoured to thank all such by letter, 
but trust they will permit me to do so here also. 
It has not been possible, of course, to accept the 
very words of such suggestions in every case, but 
I think they will be found to have been carefully 
considered. Sometimes an optional answer to a 
difficulty has been given in order that I might avail 
myself of such valuable hints and advice. 

3. The C. M. S. Committee have expressed their 
desire that I should as far as possible abstain from 
quoting authorities l at any length. I have therefore 
merely referred my readers to books where they 
will tind the authority for my statements, when 
this seemed really necessary. Hence too I have 
not quoted the Qur anic passages in the original 

1 The Rev. Canon Sell hopes to be able to publish in a separate 
form at Madras tljc <-lii. f passages to -s\hi<-h n-l i-n-n,-.- 
is made in this manual. This might be found of use as a kind 
of supplement to the book. 


(though the missionary should look them up in 
the Arabic in every case, knowing that the Muslim 
will not accept any translation as of authority). 
In translating verses of the Qur an, I have departed 
from Rodwell s version only when absolutely 
necessary. The verses are numbered as in Fluegel s 
Arabic edition, though the habit of numbering 
them is by no means as yet universally adopted in 
the East. , 

4. Certain passages are put in square brackets to 
indicate that care should be taken in using such 
arguments, or that the matters dealt with are of 
slight importance. In some cases these passages are 
mainly intended for the information of the young 
missionary himself, in case he should not be able 
at the moment to obtain fuller information on 
special points. 

5. I have supplied (in brackets) the technical 
Arabic words used by Muhammadans with reference 
to certain doctrines or opinions of theirs, so that 
the young missionary may know exactly what 
word to use in order to convey his meaning to the 
hearer, and may understand the word when he 
hears it used. A knowledge of such terms is of 
very great importance indeed. 

6. The book is put into the form of a dialogue 
not only to make it more readable, but also because 
the Muhammadan arguments could best be ar 
ranged and given their due weight in that manner. 
It is the natural arrangement too, because conversa- 


tions or controversies about the Faith must (or at 
least should) assume that form in real life. The 
order in which the subjects are taken has been 
decided upon, after considerable thought, as that 
which seems to me to be the one in which the con 
troversy between the Muslims and ourselves may 
be the most profitably conducted. The individual 
arguments on the Muhaminadan side are arranged 
in as orderly a manner as possible. But as the 
same argument is often brought forward in slightly 
different terms, I have often given it in more forms 
than one, though answering it at length only once. 
In consequence of the introduction of arguments 
in this way more than once, and that of other 
trifling ones in what seemed the most convenient 
place for them, the chapters are not models of 
orderly and logical controversy ; for I had to re 
present Muslims as speaking as they actually do, 
and not as would best suit the line of argument to 
which I wished to adhere. Before we can discuss 
such questions as the Doctrine of the Trinity, the 
Atonement, and others peculiarly Christian, which 
rest upon the Bible for their proof, it is necessary 
to remove the difficulties in his mind which prevent 
the Muslim from accepting as of authority the 
statements of Scripture. T/^ an I /tor it i/ <>f ///<- />W<- 
is f/tr (/((// fin-xtinn njitni ii /tii /t tum8 t/ie whole 3/- 

It is impossible to hope that such a work as this 
should be anything but very imperfect at first. 


I therefore invite and shall be grateful for all 
suggestions and criticisms, hoping to profit by them 
in rendering (by God s blessing) a second edition 
more useful to my fellow labourers than the first 
can be. 

7. It has again and again been asked, "Why 
should missionaries enter at all on the discussion 
of such doctrines as that of the Trinity when dealing 
with either Muhammadans or heatheps ? Why not 
imitate the Apostles and at first inculcate belief in 
the Divine Unity, letting the doctrine of the Trinity 
evolve itself, as it were, in the minds of converts, 
very much as it did in the early Church ? " This 
seems very sensible advice indeed as far as our 
dealings with polytheists are concerned, and it is 
doubtless just what workers among them do. But 
missionaries to Muhammadans are forced to enter 
upon the doctrine of the Trinity, because all Muslims 
know that Christians hold it, and Muhammadans 
deem it the weakest point in the Christian faith 
and therefore invariably select it for attack. As 
they imagine that by the doctrine of the Trinity we 
express our belief in three Gods (one of whom they 
often fancy to be the Virgin Mary), we have to 
explain what the true faith is, and to prove that it 
is taught in Holy Scripture. 

8. It must be borne in mind that this book is not 
intended to be a manual of Christian dogmatics, but 
only to be a handbook dealing simply and briefly 
with the most usual Muhammadan objections 


to certain Christian doctrines and to Christianity 
in general. Hence we have not attempted anything 
like &fnll treatment of such matters as the Atone 
ment, the Nature of God, the Trinity, the Deity of 
Christ, Messianic Prophecies, the Authenticity of 
the various books of the Bible, the Nature of Sin, 
and so on. Books dealing with all these subjects are 
readily accessible to the Christian student, and his 
knowledge o( them is of course taken for granted. 

























A MISSIONARY labouring among Muslims will 
almost of necessity find himself, to a greater or less 
degree, compelled to engage in (written or oral) 
controversy with them at some time or other, 
possibly very frequently. As the women in Muham- 
madan lands are, for the most part, little instructed 
even in their own creed, lady missionaries are 
perhaps, in some places, not so frequently called 
upon as men are to argue with those to whom 
they are sent. Yet at any time questions involving 
a knowledge of the Muhammadan controversy may 
be asked, and it is absolutely necessary to be ready 
with a suitable reply to each and every one of 
these. A missionary will never seek controversy 
merely for its own sake, but he must never *liun it, 
lest he convey the impression that no answer can 
be given to Muhammadan objections. The model 
of Christian controversy is given in Acts xvii. 23, 
sqq. When controversy arises it may be well to 
observe the following rules, which I venture to 
suggest to the young missionary : 

i. Remember that our aim is not to silence our 


opponent, nor to gain a merely logical victory, but 
to win souls to Christ. Hence, in argument, we 
should endeavour to remove misconceptions which 
hinder Muslims from giving careful attention to 
the Gospel message. The object that we have in 
view in controversy is chiefly to remove stumbling- 
blocks. We must not expect it to convert a soul. 
That is the work of the Holy Spirit, whose aid 
must at every step be prayerfully and believingly 
invoked. Urge the inquirer or opponent prayer 
fully to read the Bille, especially the New Testa 
ment, and not to content himself with finding fault 
with it and discovering difficulties in it T . 

2. Endeavour to limit the discussion on each 
occasion to one or two definite points, which should 
be settled upon with your opponent beforehand. 
To let him hurry off from one point to another 
without waiting for an answer is a mere waste of 
time, or worse. Try also to bring the argument 
to some definite conclusion. This can be done 
only by planning out the course of the discussion, 
as far as possible, in one s own mind, and keeping 
the goal steadily in view. 

3. It is impossible to pay too much attention to 
fairness and courtesy 2 in your arguments. If you 
are polite and kind in your words and manner, 

1 Rev. F. Laurence. 

2 "I should lay at least equal stress on fairness. I think it is 
much less frequently found in arguments than is courtesy of 
manner, and I believe it has an enormous effect." (The Right Rev. 
the Bishop of Lahore.) Vide No. ir below. 


your opponent will generally, even against his will, 
be forced to observe the rules of courtesy. Regard 
him as a brother for whom Christ died, and to 
whom you are sent with the message of reconcilia 
tion. You can generally repress any rudeness on 
his part, without offending him, by showing courtesy 
to him and making it clear, by your manner, that 
you expect the same conduct from him. Never let 
an argument degenerate into a quarrel. 

4. Remember that your opponent may be en 
deavouring to make you angry. If he can succeed 
in even leading those present to imagine that you 
are so, he will in their opinion have gained the 
victory. For example : as Byron states, a Turk s 
very beard is supposed to curl with wrath. (" Then 
curled his very beard with ire.") To prevent one s 
anger from being thus evidenced, an Oriental will 
frequently stroke his moustaches. If a Christian 
should do this, even thoughtlessly, in argument, 
his opponent has been known to pause, look round 
on the audience to call their attention to it, and 
then begin most profusely to apologize, with the 
appearance of fear, for having quite unintentionally 
made him angry 1 He has gained the day ; he has 
made his opponent angry, or pretends to think he 
has, and perhaps convinces the rest that it is so 1 
Anger of course shows consciousness of defeat. 

5. Endeavour to make your opponent feel the terribly 
</,;- /f importance of the matters he is inclined to dlxm** 
so lightly. Show him that you regard them as matters 


of life or death. However frivolous he may at first 
be, he will generally feel with you very readily, if 
you are in earnest. If you are not, you are no true 

6. Never be beguiled into answering (in a dis 
cussion) such a question as, " What do you think 
of Muhammad 1 ?" or into making a direct attack 
upon him. To do so would be to offend your 
hearers and do immense harm. It, is needless to 
tell them your opinion of Muhammad, for they will 
not accept it on your authority. By and by, if 
they read the Bible, they will form a very decided 
opinion themselves. It is better to reply somewhat 
in this manner : " What does it matter what my 
opinion of Muhammad is 1 ? I have nothing to say 
to you about him : I come to tell you about Christ! 
The meaning of this will be quite clear to the 
audience : they will appreciate your courtesy, and 
will probably ask you to tell them your message 
about Jesus 1 . 

1 In this Manual I have on certain occasions pointed out 
certain facts with reference to Muhammad, e. g. that he is not 
in the Qur an regarded as sinless. This has been done for the 
information of the Christian student, and is necessary in a book 
of this description. But it is very delicate ground indeed on 
which to tread in speaking to a Muslim. It must be borne in 
mind that I am not suggesting the actual words that should be 
used when dealing with the subject. In conversation it would 
be well to ask the meaning of the passages in the Qur an which 
imply that Muhammad (and the Prophets) were not devoid of 
sin, and merely imply by one s manner that the answers given 
were not satisfactory. This will make the Muhammadan 


7. The missionary should be careful to give some 
title of courtesy to Muhammad (or, in case of need, 
to All or Fatimah or other person honoured by 
Muslims) in countries where to do otherwise would 
be esteemed disrespectful. In India it is best to 
say "Muhammad Sahib" in Persia " Hazrat -i Mu 
hammad 1 ." Higher titles we as Christians cannot 
give him, and Muslims are content if we give him 
these. In Eg^pt and Palestine they do not seem 
to resent him being spoken of simply as "Mu 
hammad," but in India and Persia to speak thus 
would be insulting to your interlocutor 2 . 

8. Be careful of the theological terms you use. 
See that you thoroughly understand them yourself 
in the first place, not merely the Enytish terms but 
the words used in the native language Arabic, 
Persian, Turkish, Urdu, or whatever it may be. 
Do not fancy that the words, e.g. for holiness, 
atonement, sin, kingdom of heaven, peace, &c., which 
are used in the vernacular version of the Bible, 

interlocutor think about them afterwards himself. In open- 
air controversy in public the subject should bo avoided, and 
the disputant invited to a private discussion. 

1 Of course in this book this is needless, but it should bo 
borne in mind in case a translation is undertaken. 

3 Missionaries in Eastern Arabia sometimes use the expression 
Nabikum ("your Prophet") out of courtesy. Is not this, 
however, liable to misconstruction ? The Rev. P. M. Zenker 
wisely points out the necessity of our always adding to the name 
of our Saviour the title "Lord." Muslims themselves always 
give Him some title of respect, and they are offended if ice omit 
to do so. 



convey their Christian theological meaning at the 
first glance to the interlocutor. Guard against any 
misunderstanding on his part. Use his own theo 
logical terms as far as possible, making quite sure 
that you fully understand them. 

Whenever your opponent quotes and founds an 
argument upon any passage in the Bible, make 
a point of turning to that passage (in the original, 
if possible) and ascertaining from the Context exactly 
what is said and what is meant. Do not rely upon 
memory. This is of the utmost importance. To 
read the verse aloud with the context will often 
afford a complete reply to the difficulty which has 
been mooted. The same plan might profitably be 
applied to the Qur an, which must be quoted in the 

9. Kemember that although, generally speaking, 
the Bible, being an Oriental book, is more readily 
understood in some respects by Orientals than by 
Europeans, yet passages which to us present no 
difficulty to an Oriental occasionally require ex 
planation. E. g., in Persia a very intelligent Kurd 
ish convert asked me the meaning of Isa. i. 18, 
"Though your sins be ... red like crimson, they 
shall be as wool." His difficulty is readily under 
stood when we remember that in Persia most sheep 
are black. I once found a Persian of some learning 
under the impression that John the Baptist (Yahya ) 
was Yahya ibn Barmak, the noted minister of 
Harunu r Rashld. In India the expression (Matt. 


xxvii. 7) "to bury strangers in " seemed to the 
native mind to denote " to bury strangers alive in !" 
Other similar mistakes have occurred and should 
be guarded against. 

10. Before entering into an argument before 
going out as a missionary at all one should not 
only know the Bible well, but should have made 
up one s mind on matters which are in dispute. 
Of course we tfmst be fully convinced of the truth 
of nil t^e main Christian doctrines; but we should 
also know exactly what the Bible teaches and 
what it does not teach on such subjects as, e.g., 
the Fall, " Conditional Immortality," " Eternal 
Hope," the Atonement, and many more. The case 
of F. W. Newman, and his difficulty when in 
Baghdad he was asked a question about the Trinity, 
affords an extreme example of the danger of want 
of preparation for our work. 

11. Readily accept, and make it plain tliaf you 
////////// accept, all the truth that is in any way 
common to Christianity and Islam. Then lead on 
from these points of agreement and show how much 
truer are some of their tenets than they have any 
idea of. You can show that the Bible teaches all 
that is true in such tenets of theirs, and that it 
goes very much further on such points than their 
theology docs *. Illustrations of this will be afforded 

1 In s|x--(kiii^ of theQur an one has to IKJ v-ry much on one l 
guard, and tins the Muslim knows well. But in treating of the 
great truths which are common to the two religions, the 
B 2 


in the answers to various objections ; see especially 
the articles dealing with the Mubammadan admis 
sion that Christ is Kalimatiittdh ("the Word of 
God") 1 . 

1 1. Try to convince of sin and of mans need of a 
Saviour. Muhammadans have very little idea of 
the guilt of sin. Endeavour to reach men s hearts 
and not merely their intellects. Appeal to them as 
men for whom Christ died, who neeci the salvation 
which He has commissioned you to offer through 
the Gospel. 

13. Put yourself as much as possible in your 
opponent s place, so as to try to understand his 
difficulties. You will thus be the better able to 
frame your answers in such a way as to be under 
stood by him. The Socratic method of asking 
questions and leading your opponent to find the 
answers, and thus to convince himself of the truth 
of what you wish to teach him, is perhaps the best 
in general, if properly used. We have illustrated 
this in the discussion on the doctrine of the Trinity. 

14. Remember what your interlocutor, if he be 
an " orthodox " Muhammadan, will be ready to 
admit, and what he will not at first admit. You 
will thus be on sure ground in your arguments, and 
will have a TTOV o-ra> whereon to plant your lever. 

Christian can speak freely and heartily, and in so doing he 
can awaken a glow of sympathy in the hearer, which will 
at least dispose him to listen to what one has to say in regard 
to distinctive Christian doctrines. (Rev. P. Z. Easton.) 
1 Vide 158 sqq. 


(a) He is bound to admit the validity of argu 
ments based on the assumption (for the sake of 
argument, as far as you are concerned) that the 
Qur an is the Book of God, that every word and 
letter of it in the original is of Divine authorship. 

(b) He accepts the great doctrines of : ( i ) God s 
Unity, Almighty Power, Wisdom, Eternity, Un- 
changeableness, and that He is the union of all 
good attributes; (2) His creation of the universe, 
and His Divine government and Providence ; (3) 
the Divine Mission of all the Prophets (including 
Jesus) ; (4) the eternal distinction between the 
Creator and His creatures ; (5) the -existence of the 
world and of human personality, of the human 
spirit, of life after death, of future rewards and 
punishments, the Resurrection, the need of faith, 
the existence of good and evil spirits ; (6) Christ s 
Divine Mission, His birth of a Virgin, His sinl--s- 
ness (all the Prophets being by Muslims called 
sinless), His Ascension, His life in Heaven now, 
His future Advent, and that Christ is "the Word 
of God" (Kalimafiiildli] and "A Spirit from Him" 
i Iu //i(/i M in/tit) ; (7) that the Bible, a* ri</hm(/// ////>;/, 
was a Divine revelation; and he believes (8) that 
Idolatry is the one unpardonable sin. (Surah IV., 
An Nisa 51, 116.) 

On the other hand he does not realize the guilt 
of sin, the existence of an eternal Moral Law : 
ho has no real conception of God s holiness, 
or justice, or love. He prai-fii-ath/ conceives of 


God s omnipotence as eclipsing all His other attri 
butes. He sees no need of an Atonement. He 
denies the Trinity, the Sonship of Christ, and His 
death on the cross. He believes the Bible to have 
been corrupted, and at any rate he thinks that it 
has been annulled by the " descent of the Qur an 
upon Muhammad." A missionary, Dr. Pennell, 
well writes : " Nine out often of the Muhammadan 
objections come from their ineradicable tendency to 
look upon everything and interpret everything 
carnally. My main endeavour is to try and set 
forward the spiritual side of the text or doctrine. If 
I can even get them to realize that there is a spiritual 
side to religious observances, I think something is 
gained. For instance, when they raise the objection 
that we do not perform ablution before prayers, the 
objector has probably never looked on ablution 
as more than a form, and the spiritual teaching 
that may be derived from it is very likely quite 
a revelation to him. My line with that and similar 
objections would be to take the objector a step 
back to the nature of prayer, and of what prepara 
tions are required when we approach our Creator. 
Similarly, objections about the cut of our beard 
and moustaches or the make of our clothes, or the 
fact of our removing or not removing our hats 
and shoes under certain conditions, all bring the 
discussion back to the underlying motives and 
internal nature of true religion. Help may be 
obtained by reminding them of the words they 


use in the niyyat before prayers, which lay stress on 
heart preparation as opposed to externalities." 

15. Finally, let the servant of Christ remember 
and act on Bengel s advice : " Never enter upon 
controversy without knowledge^ without love, with 
out necessity" and, let us add, without prayer 1 . 

1 I do not suggest that a missionary should endeavour to 
convert a Muslim, learned or unlearned, by such a course of 
argument as that contained in this Manual. The appeal in each 
case is to the man s heart and conscience, and is made through the 
Gospel message. The object of this Manual is merely to suggest 
to objections when they are brought forward. 



IT is convenient to divide a Muhammadan s 
difficulties in the way of accepting the Gospel and 
salvation through Christ into two great divisions : 
(i) those arising from his unregenerate human 
nature ; and, (2) those arising from his belief in 
Islam and his ignorance of the true nature of the 
Christian Faith. 

The difficulties which arise under the first head 
are those which are common to men everywhere, 
because "the carnal mind is enmity against God" 
(Rom. viii. 7). It is due to this that we often 
find educated Muhammadans availing themselves 
of all the modern European arguments against 
Christianity with which they are acquainted. 
These are to be answered just as in England or 
America. To deal with arguments of this descrip 
tion is not within the province of this book, for 
they are not properly described as Muliammadan 
objections, and to deal with them at all adequately 
would require whole volumes. It suffices to say 
that such arguments are really quite as much 
opposed to Islam itself as to Christianity, at least 
for the most part, for they are levelled at all 


revealed religion, or what professes to bo such. 
The men who adduce such arguments are not really 
Muhammadans at all, and a Muhammadan audience 
can often be led to see this and to take part with 
the missionary against such men. 

Another form of thought which largely prevails 
among educated and thoughtful professing Muslims, 
at least in certain countries, is Mysticism. This 
may be said* to be Protean in its forms, but it 
generally resolves itself into Pantheism *. As such 
it may, in large measure, be traced back to Hindu 
philosophy. The Ma-viari affords a good example 
of this. That work, though professing to be an 
orthodox Muhammadan composition, in reality to 
those who understand it aright holds Islam up to 
ridicule. It was for a long time prohibited in Persia 
for this reason. " Muhammadan " mystics must not 
be considered as really Muslims at all ; hence we 
cannot here deal with their difficulties. 

We are concerned in this book only with 

1 "Not only the Shaikh! but the Mutasharri also is en 
tangled in the Pantheistic net. Aggressive Muhammadanism 
t-d:iy is largely of the darvlsk type, and this is Pantheistic. It 
is important to bring before the Muslim mind the fact that the 
great truths (Introd. n and 14, 6) of primitive Islum have 
I" n and are being undermined by an insidious Pantheistic 
teaching, and that the only refuge for those who would hold 
these truths is in the acceptance of a full-orbed Christianity." 
(Rev. P. Z. Easton.) Mr. Harding says, " I find almost all 
thoughtful Muslims tinged with mysticism of a kind which 
predisposes them to Christianity." Of such mysticism as this 
the missionary should make good use, while opposing the 
Pantheistic element in it. 


genuine Muhammadan objections. The vast mass 
of the objections which Muhammadans, whether 
Sunnis or Shi ites, bring against Christianity may 
be arranged under the following heads : - 

I. Objections against the genuineness of the Bible 
as it now exists. 

II. Objections against the present authority of 
the Bible, regarded as annulled by the Qur an. 

III. Objections against certain leading Christian 
doctrines as alleged to be taught in the Bible, on 
the ground that they are contrary to Reason and 
the Qur an ; e. g. the doctrine of the Trinity. 

IV. Objections against the doctrine of the Atone 
ment of Christ. 

V. Objections against Christianity on the ground 
of Muhammad s Divine mission, as asserted to be 
proved by prophecies in the Bible. 

VI. Miscellaneous Objections. 

These divisions to some extent overlap one another, 
and some objections may be ranged under more than 
one head. Many arise from a misunderstanding 
of what the doctrines of Christianity really are, 
others from a knowledge of the corruptions of certain 
forms of Christianity. Bigotry, prejudice, and 
boundless ignorance, even ignorance of the facts of 
Muhammad s life and ignorance of the teachings 
of the Qur an l , are among the things that make it 

1 So much is this the case that Dr. Imadu ddin s Urdu Version 
of the Qur an has already brought some Muslims to Christ 
by enabling them to learn the real nature and teachings of 


difficult to convince a Muhammadan that Christi 
anity is true, and that (inferentially) his own creed 
as a whole is not The want of order and method 
in the arrangement of their own Qur an leads them 
to fancy that the Bible must be in much the same 
condition, and that almost any verse will bear 
equally well any interpretation they may choose 
to give it. As they believe that every word and 
letter of theii* Qur an is of Divine authorship, they 
fancy that our idea of the Inspiration of the Bible 
is similar to that which they entertain regarding 
the Qur an. Hence it is often difficult for them to 
see that an argument directed against our fancied 
opinion on this point is entirely devoid of force. 
It is difficult, for example, for a Muhammadan to 
perceive that, when we admit the human element 
in, e.g., St. Paul s Epistles, we are not conceding 
that they are uninspired. This should be borne 
in mind in argument. Proofs which would quite 
convince a European, or at least silence him, seem for 

that much belauded book, and thus to compare it with the 

Muhammadan ignorance and credulity are well illustrated 
by what Mir/a Riza writes in his answer to Henry Martyn : 
"It is told of Plato (1} that, when he heard of Jesus having 
restored one to life who had been three days dead, he said, 
I can do the same thing. . . . When Plato wrote to Christ to 
know if any OMO could be saved by his intervention, the answer 
of Jesus was, Divine Physician, without my mediation no 
one can be saved. " (Sir W. Muir, The Muhammadan Controversy, 
p. 15.) Plato s opinion of Christ (!) was quoted to mo by 
a Persian prince a few years ago. 


the most part unmeaning and hence extremely feeble 
to a Muslim. This often arises from his ignorance. 

The line of argument which a missionary has to 
use, therefore, must be accommodated to the limits of 
his opponent s knowledge or comprehension. Being 
himself inclined to suppress or even deny facts 
known to be true when necessary for his argument, 
the Muslim does not credit the Christian with any 
higher regard for truth than he entertains himself. 
It is necessary therefore to argue from facts which 
the Muslim deems incontrovertible. Hence we 
frequently have to appeal to the testimony of the 
Qur an in support of our arguments, occasionally 
introducing the evidence of Muhamrnadan tradition 
and Muslim commentaries. Only when we have 
proved the genuineness and authority of the Holy 
Scriptures is it permissible for us to appeal, with 
any hope of effect, to the Bible. 

One must not be surprised at finding among 
Muhammadan controversialists a great want of 
logic, though much pretence to a knowledge of it. 
They often mistake illustration for argument, and 
are especially skilled in the dialectic feat known 
as " petitio principii." Against this the missionary 
must be continually on his guard. 

These all constitute difficulties in the way of the 
acceptance of the Gospel by Muhammadans. They 
are not "Muhammadan Objections" but they are 
very real Muhammadan difficulties, and have to be 
reckoned with as such. 



1. "How I do pity you Christians!" said a Mulla 
to a missionary recently; "you have no Holy Book 

The meaning of this is that the Mulla believed 
that the Old and New Testaments as we now have 
them are corrupted, and are therefore unworthy of 
consideration. At one time this opinion was firmly 
held by all Muslims, and it is still the general 
conviction of Muhammadans in all lands except 
perhaps in India. There many learned Muslims 
confess that our Bible exists just in the same 
state as it did in Muhammad s day. This is one 
result of Pfander s, Sir W. Muir s, Imadu ddin s, 
Safdar All s, and other controversial works. 
But even in India the unlearned frequently bring 
forward this objection, asserting that the Jews 
and Christians have corrupted the Bible. In 
proof of this they assert that the Qur an states 
that the Bible has been rendered tahrif 1 (muharrqf). 
Others declare that, on His Ascension, our Lord 

1 The word strictly moans " corrupted through the trans 
position of letters in certain words." But Muslims often employ 
the term to denote more serious corruption of the text. 


carried off the New Testament with Him into 
heaven 1 ! "Hence it logically follows," they 
argue, "that the Gospel which Christians now 
have cannot be the original one which descended 
(from heaven) upon Jesus, the Son of Mary." 

In reply it may be said: (i) The Qur an nowhere 
states that Jesus took the Gospel up to Heaven 
with Him, nor does any reliable tradition. (a) This 
statement therefore rests upon noting but your 
mere assertion, and as you were not present at the 
time you cannot give evidence. (3) The " Gospel " 
that the Lord Jesus preached and taught by His 
whole life was not fully written down then, 
just as the Qur an was not " collected " into a 
fixed form until after Muhammad s death. To 
say that the Gospel was carried off to heaven 
is therefore absurd, just as it would be to say 
that the Qur an was. If we asserted the same 
fact regarding the Qur an, you would laugh, and 
confute us by producing a copy in the original 
Arabic. So we refute your statement by showing 
you a copy in the original Greek. (I have often 
done so and found it quite sufficient to settle the 
question, for " seeing is believing," and, on the other 

1 The Rev. T. Grahame Bailey says that some Muslims hold 
that the Gospel was carried away by Satan. I have never met 
this argument myself. In reply, the Muslim should be asked 
to quote his authority for the statement. He might be shown 
that, since the Gospel which we have is the one acknowledged 
in the Qur an ( 3 sqq.), his objection lands him in con 
siderable difficulty. 


hand, as Horace says, " Segnius irritant animos 
demissa per aurem, Quam quae sunt oculis subiecta 
fidelibus." J ) (4) Just as Muhammad s disciples 
(ashdb) remembered his words and so the Qur an 
was afterwards put together (majnnT) by Zaid ibn 
Thabit, so the Gospel in its four forms was written 
down after and not before Christ s Ascension. (5) 
The meaning of Gospel (Ei a>y Aior, corrupted into 
J-s>j1) is good\ news, and this is contained in an 
epitome in John iii. 16. (6) We are glad to know 
that Muslims confess that " the Gospel 2 descended 
on Jesus," and the Qur an states that it was given 
by God "for a light 3 and a guidance to men." 
This fact refutes your assertion, for the All- wise 
God surely knows that men are on eart/i^ not in 
the heavens : hence He would not make such 
a mistake as to send the Gospel up to the sky and 
leave men, for whose guidance it was sent, on the 
earth. (7) At any rate, the Qur an shows that it 
was still on the earth in Mvkioiimad * ft me, else the 
Qur an would not have appealed to it so fre 

2. Turning now to the assertion that the Bible 

1 Photographs of passages in the oldest Greek MSS. of the 
New Testament (such as are given by Nestle in his Textual 
Criticism of the Greek New Testament, in Paterson Smyth s How we 
got our Bible, and Merrill s Parchments of the Faith} will bo found 
useful in this way. 

a Though of course this does not express the matter from the 
Christian point of view. (Vide 37 and 79.) 

3 Cf. Surahs V., Al MAidah, 50 ; and III., Al Imran, a. 


as we now have it has been corrupted (muharraf} 1 , 
the following is the style of argument which has 
been found most effective. 

Christian. When was the Bible corrupted ? before 
Muhammad s time, or after it ? 

3. Muslim. Before it. 

C. You cannot really mean that, for you are 
a Muslim, and to assert that the Bible was cor 
rupted before Muhammad s time is Jo accuse Mu 
hammad of being a false teacher, and to state that 
the Qur an is untrue and a forgery, which is just 
what the idolatrous Arabs in Muhammad s time did. 

4. M. How so ? 

C. Because the Qur an, which Muhammad claimed 
to have received from God through the archangel 
Gabriel, asserts the authority and genuineness of 
the Bible which was then in circulation among 
the Jews and Christians, and declares that the 
Qur an itself was sent down as being "confirma 
tory of previous Scripture, and its safeguard 2 " 
(Surah 3 V., Al Maidah, 52). Now, if the Bible had 

1 The Muhammadans practically charge the Bible with being 
"corrupted " in two respects, (i) by the suppression of Muham 
mad s name and of passages relating to him, and (2) by the 
substitution of our present Gospels (which they regard as made 
up of untrustworthy traditions) for the supposed original 
Gospel that " descended on Jesus." (Rev. W. A. Rice.) 

3 Muslims now endeavour to explain these words as denoting 
that the Qur an "is a correct re-statement of the older Scrip 
tures." (Rev. J. T. Allnutt. ) Of course this is not what the verse 

3 Of course the full transliteration of the Arabic would be 


been corrupted before his time, Muhammad must 
have been, knowingly or ignorantly, leading people 
who believed in him astray. If the Qur an thus 
confirms a corrupted book, how can you believe 
that your Quran has come from the All-knowing 
(Alim r ,U) God? 

5. M. But you Christians do not accept the 
Qur an, and therefore have no right to quote its 
evidence in defence of your own books. If you do 
not believe in it, why do you rely on it as a proof 
of the genuineness of your Bible ? 

C. We do not rely on its testimony, but you do ; 
and as you will not accept any other proof, we 
adduce proofs that you must accept, if you are 
Muslims. Your statement that the Bible was cor 
rupted before Muhammad s time is contrary to the 
statements of the Qur an. Which are we to believe \ 
6. M. The Qur an does not state that the Bible 
existed uncorrupted in Muhammad s time. 

C. Then will you kindly explain the meaning of 
the following, among many other passages that 
might be quoted : 

1. Surah X., Yunus, 94. 

2. Surah V.,AlMaidah, 70. 

3- > 72> 

4- 4 ~ 

5. 50,51,52. 

Snratu! Maidati, and similarly in other OMM. Hut it is more 
convenient to transcribe U ;ib *, The K-nuuii figures give the 
number of the Sur.ih. 


6. Stirah IV., An Nisa , 50. 

7- J35- 

8. Surah VII., Al A raf, 168. 

9. Surah III., Al Imran, 78. 

10. Surah II., Al Baqarah, 70. 

11. Sftrah XXI., Al Anbiya , 49. 

These verses teach us that the Taurdt and Injil 
were then in the hands of the People of the Book, 
that they had been sent down by (^fod, and that 
they were carefully studied. The Bible is called 
the Word of God, and the Law is also distinguished 
by the title Furqan, which you deem the highest 
title of the Qur an itself. Is this consonant with 
your assertion that the Bible had been corrupted 
before Muhammad s time ? If so, why does the 
Qur an represent Muhammad as commanded to tell 
the People of the Book to accept the Qur an be 
cause it confirmed what was then in their hands ? 
Why is he directed to bid the Muslims believe in 
the " previous books " (the Taurat and Injil) as well 
as in the Qur an ? Why are rewards promised to 
" the People of the Book " if they continue to obey 
" the Book " ? Why are they warned that their 
hopes are founded upon nothing unless they do so ? 
Our third and fifth quotations show that they still 
had the Law and the Gospel. Why are the People 
of the Gospel bidden to judge Muhammad s claims 
by God s revelation contained in the Gospel, if it 
had already been corrupted ? You must see that, 
by attacking the Bible as it existed in Muhammad s 


days, you do it no harm but are really overthrowing 
your own faith in the Qur an and in Muhammad. 

7. M. But the Qur an itself tells us that the Law 
at least had been corrupted before Muhammad s 
time (tahrif, muharraf], as it is said, for example, in 
the following passages : 

1. Surah II., Al Baqarah, 56. 

2. Surah VII., Al A raf, 162. 

3. Surah V., Al Maidah, 45. 

4. Surah IV., An Nisa, 48. 

5. Surah II., Al Baqarah, 70, 73. 

6. 141. 

7. Surah III., Al Imran, 64. 

8. Surah II., Al Baqarah, 39. 

C. The last few passages prove that the Jews 
then had the Taurat in an uncorrupted state in their 
hands : else, how does the Qur an say, " They tran 
scribe the Book " ? Or how could they knoiv and 
conceal the truth, if the Taurat had already been cor 
rupted ? for corrupted truth is truth no longer, but 
falsehood. Or how could they clothe the truth with 
falsehood, or sell it for a small price, or even transpose 
the words (QY letters) in their places, if they no longer had 
the Taurat in an uncorrupted state ? These passages 
therefore fail to prove your assertion ; in fact they 
prove the very opposite. The first two passages 
you quote inform us that, in Moses time, certain 
impious Jews mispronounced a word which God 
had spoken, and thereby changed its meaning, for 
which they were at once punished. But even these 
C 2 


men are not charged with corrupting the Book. 
When it is twice said that certain Jews in Muham 
mad s time (not before his time) used to shift the 
words from their places , such a charge is never brought 
against the Christians. So that, even if we admit 
that this expression means what you take it to 
mean, it relates only to the Law and not to the 
Gospel. But leading Muhammadan commentators 1 
say that the meaning is that on certain occasions 
the Jews denied that certain commands were to be 
found in the Taurat, though they well knew they 
were there. As an example a tradition is quoted 
that at Khaibar the Jews, when asked whether 
the Taurat did not command the stoning of adul 
terers, denied it, though the command to that effect 
is still in the Taurat, as they knew it was. But 
they are not accused 2 of changing the text, and the 
occurrence of the verses in question in the Taurat 
which they and we still have proves that they did 
not strike them out. This explanation agrees with 
what other passages in the Qur an say about the 
sin of the Jews in concealing the truth while they 
knew it. Or, as Ar Razi says, they perverted the 
reading "with their tongues" (Surah III., Al 

1 See the opinions of some of these quoted and commented 
on in the Mandru l Haqq (Arabic : English translation by 
Sir W. Muir ; Persian version entitled Mishqdt i Sidqby 

2 Hence the opinion of learned Muslims is that the Law was 
by these men perverted orally, and as to its meaning (ma navi ), 
not in its text (lafzi). 


Iinran, 72), not the actual text. Another explana 
tion which Ar Razi gives is that the Jews used to 
ask Muhammad questions and then falsely report 
his reply. If so, it was not the words of the Taurat 
but Muhammad s words that they are accused of 
shifting from their places. Hence we see that the 
Qur an does not state that the Scriptures were 
corrupted before Muhammad s time. 

8. M. Welithen, if the Bible was not corrupted 
before Muhammad s time, it was certainly corrupted 
in his time, as some of the verses I have quoted 


C. In saying this you contradict your leading 
commentators, and your controversy is with them, 
not with me. Besides, you must remember that 
the Qur an asserts that it was "sent down" to 
" attest the Scriptures preceding it, and to act as 
guardian to them " (Surah II., Al Eaqarah, 38 ; 
Surah IV., An Nisa, 50; Surah V., Al Maidsih, 
50 ; Surah III., Al Iniran, 75). It is strange for 
a Muslim to accuse the Qur can of attesting cor 
rupted Scripture*, and still stranger for him to 
assert that the guardianship of the Qur an was of 
no avail to hinder their corruption even in Muham 
mad s own time. 

9. M. By " attesting the Scriptures which pre 
ceded it" is meant that the Qur an agrees with tin- 
genuine teaching of previous pn.phrts, and shows 
the fulfilment of the regarding Muham 
mad contained in their books, that is to say, in the 


Taurat and Injil. By preserving such doctrines 
the Qur an acts as a guardian to those books. 

C. Such is your explanation. But if the Qur an, 
as we have seen, attested the Scriptures which in 
Muhammad s day were extant in the hands of 
Jews and Christians, and was constituted their 
guardian, surely you cannot hold that those Scrip 
tures were at that very time corrupted or had 
previously been so. And, if the Qur an then ap 
pealed to certain passages in the Bible as it then 
existed in proof of Muhammad s claim to be a 
prophet, does not that show that in Muhammad s 
time the Bible was not corrupt? 

10. M. Well then, if the Scriptures were not 
corrupted before Muhammad s time, or in his days, 
they must have been corrupted since that time, for 
they are corrupt, as everybody knows, because they 
used to agree with the Qur an and no longer do so. 
The Qur an appeals to its agreement with the 
Bible as one of the proofs of its inspiration ; that 
is one meaning of several of the verses which you 
have quoted. This it would not have done if the 
Bible had then been what it now is, since it now 
contradicts the Qur an in many important points, 
and this is the reason why we cannot accept your 
Bible ] . Muhammad would not have been com- 

1 Muhammad was ignorant of the real teaching of the Bible, 
and rashly fancied that it must agree with his doctrine. To 
say this, however, would be considered by Muslims as an insult 
to Muhammad. 


raanded to call a witness to give evidence against 

C. Let us inquire in the first place whether it is 
possible, on the supposition that the Qur an is a 
Divine Revelation, to believe that the Bible has 
been corrupted since Muhammad s time, remem 
bering that, according to the Qur an, one reason for 
the " descent " of that book and for Muhammad s 
mission was tp confirm the Law and the Gospel, as 
we have already proved. The Qur an itself asserts 
that God preserves the " Warning" (j&) which He 
has sent down (Surah XV., Al Hajr, 9), and more 
over repeatedly affirms that the Word of God can 
not be altered by any one (SiirahsLXIX., Al Kahf, 
26 ; VI., An am, 35, 115 ; X., Yunus, 65) *. 

11. M. But "the Warning" is one of the titles 
of the Qur an itself, and these verses all refer to the 
Qur an and not to the Bible. We are quite ready 
to admit that the Qur an cannot be changed. 

C. No doubt "the Warning" is sometimes a title 
of the Qur an, but the same title is also, in the Quran 
toelfi given to the Bible, as for instance in Surah 
XXL, Al Anbiya , 7 and 49 ; and it therefore no 
more belongs exclusively to the Qur an than the 
title " Al Furqan" does, which in the latter verse is 
bestowed upon the Taurat, which we are there told 
was given to Moses and Aaron. If we take the 
promise in Surah XV., Al Hajr, 9 as applying to 

1 See IbhdthiCl Mujtahidin, p. 8. 


the Bible as well as to the Qur an, we find that it 
agrees with Surah V., Al Maidah, 53, where we are 
told that the Qur an is a safeguard to the Bible. 
Put in any case the statement that none can 
change the Word of God is general and not par 
ticular^ and it applies quite as much therefore to 
the Bible as to the Qur an, since in Surah II., 
Al Baqarah, 70 the Bible is called God s Word. 
This is the logical conclusion from r the verses of 
the Qur an which I have quoted, and all who are 
acquainted with logic must accept this argument. 
Hence, if the Qur an s statements are worthy 
of credence, it follows that the Bible, being God s 
Word, cannot have become corrupted. In this 
matter the Qur an is in complete accord with the 
Bible (compare Isa. xl. 8 ; i Pet. i. 24 ; Matt. v. 
1 8 ; Luke xvi. 17 ; Matt. xxiv. 35 ; Mark xiii. 31 ; 
Luke xxi. 33) ; and you Muslims, although doubt 
ing many parts of the Bible,, hold that its teaching 
is to be accepted when it is in accord with the 
Qur an. 

12. M. Have you no better answer than this to 
give to the universal assertion of all Muslims that 
your Scriptures have been corrupted ? 

C. It is by no means correct to say that all 
Muslims hold that the Bible has been corrupted. 
Among ancient commentators Imam Muhammad 
Isma il Bukhari, Imam Fakhru ddin Razi (as well 
as Shah Waliu llah), and others, were of opinion 
that it was not corrupted. In our own times in 


India hardly any learned Muhammadan ivho lax 
examined the evidence to the contrary asserts that it 
is so. But even if all Muhammadans did agree in 
asserting the corruption of the Bible, mere asser 
tion is not proof, and we wait in vain for your proofs. 
Even a well-supported tradition (IfaditJi) is not 
deemed by learned Muslims worthy of acceptance 
if it is contrary to the Qur an, and this assertion 
of the corruption of the Bible is contrary to it. 

13. M. Apart from the Qur an, which you do not 
accept, what evidence have you that the Bible has 
not been corrupted since Muhammad s time ? 

C. We have in abundance both the kinds of 

evidence which you Muslims consider admissible 

both ^lic (aoj,i, evidence from Reason) and Jjij 
(naqtt, evidence based upon Testimony). I shall 
briefly mention a few proofs of each kind. 

* L^ ( <df ^0 What possible object would either 
Jews or Christians have had in endeavouring to 
corrupt their own Scriptures ? In Rev. xxii. 18, 19, 
a terrible penalty is denounced upon those who add 
to or take away anything from God s Book. The 
Jews also were commanded to avoid this sin 
(Deut. iv. 2 ; xii. 32 ; Prov. xxx. 5, 6). By cor 
rupting their own Scriptures and still continuing 
to believe in them (if that were possible), or at least 
to hand them down to their descendants as God s 
Word, the People of the Book would be destroying 
both themselves and their children, and that too 
without any hope of gain. Moreover, long before 


Muhammad s time the Jews were in the habit of 
numbering even the words and letters of their Holy 
Books, and this they still do. How then can they 
be accused of corrupting them ? 

14. M. Their object in altering the Old Testa 
ment, and that of Christians in corrupting the 
New, was doubtless to strike out all prophecies 
relating to Muhammad. 

C. Why 1 What did they hope to, gain by doing 
so l "? If such prophecies were to be found in the 
Bible, why did they not accept Muhammad ? By 
becoming Muhammadans they would have shared 
in the spoils promised to the Muslims, and given to 
them when they conquered and plundered Persia, 
Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and many other countries. 
They must have been tempted to insert prophecies 
of Muhammad rather than to eliminate them. By 
becoming Muslims they would have escaped from 
persecution, from slaughter at Muhammad s hands, 
and from all the suffering which has ever since 
been the lot of zimmfa. Why should they, by 
striking out such prophecies (if any existed), have 
doomed themselves and their children to sufferings 
here and hereafter ? But you Muslims answer 
your own charge against both Jews and Christians 
by asserting that both in the Old and in the New 
Testament as they at present exist there are still 

1 If they did not eliminate the prophecies relating to Christ, 
was there not still less reason for their striking out those 
referring to Muhammad ? (Eev. W. A. Rice.) 


to be found many clear prophecies of Muhammad s 
coming. If so m&ny have been left in, why do you 
accuse us of striking out a few ? 

15. M. Another reason was to insert passages in 
support of the false doctrines and evil practices 
that you had adopted, and to strike out those 
which were contrary to them. 

C. How can that be, when the Taurat and Injil 
as they exist a present so distinctly forbid many 
practices and oppose many doctrines held by some 
Jews and Christians ? For instance, the Jews are 
noted for usury, which is forbidden (Exod. xxii. 25; 
Lev. xxv. 35-37 ; cf. Surah IV., An Nisa , 159). 
So too, idolatry is forbidden to Christians (Rev. 
xxi. 8), yet, if any misguided Christians practise 
and justify it, they do not try to alter the Bible, 
which so severely condemns idolaters. 

16. M. Let me hear your other proofs. 

C. The Jews and Christians could not have 
altered their Scriptures in or after Muhammad s 
time, even had they all been seized with madness 
and desired to do so. For they were already spread 
over a large part of the world, and could not meet 
together to agree upon corrupting the Bible. Had 
they altered it without collusion, their alterations 
would have differed from one another and been 
readily detected. Both Christians and Jews wcro 
then to be found in every part of Europe, in India, 
Persia, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Asia Minor, Syria, 
Palestine, Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and throughout 


the whole of the north of Africa. Jews and 
Christians were hostile to one another, and, if either 
party had endeavoured to alter the text of the Bible, 
the other party would have detected and exposed 
the crime by producing the original. Yet the Jews 
have always accepted the same Hebrew Old Testa 
ment as that which we do, and all Christians accept 
the same Greek New Testament. Moreover, then 
as now Christians were divided int^ many sects, as 
the Qur an testifies (Surah V., Al Maidah, 17), which 
often persecuted one another. It was obviously 
impossible for them therefore to conspire together 
to corrupt the Bible. You will in some measure 
understand this when you consider whether or not 
it would be possible for the Muslims (Sunnis, 
Shi ites, Wahhabis, Sanusis, and all their other 
sects) to agree together to corrupt the text of the 
Qur an, and to accept the corrupted form of the 

Again, the Qur an informs us (Surah III., Al 
Imran, 109, no) that "Among the People of the 
Book is an upright folk . . . and these are of the 
righteous." If so, they would not have permitted, 
without a protest, such a crime as the corrupting 
of the Holy Scriptures. Is this statement of the 
Qur an true or false ? If true, is not your assertion 
impossible 1 

The prophecies which are contained in the Bible, 
some of them fulfilled (e.g. those regarding Baby 
lon, Tyre, Egypt, Edom, in Isaiah ; and those about 


the Jews in Deut. xxviii. 15 fin.) and some being 
fulfilled in our own days (e. g. that in Rev. xiv. 6, 
about the spread of the Gospel in our time, and the 
passages relating to the restoration and conversion 
of the Jews, which are now going on), show that the 
Bible which we now have in our hands has come 
from none other but the All- wise God l . 

In Muhammad s time, and later, not a few Jews 
and Christians , in many different lands which were 
conquered by the Muslims, embraced Islam, through 
fear or for other reasons. If the Jews and Christians 
had conspired together to corrupt the Bible, surely 
some of these converts would have been able to 
produce unaltered copies of the Holy Books where 
with to convict the perpetrators of their crime. 
Yet neither in ancient times nor at present do we 
hear of a single such copy having been brought 
forward. The Kitd/ml AgJtdni relates of Waraqah 
ibn Naufal (who had once been for a time a Christ 
ian, and who knew both the Christian and the 
Jewish Scriptures, at least to some extent) that in 
Muhammad s lifetime he used to copy from the 
(Jnspel whatever he pleased. He at least would 
have been able to prove the corruption of the 
Scriptures, had it occurred in his time. But he 

1 All Muslims acknowledge that parts of the Bible are preserved 
free from alteration. But our argument seeks to prove that no 
part of it can have been corrupted since Muhammad s time. The 
(. t >ui an itself testifies to its authority and freedom from corrup 
tion in his day. 


brought no such charge against either Jews or 

Hence from the ^lic. ^aqli) part of the evidence 
on the subject it follows that the Scriptures cannot 
have been corrupted after Muhammad s time ; and we 
have previously proved that they cannot have been 
corrupted in or before his time. We conclude 
therefore that they are still uncorrupted. 

17. M. Well, what are your ^JUj fyaqli) proofs ? 

C. They are many, but it will be sufficient to 
adduce only a few of the chief of them, any one of 
which by itself is a sufficient refutation of the 
charge which you bring against us. 

II. We possess a number of Greek MS. copies of 
the Bible, which were copied from still earlier 
MSS. long before Muhammad s time. It is from 
these that the printed Greek text of both the Old 
and the New Testaments is taken. This enables 
us to know what was the text of the Bible in the 
hands of the Christians of Muhammad s day, and 
to prove that it was the same Bible that we now 
have. These old MSS. may be seen by any of you 
who wish to examine them. The principal of these 
MSS. are: 

(i) The Sinaitic (Codex Sinaiticus), written T in the 
middle of the fourth century, about 370 years 
before the Hijrah of Muhammad. It contains the 
whole of the New Testament and a large part of 

1 " Written in the fourth or more probably at the beginning of 
the fifth century." (Nestle, Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament ) 


the Old, and is preserved in the Imperial Library 
at St. Petersburg. 

(2) The Alexandrian (Codex Ahxandrinus\ written 
early 1 in the fifth century, more than aoo years 
before the Hijrah. It contains the whole Bible, 
except a few pages that have been lost, and is in 
the British Museum, London. 

(3) The Vatican (Codex T alicanits), written early 
in the fourth century, nearly 300 years before the 
Hijrah. It contains the whole 2 Bible, though the 
latter part of the New Testament (from Heb. ix. 14) 
is written in a later hand, and is in the Vatican 
Library at Rome. 

(4) Codex Ephraemi, written early in the fifth cen- 
century, or about 2co years before the Hijrah. It 3 
is fragmentary, and contains pages from each book 
of the New Testament and fragments of the Old. 
It is kept in the National Library at Paris. 

1 "Middle or end of the fifth century." (Nestle, op. cit.) It " is 
defective at the beginning of the N.T., the first 26 leaves, down 
to Matt. xxv. 6, being absent, as also two containing John vi. 
5o-viii. 52, and three containing 2 Cor. iv. i3-xii. 6." (ibid.) 

3 " Like A " (Cod. Alex.} " it once contained the whole of the 
Old Test. The first 31 leaves, containing Gen. i. i-xlvi. 28, are 
now wanting, as well as 20 from the Psalms, containing Ps. 
cv. (cvi) 27-cxxxvii. (cxxxviii) 6. The N T. is complete down 
to Heb. ix. 14, where it breaks off at KaOa[pt<i]. i and 2 Tim., 
Titus, Philemon, and the Apocalypse are, therefore, also 
wanting." (ibid.) 

s "The MS. once contained the entire Bible, but the whoh 
of i and 2 Thess. has been lost, as also some 37 chapters from 
the Gospels, 10 from the Acts, 42 from the Epistles, and 8 from 
the Apocalypse." (ibid.) 


18. M. How do you know that these MSS. are 
as ancient as you say they are ? What proof have 
you that they were not written in quite recent 
times ? How could paper last all these cen 
turies 1 

C. All these old MSS. are written on parchment, 
not on paper, and their great age is evident at 
a glance. This also accounts for the loss of some 
pages from some of them. They t . are written in 
very old l Greek characters, as different 2 from later 
Greek writing as is the modern Arabic character 
from Curie, which we find on old coins. Learned 
men have made a special study of this ; and it is 
well known that the modern Greek writing itself, 
which is far more recent, came into use before Mu 
hammad s time 3 . All men of learning, believers 
and unbelievers alike, are agreed as to the fact 
that these MSS. were written not later than the 
dates which I have mentioned (in the text or 
notes), though it is acknowledged that some of 

1 I mean in Uncial (Majuscule), not in the later Cursive 
(Minuscule) characters. "This running hand found its way 
into MSS. of the Bible in the course of the ninth century." 
(Nestle, op. cit. p. 35.) 

3 Here again an object lesson will be useful. It may be 
given by showing the photograph of an extract from an old 
Greek MS. of the N.T., and asking the inquirer to compare its 
letters with those in a printed Greek N.T. 

3 Cursive Greek writing of a kind, though not the modern 
kind, " arose even previous to the Christian era. . . The oldest 
Cursive MS. of the N.T., the exact date of which is known, is 
481 evv - ; it beari the date 835." (Nestle, op. cit. p. 35.) 


them may be still more ancient l than I have said. 
We have plenty 2 of other MSS. dating from about 
Muhammad s time and onward, the writing of 
which is quite different 3 . 

19. M. You have said nothing about the Hebrew 
Old Testament, 

C. We have no MS. of the Hebrew text of it which 
is as ancient as the Greek ones mentioned above, 
but we know from Josephus and other historians 
that the Greek translation of the Old Testament 
(the Septuagint) was made from the Hebrew between 
250 and 200 years before Christ, that is between 
872 and 822 years before the Hijrah, and every one 
knows that a translation must be more recent than 
the original from which it is made. We have 
also other translations of the Old Testament made 

1 Table showing the centuries to which the loading MSS. of 
the N.T. belong, according to different opinions. 

Vollert. Scrivener. von Oebhardt. 

IVth cent. 5 a 

V 4 I0 J 5 

VI 18 22 24 

VII ,,6 9 17 

(Nestle, op. cit. p. 35.) 

3 3,829 MSS. of the N.T. have been catalogued up to the 
Mt. There may bo thouMinds more. See Nestle, pp. 

33 34- 

On this paragraph the Bishop of Lahore writes: "In my 
experience thil kin.l ar.mim.-nt Oftrrie* .-..nviction to very few 
of those with whom we mostly have to do. It really appeals 
to t lii! critical and scholarly instinct im>n- \. n than we realize, 
and in these the average Muhammadan is NV holly lacking. Still, 
a* this is the true answer, it must be best to give it. In 
will sink in." 



centuries before Muhammad s time, and of these 
I shall soon speak. Besides this, we have the 
Samaritan Pentateuch in Hebrew, but in very 
ancient characters. This was preserved by the 
Samaritans, enemies of the Jews, from tho time of 
the Babylonian Captivity under Nebuchadnezzar. 
The modern Samaritans still keep it safe, and have 
even an ancient translation 1 of it into a later form 
of their own spoken language, that is to say, into 
the language the} 7 used to speak hundreds of years 
ago, before they learned to speak Arabic. 

20. M. Have you any other proof that the 
Bible has not been corrupted since Muhammad s 
time ? 

C. Our second proof is afforded by the existence 
of versions of the Bible which were made ages 
before Muhammad s birth. These languages have 
long ceased to be spoken, but we have the transla 
tions of the Bible into them, and our learned men 
can read them all. The principal of these ancient 
versions are : 

(i) The Septuagint (Greek), which I have already 

(3) Three versions of the New Testament and 
one of the Old into Syriac. Of these, two are of 
especial value. The first of these is called the 
Curefontan, from the name of the discoverer of the 
ancient MS. which contains it. This version was 
made at latest in the second century after Christ : 

1 The Samaritan Targum. 


the MS. l was written in the fifth century. The 
second is the Peshittd, made at latest in the third 
century : the oldest MS. of it which we have was 
written in the fifth century. Even the third, or 
Phdoxenian version, was made long before Muham 
mad s time, in 508 A.D. 

(3) Three Coptic versions : the Buhairic 2 , made in 
the second or third century ; the Sahidic 3 , and the 
Bashmuric or Middle Egyptian, both probably of 
the same date. The oldest Coptic MSS. belong to the 
fourth or fifth century. These three Coptic versions 
are in the three chief dialects of ancient Egypt. 

(4) Two Latin versions ; one the Old Latin, 
made in the second century. We have MSS. of 
its remains which date from the fourth and fifth 
centuries. The other is the Vulgate, a more correct 
translation made by Jerome A.D. 383-5. He trans 
lated the Old Testament from the Hebrew, whereas 
the Old Latin was translated from the Greek version. 
The oldest MS. of the Vulgate was written before 
A.D. 546 4 . 

(5) The Ancient Armenian, made by Mesrob and 

1 At least 10 Syriac MSS. of the N.T. date from the fifth and 
30 from the sixth century (Nestle, p. 96). The Sinai-Syria 
(or Lewis-Syriac) MS. is closely related to the Curetonian. 

2 Nestle, p. 100. A revision of the Philoxenian, the Harklean 
or Heraclean, was made in 616-17. (ibid., p. 101.) " Mi.- than 
50 Bohniric MSS. are preserved in the libraries of Europe." 
(ibid., p. 134.) 

3 More properly Sa idi, from Sa id or Upper Kcrypt. 

This is the Codex Fuldensis, written between 5^0 and 546 
A. D. (Nestle, p. 132.) 



published in A.D. 436, just 186 years before the 
Hijrah 1 . 

(6) The Gothic, made by Ulphilas, who died 
A.D. 381. The MSS. 2 of it date from the end of 
the fifth to the middle of the sixth century. 

(7) The ^Ethiopic, made by Frumentius in the 
fourth century 3 . 

(8) Several Aramaic versions of the Old Testament 
made by Jews in the second and t&iird centuries. 
The Targum of Onkelos, the most famous of these, 
dates from the end of the third century. 

21. M. How do you know all these dates ? 

C. From history in many cases, and in others 
from finding quotations from these versions in 
writers who lived at the periods we have men 
tioned. No one can quote a book before it is 
written 4 . 

22. M. Have you any further proofs ? 

C. Only two more that need be mentioned. 
One, the third proof, is, that we have a vast number 
of verses quoted from the Bible in the works of 
early Greek, Latin 5 , Syrian, and even Armenian 

1 See my Conversion of Armenia, Chapter xiii. 

a The Codex Argenteus, in the library at Upsala, " written in 
the fifth or sixth century." (Nestle, p. 138.) 

3 Previous to the fifth century according to tradition, which 
Dillmann accepts (Nestle gives other opinions, p. 140). 

* Though the Qur an (Surah XXI, Al Anbiya ) quotes Ps. 
xxxvii. 29, and yet the Muslim belief is that the Qur an was 
composed in heaven before the creation of the world ! 

5 Nestle (pp. 336, sqq.) gives lists of the Greek and Latin 
writers referred to. 


writers, all of whom lived before Muhammad s 
time, and whose dates are perfectly well known. 
These quotations are so numerous that we could 
reconstruct nearly the whole New Testament and 
much of the Old from them, if we had loat all our 
ancient MSS. and versions. The fourth proof is 
afforded by ancient catalogues of the books of 
the Old and New Testaments. Six of these, all 
drawn up before Muhammad s time and some many 
centuries before him, contain the names of all the 
books of the Bible that we now have. The most 
ancient of all, the Muratorian Fragment on the 
Canon, is torn at both ends, but it contains just 
the same list of books that our present Bibles do, 
as far as it goes. It dates from the second century l . 

23. M. You Christians seem to have taken a lot 
of trouble in order to refute our objections. 

C. No amount of trouble would be too much to 
take in order to remove the prejudices which prevent 
men, for whom Christ died, from coming to Him 
for salvation. But it was not to refute Muslim 
objections that we made all these investigations 
and many more. We made them, in the first place, 
to satisfy ourselves, lest we should have been led 
astray in religion. We did not wish to be in any 
uncertainty about the Bible, upon which our re 
ligion is founded ; and we are told in the Bible to 
" Prove all things ; hold fast that which is good " 
(T Thess. v. 21). 

1 See Westcott s Canon of the New Testament. 


24. M. But your ancient MSS. and versions differ 
from one another so much that you have thousands 
of different readings in your Bibles. How can you 
be sure which is correct ? 

C. That shows how carefully we have collated 
MS. with MS. and version with version, noting 
even the varied spelling 1 of the same word in 
different MSS. But the result of all our investiga 
tions is that all the varied reading^ put together 
do not alter or render doubtful one single article in 
our creed. 

25. M. How do you account for these various 
readings ? Do they not prove that attempts were 
made to corrupt the text of the Bible ? 

C. Not at all ; for, as I have said, they Jtave not, 
altered one single doctrine taught or one single 
precept given in the Bible. The variety of readings 
arose in different ways. The most usual cause was 
a mistake of the copyist, who often wrote from 
dictation. Another reason was that certain words 
were sometimes written and spelled in one way, 
sometimes in another. Occasionally also, when 
a note was written in the margin of a MS., a later 
scribe in one or two instances mistook it for a 
passage that had been omitted by mistake, and 
hence inserted it in the text of the copy he made. 
But we have so many copies that we are easily 

1 The nature of the various readings can be easily shown 
from Nestle s, Dr. Weymouth s, or any other good edition of 
the Greek N.T. 


able to detect such mistakes now, and distinguish 
the few verses which are at all doubtful. 

[26. M. Can you mention any which have thus 
been pointed out in the New Testament 1 ? 

C. There are only four passages of any importance 
which we know to be doubtful. These are, in our 
Greek Texts and in our Revised English Version, 
and in some others, either omitted or printed 
separately foi; this very reason. The doubtful 
passages are : (i) Mark xvi. 9-20. In some 
ancient MSS. and versions these verses are not 
found : hence it is not quite certain that they were 
written by St. Mark. They may have been written 
by some very early l scribe as a note at the end 
of his copy of St. Mark s Gospel, and afterwards 
mistaken for part of it. Or they may have formed 
part of the Gospel, but the piece of parchment upon 
which they were written may have been torn off 
before the oldest MSS. were copied. At any rate 
we are not so certain of them as \ve are of all 
the rest of the Gospel 2 . (2) John v. 3. The words 
" waiting for the troubling of the water," and 
the whole of verse 4 are considered to be an ancient 
marginal note incorporated into the text by mistake, 
since they are not found in the oldest MSS. and 
versions. (3) John vii. 53-viii. u. These verses 
also are not found in the oldest MSS. and versions. 
Hence many scholars suppose that they were 
originally a marginal note-only, though the incident 

1 Vide Nestle, p. 142. Vide 62. 


they relate is true. (4) i John v. 7. This verse is 
universally acknowledged to be only a marginal 
note, and it is not therefore now printed in the 
Greek text or in the Revised English Version.] 

27. M. If the Bible is really inspired, why 
should it contain all these variations, discrepancies, 
and doubtful passages ? Surely God would ensure 
that in an inspired book there should be nothing 
to present difficulties to an inquiring mind. 

C. Very often what appear to us to be discrepan 
cies are not really such. If we knew all the facts of 
the case, we should see that there is no discrepancy 
at all in the matter. The doubtful passages also 
are few, and all taken together do not affect one 
doctrine of the Christian faith. Any argument 
against the Bible on the ground of certain alleged 
moral difficulties may be alleged also against the 
existence and government of God in general, for 
the present state of the world and of man affords 
many difficulties which it is not easy to reconcile 
with belief in God s moral government. But as 
these do not suffice to shake our belief in the latter, 
the occurrence of similar difficulties in another of 
God s works, the Bible, does not suffice to justify 
us in rejecting it. (See Butler, Analogy, Pt. I, Intro 
duction, 6, and Origen quoted there, also Pt. II, 
cap. viii, 5, 7.) The fact of the existence of 
so many earnest Christians in all ages since the 
ascension of Christ shows that these difficulties 
have not prevented true and earnest inquirers from 


becoming Christians. These very difficulties are 
doubtless useful as a test to our earnestness (Analogy, 
Pt. II, cap. vi, 13). 

28. M. You do not really believe that the Bible 
which you now have is the Word of God, for, 
holding it in your hands, you stand here preaching 
with your shoes on. Yet in Exod. iii. 5, Moses was 
told to put off his shoes at the sight of the Burning 

C. Your own traditions 1 tell us that Muhammad 
entered the very presence of God in heaven without 
removing his sandals. How then can you blame 
us for wearing sandals in this muddy road 2 ? 

[29. M. What a blessing it is that in our Qur an 
there are no such doubtful verses as are found in 
the Bible ! 

C. If you will not be offended I shall show you 
that, whereas there is practically no doubt about 
the text of our Bible, it is certain from tradition 
that the text of your Qur an is very far from 

30. M. Prove it, if you can: I shall not be 

1 Vide Qisasu 1 Anbiya, Haidari Press Ed., p. 33 7 . 

2 This question and answer were given in Bombay at a 
street-preaching at which I wa.s present. The Muhammadan 
was laughed at by the crowd, and went away, crying out, 

he highest heaven was honoured by the touch of his holy 
sandals." The reasonable answer, that customs change and that 
Europeans do not show reverence by removing their shoes 
would have had no effect, for the retort would have been 
made, " Why don t you, if you believe the Biblo ? " 


C. Muslim the Traditionalist 1 in the Kitdbu* z zakdt 
tells us that, since Uthman s revision of the Qur an, 
some verses which once formed part of the book 
are no longer found in it. He says, for example, 
that at Basrah, Abu Musa Ashari said to 500 
reciters of the Qur an, "Verily we used to recite 
a Surah which, in length and sharpness, we used 
to compare with an arrow. I have forgotten it, 
except that I have preserved from i the words . . . 
And we used to recite a Surah which we used to 
compare with one of the Subuhdt, and I have 
forgotten it except that I have preserved from it 
the words O ye who, &c." In the Kitdbn r Rizd, 
Muslim quotes from Ayishah a tradition that the 
verse on Giving Suck was known at the time of 
Muhammad s death ; but it is no longer found in 
the Qur an. In the Kiidbul Hudud, Muslim proves 
that the verse on Stoning once occurred in the 
Qur an, and Uinar was so firmly convinced of this 
that, according to Abft Daud, he swore by God 
that he would have caused it to be entered in that 
volume, had he not feared lest men should accuse 
him of adding something to it. According to 
Ibn Majah (Abivdbu n NiMh), Ayishah affirmed 
that two verses, one of which was this very verse 
on Stoning, met with a strange fate. She says 
that they were duly revealed and written out, and 
that the manuscript was placed under her bed ; but 

1 From the Epiphany of June 6, 1901, and from the Misdnul 


that when Muhammad died and all his wives and 
friends were busy in consequence, some tame animal 
(probably a goat) came in and ate it, and so these 
verses perished! Again, the Shi ite accuse Uthman 
of intentionally eliminating from the Qur an all 
passages relating to Ali l . The Ainu I Ifayaf- 
affirms that Surah XXXIII. , Al Ah/ab, was 
originally longer than Surah II., Al Baqarah, but 
was afterwards corrupted by the omission of many 
verses. It is not we Christians who say these things, 
but some of you Muslims. 

81. J7. Such statements are unworthy of credit, 
for they rest upon unreliable traditions. 

C. It is too difficult a task for me to decide 
between your traditions (^jj oJ), which are reliable, 
which doubtful, and which false 2 . But fortunately 
the text of the Bille does not rest upon tradition 
but upon MS. authority.] 

32. M. Produce the original MSS. of your Taurat 
and Injil, written by the hands of Moses and 
Jesus upon whom they descended, and we shall 

1 In the Dabistdn i Ma$ahib & whole additional Surah of the 
QurYin is given in the original Arabic. It is called the Surah 
An Nurain. Many Shi ites assent that it formed part of the 
Qur an as recited by Gabriel to Muhammad, and that it was 
omitted by All s opponents. Most Muslims, of whatever sect, 
however, deny the authenticity of this Surah, and it is never 
published as part of the Qur an. Sec the whole matter dis 
cussed in the Rev. Canon Sell s article on the " Recension of 
the Qur an" in his " Kssay on Islam." 

2 Those contained in the collections of Muslim and Bukhari 
are never discredited by the Sunnis. 


at once admit that your Bible has not been cor 

C. Before asking us to do that, you should pro 
duce the original MS. of the Qur an, written by Mu 
hammad, upon whom you assert that it descended l . 

33. M. At least we have no various readings 
in our glorious Qur an, as you have in the Bible. 

C. You have not so many, though it would be 
easy to point out a few 2 . But as the text of your 
Qur an is so much more recent than that of the 
Bible, as it forms a book so much smaller, and as 
it rests entirely upon the authority of a single MS., 
it is not strange that you have so few various 
readings 3 . [In the Mishkdtu l Masabtt, chapter iii, 
we are informed that, by the command of the 
Khalifah Abu Bakr, the Qur an was "collected" by 
Zaid ibn Thabit "from palm leaves 4 and stones and 

1 Vide 37. 

2 Among various readings may be mentioned : (i) in Surah 
XXVIII., Al Qisas, 48, some read sdhirdni for sihrdni : (2) in 
Surah XXXII., Al Ahzab, 6, after ummahdtuhum one reading 
adds the words wa hua abun lahum : (3) in Surah XXXIV., 
Saba, 1 8, for rabband bd id some read rabbund bd ada : (4) in 
Surah XXXVIII., Sad, 22, for tis un another reading is tisatun : 
(5) in Surah XIX., Maryam, 35, for tamtaruna some read yam- 
taruna. See also the Mizdnu^l JHaqq on this subject. 

3 As soon as the Qur an was " revealed" to Muhammad, 
however, its preservation depended upon fallible men (Hdfizes 
and others). Hence there is a fallible element in its text. All 
objections against the text of the Bible will disappear as soon 
as Muslims come to know a little about the Text of the Qur an. 
(Rev. J. T. Allnutt.) 

* All these are but fallible means for the preservation of the 


from the breasts of those who had learned off by 
heart " portions of the supposed revelation. This 
took place in A.H. 14 . Abu Bakr kept the MS. 
until he died, and then Umar took possession of 
it. This is what Al Bukhari says. Afterwards 
it came into the possession of Hafsah, one of 
Muhammad s widows. But so many copies with 
different readings and so many discordant forms of 
certain Surahs were repeated by men who had learnt 
them off by heart (the Hafizun), that Uthman some 
years later caused Zaid with the assistance of three 
others to make fresh copies of Hafsah s MS., and, 
sending these to be kept in different places, com 
pelled those who possessed other copies to give 
them up to be burnt. Some resisted, but in vain. 
That the new edition of the Quran thus published 
differed from the first edition seems probable from 
the fact that, as Qustalani says, after Hafsah s 
death her copy was torn in pieces by Mirwan, 
governor of Medina under Mu awiyyah. The burn 
ing of all other copies shows that serious variations 
had already found an entrance into the text, and 
this drastic remedy prevents us from comparing 
ancient copies with one another. What Muslim 
(Kitdb Fazdilul Quran) and others tell us about the 

text. Hence the very original MS. was fuUible. How can absolute 
certainty about the text be attained, if leaves, stones and 
human memory were the sources whence the present text 
of the QurViii was derived? (Rev. J. T. Allnutt.) 

1 See Sir W. Muir s The Caliphate, p. 163. Vide also my 
lidigion of the Crescent, pp. 180, sqq. 


(< Seven Readings " (^-J/l Lx^*) prevalent even in 
Muhammad s time points in the same direction. 
Muhamrnadans assure us that these were merely 
differences in pronunciation, but this may well bo 
doubted, for in the same book Muslim tells us that 
Umar bin al Khattab was so much offended at the 
way in which Hisham bin Hakim recited Surah 
XXV , Al Furqan, that he took him by the cloak 
and brought him to Muhammad toocomplain of it. 
After hearing both men repeat the Surah, Mu 
hammad declared that both were right, and asserted 
that the " Seven Readings " were all alike ad 
missible ! But according to Nisai, certain words 
(letters, ^-J^*-) occurred in Hishdms version which 
were not in what o hers professed to have learned from 

it/ / 

Muhammad. Ubai is represented by Nisai as 
saying that the fact that others repeated verses in 
a form different from that in which he had learnt 
them gave him quite a shock.] If our leading men 
had burnt all the ancient MSS. of the Bible and 
compelled all copies to be made from one which they 
had caused to be written, we too should have but 
few varied readings in our Bible, but all men of 
learning would feel that no reliance whatever was 
to be placed upon the text thus produced *. 

1 The Bishop of Lahore writes : "I used to find the following 
illustration effective : Suppose a master dictates a piece of prose 
to ten scholars. Probably in each copy there will be one or 
more mistakes. But these are easily corrected by comparison 
with the other copies, since the same mistake will not be made 
by many. If, however, all copies are destroyed but one, there 


34. [J/. Doubtless it is because of these various 
readings and passages of uncertain authenticity 
that many learned men in Germany and England 
at the present day assert that the Pentateuch was 
not written by Moses, and that much of the Old 
Testament and even of the New is untrue. You 
must convince them to the contrary before you can 
convince us. 

\C. Not so." The Higher Critics, as they are 
called, do not base their arguments upon the 
various readings, for they know that no single 
doctrine of the Bible is at all affected by them. 
You will find on inquiry that the extreme conclu 
sions you refer to are largely based upon a principle 
which denies both miracle and prophecy l . They 
thus attack the very foundation of belief in all 
revealed religion. You Muslims cannot really ad 
duce these men s objections without accepting their 

will be no admitted various readings, for no standard of com 
parison exists : at the same time all proof of accuracy is gone. 
So we see that, the larger is tin- numU-r of copies preserved, 
the larger will be the number <-f various readings, yet the 
greater the certainty as to the text, though this seems .1 
paradox ! " 

1 So Delitzsch (Commentary (>n Isaiah, vol. I, pp. 60 and 61 : 
Edinburgh, 1881), and Dr. Payne Smith (Bampton Lectures, 
Preface, pp. xiii, sqq.) Of course I do not ai- -u-c all who have 
in any nicasun- a< -ptr<l (h,. conclusions of t he IIL-li r < rit irisrn 
of consciously denying miracle and pr.-pluTV. But thin 
denial is certainly implii-d in tin- writings of Wi-llhau--n and 
( h -ym , to mention only two of the leading rxp..n nt- .f this 


principles, and if you accept these you are no longer 
Muslims. The Bible has in all ages been attacked 
by its enemies, but it has always prevailed over 
them in the past, and we feel sure that it will pre 
vail in the present also 1 . All the great modern 
discoveries in Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt sup 
port 2 the statements of the Bible in opposition to 
these assertions and theories, as you will perceive 
if you study the subject.] 

35. M. Why do the different translations of the 
Bible which you now make into so many languages 
differ so much from one another 1 Why are you 
continually correcting and re-correcting these ver 
sions, if your original text is not corrupt ? 

C. They do not differ from one another to any 
extent, as you may see from comparing them with 
one another. We find that in some instances the 
earliest translators either used words not generally 
understood, or, from not knowing the vernacular 
languages as well as they are now known, did not 
make quite perfect translations. Hence we en 
deavour to perfect them, especially when a new 
edition is required. This shows how much care 

1 An admirable little book on the subject is Dr. House s Old 
Testament Criticism in New Testament Light (Baptist Mission Press, 
Calcutta). See also Criticism Criticised, ed. by Rev. Dr. Wace, 
Dean of Canterbury (Bible League, London) : also Religi 
Critici (S.P.C.K.). 

8 This is the conclusion I have reached after very considerah 
study of Assyrian and Egyptian. Vide Sayce, The Higher Ori 
and the Monuments. 


\ve take to make the Bible understood by the 
people who speak each language. A change of 
translation does not imply a change or corruption 
of the original text, as you must know. Your 
interlinear translations of the Quran in Persian, 
Urdu, and other tongues, may vary, and new 
translations have from time to time appeared, but 
the original Arabic does not alter. 

36. M. The JJrdu, Arabic, Persian, English, Turk 
ish, and other copies of the New Testament are only 
translations. How can we be sure that they agree 
with the original ? Even if they do, they cannot 
be quite as good as the original. 

C. We have the original and constantly consult 
it, to be quite sure that our translations and explan 
ations are correct. As you know, these transla 
tions are made by a number of learned men, not 
only Europeans but natives of the various countries 
being employed and consulting together as to the 
correct interpretation of every word. Moreover, 
we publish the original Greek text, and are willing 
to teach all who desire to learn Greek, so that they 
may read it for themselves. If you do not choose 
uO take this trouble, as we do, is it our fault or 
yours ? 

37. M. Not one of the Gospels was written by 

MIS Christ Himself, and St. Luke s not even by 

\ eye-witness. Even if they have been preserved 

tj from corruption, they are only traditions, 

< >ponding to our cu^LJ (atddltk). 


C. The Qur an itself was not written down by 
Muhammad, whom you call the unlearned (^.*1) 
prophet, but by his companions, and the whole book 
was not "collected" till after Muhammad s death. 
Three evangelists accounts (if we remember that 
St. Mark was St. Peter s scribe) were written down 
by eye-witnesses, and that by St. Luke was (as he 
tells us) compiled by him from the statements not 
of one eye-witness but of many (Lu^e i. 1-4). The 
evangelists were guided by Divine inspiration, 
according to Christ s promise (John xiv. 26). More 
over, do not forget that your own Qur an, as we 
have seen, bears witness to the Gospel, and teaches 
that it must be received as having " descended on 
Jesus V We have proved that it has not been lost 
or corrupted. 

38. M. There are Apocryphal Gospels ; how do 
you know that only the present Four Gospels 
are genuine, and not some of the Apocryphal 
ones ? 

C. We know it just in the same way that we 
know that the Qur an is genuine, and not some 
other book instead. The Four Gospels have been 

1 This expression should not be adopted by Christians, for 
it is not correct. The Bishop of Lahore says : " I always 
pointed out that our Lord was Himself the Word of God 
(Kalimatu lldh), or, in other words, the Gospel. The reduction 
of this to writing so far as that is possible was naturally not 
for Him to do (being, in a sense, beneath His dignity), but for 
His disciples, who received the guidance of the Holy Spirit in 
this work." 


handed down among all Christians everywhere, 
and not a single one of the Apocryphal Gospels 
has ever been received by the Christian Church as 
a whole. We have studied them and know that 
they are of later date than the genuine ones. 
Moreover, they do not in general contradict the 
genuine ones, but were intended to supplement 
them. Tbe latest of them, and the only one that 
does in one matt/or contradict the genuine Gospels, 
is the so-called Gospel of Barnabas, which is known 
to have been forged considerably after Muhammad s 
time. In it the writer was ignorant enough to 
apply the title " Messiah " to Muhammad ! (See 
Sale s remarks in the Preface to his translation of 
the Quran 1 .) 

39. M. Your Bible as it now exists cannot be 
from God (that is, it must have been corrupted), 
because it uses language about God which is un 
fitting: e.g. it speaks of God s hand, God s eye, 
and again and again says that He " repented." 
How can we believe that ? 

C. Such an argument is unmeaning when brought 
forward by a Muslim : for we find exactly the same 
style of language used in the Qur an, with this 

1 The Clarendon Press is j.ulilNliing the Italian version of 
the Gosj.d df UK- p-ciido-Barnabas, and an English translation 
is also being prepand. 1 hal li.],.-.| t<> U- able to give a short 
account of tin- \>\i ln-iv, but, as it is not yet publishni, this has 
not been possible. In view of the expected ajijx aran< ( ,,f tin- 
work it is better not to attempt a (necessarily inij.. -rf- :t; 
account of it. 

E 2 


addition, that the Qur an 1 represents God as " annul 
ling " certain verses, which the Bible never does. 
As to His " repenting," you tell us that one of His 
ninety-nine "most excellent names" is L->VJ^JI, i.e. 
"He that is continually repenting," or "relenting/ 3 
from the root of M>J, repentance. But it is no 
real objection either against the Bible or the 
Qur an that such language is used in both books ; 
for it is clear that all human language must pri 
marily have reference to appearances ((f) and 
to earthly life, and is only by analogy used to 
describe spiritual realities or even mental concepts. 
It is therefore inaccurate with regard to God, but 
is used because we have no better way of expressing 
our thoughts. "To repent" in Arabic is " to turn 
back," and in reference to God denotes that He 
" turned back " from punishing, &c. It has no 
moral meaning as in the case of the repentance of 
sinners, where it denotes turning back from sin. 
40 2 . M. In Jer. xxii. 30 we read that King Coniah 

1 Surahs II., Al Baqarah, 100 ; XVI., An Nahl, 103: vide 
67 and 68. The Muhammadan doctrine of the Ndi>ikh and 
Mansukh ("annulling" and "annulled") verses of the Qur an 
renders it quite impossible for Muslims to know for a certainty 
which parts of the Qur an are now in force, since they are not 
agreed in every case as to the question which are the abrogated 
and which the abrogating verses. 

3 The objections given in 40-8 are not imaginary but have 
all been adduced by Muslims in controversy. The answers in 
the text are only suggestions. They express the opinion of the 
compiler of this Manual : but he has no wish to dogmatize on 
such matters. Others may be able to furnish better answers. 


(Jeconiah, Jehoiachin) was to be childless ; yet in 
i Chron. iii. 17-19, we find that he had several 
sons, one of whom (Matt. i. 12) was ancestor of 
Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. Is not 
this a contradiction ? 

C. The expression "Write ye this man childless" 
is explained in Jer. xxii. 30 as meaning that, though 
he had children, yet he should be as if devoid of 
them, inasmuch as none of them should ever suc 
ceed him on the throne. The Bible shows that 
none of them ever did 1 . 

41. J/. If Christ be descended from him then, 
He cannot be " the king of the Jews." 

C. As Joseph was not Christ s father, Jesus was 
not descended from Jeconiah -. Moreover, Christ 

It is well known that Christians differ in their explanations of 
some of these points, so that it would be well to refer to standard 
commentators. The difficulty in giving absolutely conclusive 
answers arises from our ignorance of so many of ihe circumstances. 
This is excusable, because we have no information on thes-e 
points except what the Bible itself affords. (V n\u 47, 48.) 

1 It is, of course, possible that Jeconiah was literally childless, 
for he was carried capthe at the age of eighteen (2 Kings xxiv. 
8, 15) and was freed from confinement only when fifty-five years 
old (a Kings xxv. 27). If so, then t Chron. iii. 17, 19, gives not 
his .hildren but his heirs. Solomon s line probably en<l<-d in 
Jeconiah (because of the massacres in 2 Kings x. 13, 14 ; xi. i). 
On Jeconiah s death Nathan s lino became the heirs in tli< 
throne. Salathiel was the first of that line who thus inherited. 
Zerubbabel (his nephew, i Chron. iii. 18, 19) succeeded him. 
Thus Matthew giv<-> th.- list of the heirs of tin- throne of David, 
and Luke the natural genealogy. (Rev. A. E. Johnston.) Vide 
Farrar s view, Excursus ii to St. Luk< . 

3 If Jeconiah wa- lit. -rally childle>s, having only adopted 


Himself said, " My Kingdom is not of this world " 
(John xviii. 36). 

42. M. But from comparing Matt. i. 12 with 
Luke iii. 27, we see that Salathiel and Zorobabel 
occur in both genealogies, and from I Chron. iii. 17, 
19, it is clear that both Salathiel (Shealtiel) and 
Zorobabel (Zerubbabel) were descended from Jeco- 
niah. If Jeconiah was unworthy to hand down 
the temporal sovereignty to his .sons, still less 
could he be the ancestor of the Messiah. As Christ 
was a prophet, there must here be some corruption 
in your Bible. 

C. From Luke iii. 27 it is doubtful whether the 
Salathiel and Zorobabel mentioned there are the 
persons of the same name who are mentioned in 
Matt. i. 12 and i Chron. iii. 17, 19. Moreover, 
what possible object could Christians have in cor 
rupting the text of the Gospel so as to introduce 
this difficulty 1 1 

43. M. In Deut. xxiii. 3 and Neh. xiii. i we read 
that a Moabite was not to come into the congre 
gation of the Lord "for ever." Yet both genealogies 
represent Christ as descended from David, whose 
ancestress was Ruth the Moabitess. Here is 
another contradiction. 

C. Ruth iv. 21, 22 shows that the Jews (who 

children, then of course Christ was not actually descended from 
him. Thus th-5 difficulty vanishes. (Rev. W. A. Rice.) 

1 Others prefer the idea that the Salathiels, &c. are the same. 
I state my own opinion here. 


must best have understood their own Scriptures) 
did not understand the passage in Deuteronomy 
(repeated in Nehemiah) as you do, otherwise the 
prophets would not have recognized any of the 
Kings of Judah (who were descended from Ruth 
through David) as being members of the Chosen 
People at all, nor would they have prophesied the 
Messiah s descent from David. The Jews them 
selves paraphrase the passage thus : " Neither an 
Ammonite nor a Moabite man is fit to take a wife 
from the congregation of the Lord s people; nor 
unto the tenth generation shall they take a wife 
from the congregation of the Lord s people" 
(Palestinian Targum). Thus no male Moabite was 
to be admitted into the Israelite nation, unless, of 
course, he became a true convert. The same rule 
may have applied to women ; but Ruth was a convert 
(Ruth i. 1 6). From Neh. xiii. 3, 33-8, we see that 
Nehemiah understood Deut. xxiii. 3 as forbidding 
Moabite idolaters to be reckoned among the Israelites. 
This is therefore the proper meaning of the passage. 
Moreover, a time is defined," even to their tenth gener 
ation" (Deut. xxiii. 3). Christ was not a Moabite but 
a Jew by birth, even though many generations pre 
viously a Moabitess had been among his ancestresses. 

44. J/. What proves the corruption of the Bible 
beyond all doubt is that it contains so many con 
tradictions and discrepancies. Two contradictory 
accounts of the same thing cannot both be true. 

C. The Bible does not contain contradictions, and 


the apparent discrepancies can be easily accounted 
for. Please mention a few. 

45. M. Matthew s Gospel contains one genealogy 
of Christ, Luke s quite a different one. How can 
both be right 1 

C. \_Every man 1 has two genealogies, one on his 
father s side, the other on his mother s. Hence we 
may infer that one of the two genealogies of Christ 
is probably that of Joseph, His putative father, the 
other that of the Virgin Mary, His mother 2 . St. 
Matthew gives the former, St. Luke the latter. In 
Luke iii. 23 we find Joseph called " (the son) of 
Heli," doubtless because he was his son-in-law. 
He may have been adopted into the family lest it 
should die out a common practice among the 
Hebrews and Romans, and one which still prevails 
among most nations. An old tradition represents 
Mary as daughter of Heli.] You must see yourself 
that it is a great proof, not of the corruption of the 
Scriptures, but of their remaining free from inten 
tional alteration, that both genealogies occur in 
them. Had the Christians wished to make any 

1 Commentators are by no means unanimous on this subject. 
I give my own opinion for what it may be worth, though this 
is not the place to enter fully into arguments in support of it. 
Headers of this Manual should notice that the passage is in 
brackets, and should consult commentators. 

3 The Right Rev. Bp. Stuart prefers Dean Hansel s view 
(Speaker s Comm. on Matthew) that both genealogies are those 
of Joseph, Matthew giving the table of the royal line and Luke 
that of actual descent. Dean Mansel (on Matt. i. 16) conjectures 
that Jacob was Mary s father, and Joseph his adopted son. 


change, how easy it would have been to remove all 
difficulties by placing Mary s name instead of 
Joseph s in Luke iii. 23. That they did not do so 
is a sign that (i) the early Christians, who knew 
all the facts of the case, found no difficulty in the 
matter, while any difficulty that now exists arises from 
our not knowing all the circumstances ; and that (2) 
Christians in later times have had too much venera 
tion for the Bible to venture to make any change 
in its text in order to remove opponents grounds 
for objections. 

46. J7. But if, as both the Bible and the Quran 
(Surahs XXL, Al Anbiya, v. 91, and LXVL, At 
Tahrim, v. 12) assert, Jesus had no human father, 
what was the object of giving Joseph s genealogy 
in Matt. i. ? 

C. It was doubtless given for the sake of the 
Jews a , in order that, whether they believed in His 
miraculous birth or not, they might see that He 
was descended from David, according to prophecy 
(Amos ix. u, &c., &c.). According to Mary s 
genealogy in Luke iii. the same result follows. 

47. J/. There are many contradictions in the 
Bible which cannot be thus explained. One is 
that of the blind men whose eyes Jesus is said to 
have opened at Jericho. The Gospels give three 
contradictory accounts of this miracle. St. Mat- 

1 For in tho yo of the law t v. ry man must have a father,, putative, or adoptive. Thus Christ was tho heir of tho 
promises made to David. (Rev. W. A. Rice.) 


thew (xx. 30) says that Jesus healed two blind men 
when He was coming out of Jericho ; St. Mark (x. 
46) says He healed only one ; and St. Luke (xviii. 
35) sa J s that only one was healed, and that too, 
not when Jesus was going out of the city, but before 
He entered it. 

C. There is no contradiction here, though the 
three accounts differ somewhat from one another. 
If you look again at St. Mark s ac6ount you will 
perceive that he does not say that only one was 
healed, though he mentions Bartimaeus by name. 
Putting St. Mark s account and that of St. Luke 
together, we arrive at an agreement with St. 
Matthew s account in the number of those healed 
at Jericho on that occasion. Beyond this we can 
not at this distance of time go. St. Matthew may 
have spoken of the two together for the sake of 
brevity, or (as St. Mark does not say that Barti 
maeus was alone) Christ may have healed one as 
He entered and two as He came out of the city. 
But the very fact of there being a difference, though not 
an irreconcilable one, between the three accounts, shows 
the absence of collusion, and that we have three independent 
testimonies to the fact of the occurrence of the miracle at 
Jericho. If a judge Jim] s that three witnesses agree with 
one another exactly, he suspects collusion : but if he finds 
that they agree on the main point, though differing in 
reference to details, he gives far more weight to their 
evidence. You have here adduced a very strong proof 
that the Bible has not been corrupted. For many 


hundreds of years assailants of the Bible have 
dwelt upon this and other similar differences 
between different Gospels, and yet we have never 
changed a single word to endeavour to bring the 
accounts into complete accordance with one another. 

48. M. Again, it is hard to reconcile with one 
another the varying accounts of Christ s appear 
ances after His .Resurrection. Moreover, we have 
two contradictory accounts of the death of the 
traitor Judas, and differences as to the number of 
the angels seen at the sepulchre. 

C. The difficulty in each case arises from our 
want of full knowledge of all the circumstances. 
It is easy to show theoretically that the varying 
accounts are not really contradictory. But the 
important point is that the very divergencies in 
the different narratives prevent the suspicion of 
collusion 1 , and that our retaining them in the text 
of the Gospels proves that we have not ventured 
to change the text in order to get rid of difficulties 2 . 

49. M. Again, the Gospel of St. Matthew tells 
us that Herod died when Jesus was still an infant 
in Egypt (ii. 19), while St. Luke (xxiii. 8) assures us 
that Herod was alive more than thirty years later, 

1 This was pointed out by St. Chrysostom, as the opponents 
of the Gospel had brought forward the apparent di.M-rupancies 
even in his time. 

2 If the text had really been corrupted and mutilated as 
freely as Aluhummadans often assort, sun ly these obvious 
difficulties would have been removed long ago. (The Bishop ci 


and that Jesus was brought before him to be tried. 
How can you deny the contradiction here ? 

C. There is no contradiction whatever, as you 
will see by referring to Luke iii. I. The Herod 
who died in Jesus infancy was Herod the Great. 
He ruled over the whole of Palestine, though sub 
ject to the Romans, who supported him on the 
throne. On his death the country was divided 
into four parts ; hence Herod Antipan, his son, who 
ruled over Galilee (Luke iii. i), is generally called 
" Herod the Tetrarch " (Matt. xiv. i). It was 
Herod the Tetrarch before whom Christ was tried, 
as is clear from the very chapter of St. Luke which 
you quote (Luke xxiii. 6, 7 : " Galilee . . . Herod s 
jurisdiction, * cf. Luke iii. i). This same Herod is 
spoken of in Acts iv. 27. Another Herod, known 
as Herod Agrippa, is mentioned in Acts xii. i, 23. 
All this is confirmed by the Jewish historian Jose- 
phus ; and the Roman historian Tacitus (Hist. Lib. 
v. 9) tells us that after Herod the Great s death his 
dominions were divided among his sons. It should 
not seem strange to a Muslim that several people 
should bear the same name, especially when a 
father s name is transmitted to a son or a grand 
son. What would you think of a man who con 
founded together the various Turkish sultans who 
bore the name Murad ? This objection of yours is 
easily answered, because we happen to have exact know 
ledge of the circumstances. It is fair to infer therefore 
that other objections would vanish as completely if we 


had as full acquaintance milt f/tc tir/atl* in each case. 
The difficulty rises from our limited knowledge. 

50. M. How can you assert that your Bible is 
free from interpolation when in the last chapter of 
Deuteronomy we find an account of the death and 
burial of Moses, which certainly cannot have been 
written by him 1 

C. The Jews hold that it was written by Joshua, 
Moses successor. Whether this chapter is con 
sidered part of Deuteronomy or of Joshua does not 
make any real difference, as the chapter does not 
claim to be from the hand of Moses \ 

51. M. Your Bible is defective, since certain 
books mentioned in it, e. g. the book of Jashar and 
many of the works written by Solomon, are no 
longer extant. 

C. These were never included in the Bible, hence 
their loss in no way affects the question. 

52. M. The Gospel acknowledges its own de- 
fectiveness (John xx. 30 ; xxi. 25). 

C. Not at all. These verses show that certain 
things were not written in the Gospel. They cannot 
therefore have ever formed part of the written 
Gospel to which your Quran bears testimony, and 
hence cannot be said to have been taken away 
from it. Moreover, John xx. 31 shows that what 

1 Joshua was Moses minister " and scribe (Exod. xxiv. 1 3 a> 
well as his successor (Joshua i. i , a). Hence a chapter appended 
by him, giving an account of Moses death, cannot be regarded 
as an interpolation. (Rev. Dr. Wherry.) 


is written is sufficient for us to know so as to obtain 
salvation by faith in Christ. 

53. M. There is a discrepancy between Mai. iii. i 
and the same verse as quoted in Matt. xi. 10, where 
my has been changed to thy. This proves that 
the text of the Scriptures has been tampered 

C. The difference lies between ^^? (lefdndy} and 
T3?P (lifneykhd), that is to say there j.s a difference 
of one letter in the Hebrew, the letter k, which may 
easily have been dropped out of the Hebrew text. 
It is a mere matter of a various reading, and 
does not really affect the sense or the argument. 
This is an additional proof that no one has willingly 
tampered with the text, otherwise an attempt would 
have been made to insert the missing letter. 

54. M. In Acts i. 15 we are told that after the 
Ascension there were only 120 disciples of Christ, 
whereas in i Cor. xv. 6 it is stated that He appeared 
to " above 500 brethren " after His Resurrection. 
How can you reconcile the discrepancy ? 

C. There is none to reconcile. In the Acts we 
are not told that there were only 120 believers in 
existence, but merely that about 120 were present 
one day at a meeting in Jerusalem. The 500 met 
in Galilee (Matt, xxviii. 7), where much of Christ s 
work had been done, and where He had many 
disciples. The statement that there are 20,000 
Muhammadans in Lahore is not a contradiction 
to the assertion that there are 160,000 in Bombay. 



o5. JA In Matt, xxvii. 44 it is said that both 
thieves railed at Christ on the Cross, while in 
Luke xxiii. 39 we are told that only one did so. Is 
not this a contradiction ? 

C. You must not interpolate the word only into 
the Gospel. If I tell some one that you came to 
see me to-day, does that imply that you were my 
only visitor? Careful reading of the two passages 
shows no contradiction between them, though 
St. Luke mentions a circumstance in addition to 
the one recorded by St. Matthew. Two accounts 
state that the thieves railed at Christ, and St. Luke 
adds the fact that one of them afterwards repented. 
It was probably the patient meekness with which 
our Lord bore the railing of both thieves, as well 
as His other sufferings, that ultimately softened 
the heart of one of them. 

56. H. Christ tells us (John v. 22, 27) that He is 
to judge the world, whereas St. Paul says that the 
saints are to do so (i Cor. vi. 2, 3). Is this not 
contradictory ? 

C. Is it contradictory in our courts to speak of 
Judge So-and-So, although the case is heard before 
a jury or assessors as well? 

57. M. In i Cor. vi. 10 we are told that drunkards 
shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Yet in 
i Tim. v. 23 Paul directs Timothy to drink wine. 
Is this not a contradiction? Islam is superior to 
Christianity, since it prohibits all drinking of 


C. Is there no difference between taking a little 
wine for medicine, as St. Paul advises Timothy to 
do, and being a drunkard? We Christians, even 
though many of us are total abstainers, are nowhere 
forbidden ever to taste wine, as you Muhammadans 
are. Yet i Cor. vi. 10 shows how great a crime 
we are bound to consider drunkenness to be, while 
the maximum punishment prescribed by Muslim 
law for that offence is scourging,. Hence you 
evidently consider it a less crime than we do, while 
you condemn as wrong what is not in itself a sin 1 . 

58. M. In 2 Cor. xi. 17 Paul expressly disclaims 
inspiration for himself, and yet you include his 
epistles in the New Testament as part of the Word 
of God. 

C. In and for that special passage he disclaims 
the highest kind of inspiration, but that does not 
amount to a denial of his writing even that passage 
under Divine guidance, to which his being called 
to the Apostolate (i Cor. i. I ; ix. i ; 2 Cor. i. i, &c.) 
gave him a claim. The difficulty in your mind arises 
from your confounding your idea of inspiration with 
ours. (Vide Chapter IV, initio.) 

59. M. In Matt. v. 17 Christ declares that He 
did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, 
but to fulfil them. In contrast to this, in Heb. vii. 1 8, 
it is written, "There is a disannulling of a fore 
going commandment because of its weakness and 

1 Rev. W. A. Rice. 


C. The Sermon on the Mount, from which you 
quote, gives example after example to show that 
Christ fulfilled and did not destroy the Law and 
the Prophets, both of which we Christians still 
read and reverence 1 . The other passage shows 
that only certain outward and temporary enact 
ments had been done away with, because they had 
fulfilled their purpose and were being perverted by 
the Jews so asto be a hindrance instead of a help 
to men. For example, sacrifices were enjoined 
under the Law of Moses ; but as these were useful 
only as bearing witness to the need of the death 
of Christ as the One true Sacrifice, they were no 
longer of any avail after His death. Just in the 
same way a cheque is of value until it is honoured ; 
after that it may be useful as a proof that it has 
been paid, but it has no monetary value. Yet 
we do not say that the bank annuls it, but honours 
it, that is, pays it. We may also say that the 
bank in one sense annuls it, though not in another 2 . 
60. M. Another contradiction is found in what 

1 We show our reverence for Law, Prophets, and Psalms by 
reading passages from them in our services. The Muslims talk 
a great deal about their reverence for the Former Books, but 
how totally do they fail to show it in any way of this sort ! 
(The Bishop of Lahore.) 

3 Vide 71, 72. Moreover "the Law of Moses was not of 
universal application. It was of the nature of a covenant between 
certain parties (God and the Hebrew nation), a sort of sub 
contract within the Abrahamic covenant. Again, principks are 
eternal, while details of the application of these principles may 
differ under different circumstances." (Mr. Harding.) 



is told us regarding the way of obtaining salvation. 
In Jas. ii. 14-26 we are told that a man is saved 
by works, not by faith, and this agrees with 
Ezek. xviii. 20 and John v. 29. But elsewhere 
we are told that a man is saved by faith and not 
by works (cf. Heb. xi. 17; Bom. iv. 3 ; Gal. iii. 6). 
How can a book which thus contradicts itself be 
from God, or how can you deny that your Bible is 
corrupted ? < 

C. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews itself gives 
you an answer. All those who are there mentioned 
were saved by faith, but that faith was a living 
faith and, as that chapter tells us, produced works. 
St. James says that faith devoid of works is dead 
(Jas. ii. 26), and he points out that a dead faith 
cannot save. If a man really believes in Christ, 
his life will be changed thereby and he will do 
good * : but if we find a man who professes to 
believe and yet does evil instead of good, he has 
not living faith ; and dead faith that of the lips or 
even of the reason, and not of the heart cannot 
save him. This is plain if we remember that 
salvation denotes deliverance from loving and com 
mitting sin (Matt. i. 21). 

61. M. Christ Himself says, "If thou wouldest 

1 The Bishop of Lahore truly says that the question of the 
relation between Faith and Works is one of vital importance in 
dealing with Muhammadanism, and that the matter should be 
dealt with much more fully than is possible here. The mis 
sionary should illustrate it by, e.g., the fruit of a growing 
tree, &c. 


enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt. 
xix. 17). Does not this prove that salvation is 
obtained by good works, and not by faith in 
Christ ? 

C. If you read further on you will see that, 
though the young man to whom this was said 
claimed to have kept the commandments, yet he 
did not thereby obtain salvation. Christ said 
concerning him, "It is easier for a camel to go 
through a needle s eye than for a rich man to enter 
into the kingdom of God " (v. 24). He showed 
the young man that he had not kept even the first 
commandment, since he preferred his riches to God, 
and thereby became an idolater. But Christ proved 
the necessity of faith in Himself by bidding the 
young man follow Him. Only through faith in 
Christ is it possible to keep God s command 

62. M. If your Bible in its present condition is 
the Word of God, why are not the promises in 
Mark xvi. 17, 18 fulfilled in our time? 

C. [You remember that I pointed out that we 
are not quite so certain that Mark xvi. 9-20 forms 
part of the original Gospel as we are of the rest J .] 
If you read the Acts of the Apostles you will 

An Armenian MS. of the year 986 A.D. (at Echmiadzin) 
ittnbutes these verses to "Ariston the Presbyter," and in 
ome ancient MSS. of that version they are omitted (vide 
Dr. Nestle s Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament, p. 142). 
But further investigation may prove their authenticity and 
genuineness (vide 26). 

F 2 


see that these promises were almost all, perhaps 
all, fulfilled in the time of the apostles. The 
verses you have quoted do not assert that these 
signs will always be granted to the end of time. 
On the contrary, in i Cor. xiii. 8-10 we are told 
that these signs will ultimately cease when 
Christianity is perfectly established. A celebrated 
Christian writer, St. Chrysostom, explains the 
reason by saying that, when a tree* planted by the 
roadside is young, it requires* to be protected by 
a fence, lest it should be trodden down and destroyed: 
but, when it has taken root and grown large, the 
fence must be removed lest it should hinder the 
further growth of the tree. So when the tree of 
the Christian faith was yet tender, it required to 
be fenced in with miracles, but after a time these 
were withdrawn lest they should hinder its growth. 
If all true Christians could now work miracles, 
people would say that there was nothing wonderful 
in the miracles of Christ and His apostles, and 
miracles would cease to be miracles. Moreover, 
in place of physical miracles we have now moral 
miracles, in the changed lives of men who become 
true Christians : and we have the fulfilment of 
prophecy as a better sign and proof of the truth 
of the Bible than any other that can be imagined *. 

1 There is probably much truth in the Eev. P. M. Zenker s 
suggestion that our inability to work miracles is largely due to 
our oXiyoTTiGTia (Matt. xvii. 20). He refers to Paludan Miil- 
ler s The Visible and the Invisible. But the best answer is that 


[Another form in which this objection is often 
put is : 

63. M. Have you faith l ? 

C. I trust that I have. 

M. Then (Mark xvi. 17) prove your faith by 
drinking poison or taking up a deadly serpent. 

C. What do you mean by faith ? We Christians 
mean by it such faith as Abraham had, that is to 
say, faith in God. If therefore Gud commanded 
us to take up a deadly serpent or to drink poison, 
we should obey, as Abraham did in reference to 
Isaac. But I have no faith in you, that I should 
do that at your suggestion, for that would be to 
tempt the Lord our God, which is forbidden 
(Deut. vi. 16; Matt. iv. 7). You are playing the 
part which Satan tried to play (Matt. iv. 5, 6), and 

miracles were granted only (i) on the occasion of a new reve 
lation (as that of Moses and Christ), and (2) at certain great 
crises in history, as in the time of Elijah. Hence we cannot 
expect them now, more than Abraham did. The Bishop of 
Lahore says : " I believe I am right in saying that Muhamma- 
dans themselves teach that one of the chief functions of miracles 
is to authenticate a new Revelation, to accompany lUidm. Throughout 
the Bible miracles are not scattered broadcast at all times, but 
group themselves at special epochs of progress in Revelation. 
It is in accordance with this law that, while granted for a time 
for the reason indicated, they then ceased, as was necessary for 
them to do in order to accord with their own function." 

J Mr. R. Maconochie, C.S.I., says, " Another form of this 
objection came before me as a magistrate. A Muslim asked 
a Cntechist if he had faith. * Yes. 1 Then (taking off a pair 
of shoes and placing them before him), * if you move those 
shoes an inch by faith, without touching them, I will become 
a Christian. 1 " 


deserve the answer which Christ gave him (Luke 
iv. 8)i.] 

64. M. No matter what arguments you adduce 
to prove that the Bible is not corrupt 2 , there is 
a final one that you cannot answer. We kno^v that 
it is corrupt, because in many places it contradicts 
the Qur an. Our principle is to use the Qur an as 
the touchstone, and to accept only what is in 
accordance with it. This is justified by reason, 
because the Qur an is God s latest and most perfect 
revelation (Jy^j), written on the Preserved Tablet 
before the creation of the world. It is justified by 
the Qur tfn, since the latter is styled the "Furqan" 

1 The Kev. A. E. Johnston says : "The answer I found it 
best to give was to point out that it is not said that every 
believer would be able to show all these signs, and then to read 
i Cor. xii. 4-11, and point out the distribution of the gifts of 
the Spirit amongst the faithful, all for the common edification, 
and to assert that such of these gifts as are still necessary to 
that end are in fact exercised, and that, in a sense, the others 
do still follow ov accompany us, for we have in the N. T. the 
evidence of their having been displayed by Christians in attes 
tation of the faith." Be very careful in using the bracketted 
sentence at the beginning of 62. 

a Muslims often say, " If you Christians believed the Bible to 
be the Word of God, you would treat it with greater reverence. 
You put it into your coat-tail pockets and sit upon it. We should 
never think of doing that with our Qur an." To us this may 
seem a trivial matter, but it is not so to Muslims. The Rev. T. 
R. Wade writes : "This was always a favourite argument with 
the Pathans in Peshawar, and was used by the Amir of Kabul 
when he was staying there in the Gurkhatri. Bishop French 
was always most careful to carry his large Urdu Bible in a nice 
bag when he went to preach in the Bazar." 


(Surah XXV., i) because it distinguishes the true 
from the false. 

C. There are several weak points in your argu 
ment. Before you can rely on it, you have to 
prove, to yourselves in the first place, that the 
Qur an is a revelation from God. This you cannot 
prove. Again, the title " Furqan " (whatever be 
the meaning of the word, which is really Syriac 
and Chaldee adopted into Arabic) is not given 
exclusively to the Qur an, for in Surah XXI., Al 
Anbiya , 49, and Surah II., Al Baqarah, 50 J , the 
same title is given to the Taurat. Moreover, instead 
of using the Qur an to test the Bible, as you say, 
you are bidden in the Qur an itself to test the 
Quran by the Bible : for in Surah V., Al Maidah, 47- 
52 we read : " But how shall they make thee their 
judge, since they already possess the Law, in which 
are the behests of God ? . . . Verily, We have sent 
down the Law, wherein are guidance and light. . . . 
And whoso will not judge by what God hath sent 
down such therefore are unbelievers. . . . And in 
the footsteps of the prophets caused We Jesus the 
Son of Mary to follow, confirming the Law which 
was before Him ; and We gave Him the Evangel 
with its guidance and light, confirmatory of the 
preceding Law, a guidance and warning to those 
who fear God ; and that the people of the Evangel 
may [or, let the people of the Evangel] judge 

1 The Qamus, however, in this latter passage explains Furqan 
as meaning the division of the sea before the Israelites! 


according to what God hath sent down therein. 
And whoso will not judge by what God hath sent 
down such then are the perverse. And to thee 
We have sent down the Book with truth, con 
firmatory of previous Scripture and its safeguard." 
And in Surah X., Yunus, 94 the command is given 
to Muhammad himself to make the Bible the 
touchstone by which to judge the Qur an, for 
there we read: "And if thou art in doubt as to 
what We have sent down to thee, inquire of those 
who are reading the Scriptures before thee." There 
fore your principle is contrary to the Qur an itself. 
We have also seen that the Qur an never asserts 
that the Bible has been corrupted, but acknow 
ledges it to be the Word of God and says that 
God s Word cannot be corrupted or changed. And 
if you appeal to reason, your reason must prove 
to you from what has been already said that the 
Bible was not corrupted before Muhammad s time, 
nor during his life, nor has it been corrupted since. 
Finally, whether or not there are differences in 
teaching between the Bible and the Qur an, it is 
certain that in many points in which you object to 
the doctrines of the Bible, the Qur an confirms 
them, as indeed reason also does 1 . 

1 Vide Chapter IV. 



65. M. You Christians are always quoting the 
Bible to us and endeavouring to persuade us to 
read it. This is all in vain. Even if, as you say, 
the Bible has not been corrupted, nevertheless it 
has been annulled by the descent of the Qur an, 
God s latest and most perfect Revelation. There 
fore we are not bound to read or to obey it. We 
Muslims have no need of the Bible: we have the 
Qur an. All that is good in the other books (Taurat 
and Injil) is contained in the Qur an, according as 

it is said i^-3 *^ja 1+** 1 . 

C. Is what you state in accordance with the 
Qur an itself? 

66. M. Undoubtedly it is. 

C. Will you then kindly quote one single verse in 
the Qur an which declares that the Bible has been 
annulled (rendered -jj-~ju) by the descent of the 
Qur an ? 

1 " In them are upright books " (Surah XCVIII, 2). Muslims 
quote the words as if they meant that the essential parts of the 
previous Scriptures were contained in the Qur an. But they 
mean nothing of the kind. Vide Baizawi in loco. 


67. M. Unfortunately I do not recollect one at 
the present moment. 

C. And no wonder, for none such exists. The 
verb "to annul" (LIo) is used only twice in the 
Qur an, and on each occasion it refers not to the 
Bible but to certain verses of the Quran itself, which 1 
are declared to be "annulled." Your learned 
men declare that there are 225 verses thus annulled 
in the Qur an, though they are not agreed which 
they are. Do you still read these annulled 
verses ? 

68. M. We do, for we read the whole Qur an. 

C. If then you read verses which the Qur an 
states to be annulled, and think yourselves bound 
to do so, why should you deem yourselves free 
from the obligation to read the Taurat and Injil, 
which the Qur an does not declare to be annulled, 
but which you find the Qur an commanding you 
to profess belief in? (Surah II., Al Baqarah, 130: 
" Say ye : We believe in God, and that which hath 
been sent down to us, and that which hath been 
sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and 
Jacob and the tribes, and that which hath been 
given to Moses and to Jesus, and that which was 
given to the prophets from their Lord. No differ 
ence do we make between any of them : and to 
God are we resigned.") You see that the idea that 
the Gospel is annulled is not supported by the 

1 Vide Surahs II., Al Baqarah, 100 ; and XXIL, Al Haji, 51 : 
see also XVI., An Nahl, 103. 


Qur an. Nor do I know any one of your authwita- 
tive traditions l by which it is confirmed. 

69. M. It stands to reason that such is the case* 
As the Taurat was annulled by the descent of the 
Zabur (Psalms) upon David, and as the Zabur were 
annulled by the descent of the Injii upon Jesus, so 
the Injil was annulled by the descent of the Qur an 
upon Muhammad. 

[In reply, qute the Ten Commandments and ask 
after each, Has this been abrogated 1 If not, how 
can you say that the Taurat was annulled ? 

With regard to the Sabbath, show how and 
why the Sunday is observed the first day of every 
week instead of Saturday.] Then add : 

C. Can you quote any verse of the Qur an to 
prove that the various books you mention did 
successively annul one another? 

70. M. No ; but all Muslims know that it is so. 
C. The verses in which the Qur an speaks of the 

Bible 2 are very numerous, and the whole of the 
teaching which they give is contrary to this view, 
for the Qur an speaks of the Taurat, the Zabur and 
the Injil as all still of authority in Muhammad s 

1 I have never met with any such authoritative tradition in 
my own reading, nor has any Muhammadan to whom I have 
appealed been able to produce one. "Not a single tradition 
of this nature is found in Sihdh Sitta, which contains six books 
by six great Imams and Traditionalists. No Sunni Muhamma 
dan can dare to doubt these books. The Mishkdtu l Masdbih and 
the Talkhizu s Sihdh are abridged from these six books." (Rev. 
Ahmed Shall.) 

2 All collected in Sir W. Muir s Testimony of the Goran, 


time. The verse we have just quoted (Surah II., 
Al Baqarah, 130) alone suffices to prove this. 
This is another matter in which modern Islam has 
entirely departed from the teaching of the Qur an. 

71. M. Each successive apostle 1 (J^) was 
sent by God to teach the right way to the people 
of his own time. As Moses was succeeded by 
David and David by Solomon, so Solomon was 
succeeded by John the Baptist (^Jy* ^ <&**>), and 
the latter by Jesus, and He in turn by Muhammad, 
the Seal of the Prophets. Each successive prophet 
was commissioned to give God s commands to his 
own people. Hence of course the later abrogated 
the earlier. Just in the same way the laws of the 
present king of Persia or of England abrogate 
those of the preceding sovereign. 

C. Even granting this, remember that you con 
fess that Christ is still alive. Until He dies (as 
He never will, Rev. i. 1 8), there can be no question 
of a successor 2 . But the laws of the new king 
do not abrogate those of the preceding unless it is 
precisely stated in the new laws that they do so, 
wholly or partially. Christ distinctly declared 
that He had not come " to destroy the Law, or the 
Prophets " (Matt. v. 17) " but to fulfil " them. This 
is easily understood from the use of progressive 

1 Easul must be distinguished from Hawdn ((jj^\ the latter 
denoting an Apostle of Christ. Hawdri is an JEthiopic word, 
and is the word used for t( Apostle " in the ^Ethiopic N. T. 

2 Mr. Harding. 


textbooks in a school. The Second Reading Book 
does not annul the first, but assumes the facts 
taught in it, while giving more advanced teach 
ing 1 . The Qur an does not state that it came to 
annul the Taurat and the Injil, but to confirm and 
protect them. 

72. M. Why then do you Christians not observe 
the ceremonial parts of the Law of Moses, with 
regard to washings, festivals, and circumcision ? 

C. For two reasons, (i) Because these com 
mands were given to the Jews only and not to all 
nations. (2) Because they were not abrogated but 
fulfilled in Christ. Circumcision was intended to 
keep the children of Abraham apart until Christ 
came ; the purifications and sacrifices received their 
fulfilment in Christ. The ordinances, given not to 
all nations and for all time (like the Moral Law 
generally), but only temporally and to the Jews 
alone (for example those regarding sacrifices, cir 
cumcision, going up three times a year to the 
Temple, abstinence from certain kinds of food, &c.), 
were therefore abrogated by Christ as far as tie 
letter is concerned, but they were not abrogated 
but filed up and made eternally binding on all 
men so far as their spiritual meaning is concerned 2 . 
For example, in Exod. xii. the Israelites were 
commanded to observe the Passover; and in i Cor. 
v. 7, the spiritual meaning and necessity of the 

1 Bishop of Lahore. 

3 Vide Rev. Dr. Rouse s Is the Gospel Abrogated? 


observance of the true Passover is explained and 
enforced upon Christians 1 . Circumcision again 
was enjoined upon Abraham and his descendants 
(Gen. xvii. 9-14) as a sign of God s covenant with 
them, until the fulfilment of the covenant in 
the coming of Christ (Gen. xii. 3 ; xviii, 18 ; xxii. 
1 8 ; xx vi. 4) through whom all nations were to be 
blessed, and who was to be descended from Isaac 
(Gen. xvii. 19). This covenant was tb be everlasting 
and therefore not subject to abrogation, as that 
verse proves. Hence Christ cannot be succeeded 
by any one else to all eternity. Circumcision be 
comes spiritual at His Advent ( Jer. xxxi. 3 1 -34 ; 
xxxii. 40; Deut. xxx. 6; Rom. ii. 28, 29; Phil, 
iii. 3), after which circumcision in the flesh (as 
with Jews and Muslims) practically becomes a sign 
of unbelief in Him as the Saviour. This is some 
thing like the case of the Brazen Serpent in the 
Wilderness, made by Moses at God s command 
(Num. xxi. 8, 9), but afterwards broken by the 
pious king Hezekiah (2 Kings xviii. 4) because the 
Israelites had made it into an idol. These rites 
and ceremonies were like a cheque, which is of 
value until it is cashed, but after that is of no 

1 As truth underlies all error, so the truth which underlies 
the erroneous doctrine of naskh (abrogation) is that the perfect 
must ultimately take the place of the imperfect, the permanent 
and eternal that of the temporary. This is what Christ teaches 
when He claims to have come to fulfil the law. The Rev. 
Dr. Hooper shows that the Epistle to the Hebrews argues on 
these lines (cf. Heb. vii. 11-19). 


monetary value, and is worth preserving only as 
a sign that the money was promised and has been 
paid, as we have already seen. But here you are 
arguing against yourself, for Muslims still keep 
up the practice of circumcision, because (as they 
rightly say) God once enjoined it upon Abraham 
and his descendants, and they think it still neces 
sary. Hence it is evident that the Law, the Psalms, 
and the Qur an did not abrogate that command, at 
least in (Jieir opinion. This completely overthrows 
your argument. Again, the Qur an represents 
Muhammad as stating that Abraham was a Muslim 
(Surah III, Al Imran, 60). If so, in what respect 
has his religion been abrogated ? 

73. M. Since Christ and Timothy were circum 
cised, how can you say the rite is not binding on 
Christians ? 

C. Christ was born of a Jewish mother, and 
therefore He received circumcision according to the 
Law of Moses. Timothy s mother (Acts xvi. 1-3) 
was also a Jewess, hence Paul circumcised him, 
else he would not have been able to work among 
Jews. But this was not necessary from a Christian 
point of view, for St. Paul himself says, " Circum 
cision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing" 
(i Cor. vii. 1 8, 19 ; Rom. ii. 25-29; Phil. iii. 3). 

74. M. A king can change his laws as he 
pleases : why should not God do so ? Jesus came 
to preach the Gospel peaceably, and forbade His 
disciples to draw the sword to spread their faith. 


Muhammad was "the Prophet with the sword," 
and was commanded to " fight in the way of God." 
Each did what was right, because the latter com 
mand abrogated the former. 

C. The question is not what God can do but 
what God has done. You cannot bring a single 
proof that the Bible was abrogated by the Qur an. 
Muhammad s assertion that he was commissioned 
to spread his religion with the sword is rather a 
proof against his claim than in favour of it. 

75. M. Why 1 ? Did not Moses do the same by 
God s command? 

C. No. Joshua was commanded to overthrow 
and punish the Canaanites, but he was not com 
manded to convert them by the sword. Moreover, 
you who appeal so much to Eeason should be able 
to explain how the command which you say was 
given to Muhammad was consonant with reason 
and justice. You assert that God hates hypocrites 
so much that the lowest pit of hell has been assigned 
to them ; and yet you tell us that God sent Muham 
mad with the sword to make men hypocrites. For 
a man who embraces Islam without proof, and 
merely to save his life, must evidently be a hypo 
crite. In this respect the Qur an is contrary to 
the Gospel, and also to the reason and conscience 
which God has given us. 

76. M. The Qur an preserves and re-imposes 
upon men the essential parts of the Law and the 
Gospel, and abrogates the rest. 


If I am to accept this, I must do so on 
your authority alone, since you cannot prove it 
from the Quran. But I notice that now you 
admit that part at least of earlier revelations have 
not been abrogated by the Qur an. Reason teaches 
us that what the Bible says of (i) the Nature and 
Attributes of God, (2) Historical facts, (3) the Moral 
Law, (4) Prophecies, and (5) the Plan of Salvation, 
cannot possibly be abrogated. 

77. M. Some of these may be. Why should 
not the way of salvation be altered from time to 
time? In Moses time it was necessary to believe 
in him, in Jesus time in Him, in Muhammad s time 
m him. So it is necessary to obey successive kings, 
each in his own time. 

C. This is contrary to Reason, for it repre 
sents God as fickle and changeable. He is the one 
King in religious mattery so the analogy does not 
exist. Moses did not claim to be the Saviour, nor 
did any other prophet. They all bore witness to 
Christ, in whom alone can salvation be found 
(John xvii. 2, 3; Acts iv. 12). The Messianic 
prophecies are the essence of the Old Testament, 
and that of the New is contained in John iii. 16. 
Moreover, Christ declares Heaven and earth shall 
pass away, but My words shall not pass away " 
(Matt. xxiv. 35). He states that at His second 
coming He is to be the judge of living and dead 
( -Matt. xxv. 31-46 ; cf. Acts iv. J2 ). Reason show, 
us that these things can never be annulled. Your 



argument in proof of the abrogation of the Injil 
by the Qur an is therefore contrary to the Qur an 
itself, to the Gospel, and to Reason. 

78. M. Christ and Moses gave different and 
contrary commands regarding divorce. Thus we see 
that the Gospel did annul the Law, even in certain 
matters of morality. 

C. Not so : for Christ tells us that the permission 
for divorce which Moses gave (Mett. xix. 3-10; 
cf. Matt. v. 31, 32), because of the "hardness of 
heart" of the Israelites, was but temporary, and 
it was given only in order doubtless to prevent 
worse evils. But Christ does not annul this by 
making a new law on the subject. He points to 
the fact that, in Gen. ii. 24, God had once for all 
stated the eternal Moral Law in this matter, and 
that that Law is still and must ever be in force. 
Neither Moses nor any one else could abrogate that 
Law, recorded as it is in the Taurat itself. It is 
God s law, and is in force from the beginning to 
the end of the world. It can never be annulled, 
because it is founded on the eternal principles of 

Somewhat similarly in certain countries the 
people are so prone to commit murder, and think 
it so slight a crime, that the legislature of those 
countries has attached to murder something less 
than the death penalty: otherwise no one would 
ever be there convicted of murder. But the law 
of God on the subject (Gen. ix. 6) cannot be altered 


or annulled, though even Christian rulers may 
reasonably relax the punishment in such cases, in 
consequence of the " hardness of men s hearts." 

There is therefore no ground whatever for saying 
that the Gospel or any other part of the Bible has 
been annulled by the Qur an, even if we accept the 
latter as from God. The opinion of Muslims that 
the Qur an has annulled the Bible is contrary (j ) to 
the Qur an itself (see the passages referred to in 
6), and also (2) opposed to Reason and to the 
distinct statements of Christ Himself (Matt. 
xxiv. 35). 

a 2 




79. M. You claim that the Bible as it now 
exists is the Word of God. Yet when we examine 
it we find that it is made up of books which bear 
certain men s names, as the Gospels of Matthew, 
Mark, Luke, and John, the Letters of St. Paul, and 
so on. Again, it contains the history of the Israel 
ites, tales about the Prophets and Apostles, and 
even a letter from Judas the traitor. How can we 
accept such a book as having come down from 
heaven ? Which of the four Gospels is the one 
which descended on Jesus, the Son of Mary ? Is 
not your doctrine that this Bible of yours is a 
Divine Revelation (J^ tanzU 1 ) contrary both to 
Reason and to the Qur an ? 

C. This whole objection, like very many others, 
arises from a misunderstanding. The Epistle of 
Jude was not written by the traitor Judas, who 
was dead long before it was written. If you read 
the very first verse of the Epistle, you will see 
that it is from the hand of Judas the " brother 

1 The word properly means something "sent down." 


of James," and this apostle is thus described in 
Luke vi. 16, and Acts i. 13 \ Again, how can it be 
contrary to the Qur an to speak of the Bible as the 
Word of God, when the Qur an itself (Surah II., Al 
Baqarah, 70) gives it that very title ? We have proved 
that the Bible which we now have is the same as 
that which the Jews and Christians had in Muham 
mad s day, and surely you do not accuse him of 
giving you as from God teaching contrary to reason. 
The Gospels are not strictly called those of St. 
Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, but in 
Greek the title is "the Gospel according to (Kara) 
Matthew," &c. The word Gospel means "good 
news," in Arabic ,LLJ1 \TujU J~j1 being a mere 
corruption of EvoyyeAioi;], that is to say, the good 
news of God s love towards mankind as shown 
by His offering us salvation through Jesus Christ. 
Four men were directed and inspired by God to 
relate to us, each in his own words, under Divine 
inspiration and guidance, the sayings and doings 
of Christ, so that we might not depend upon 
merely one single man s evidence regarding such 
an important matter. There is only one " Gospel," 
as there is only one Christ, but the one Gospel 
is transmitted to us in four separate ways, so to 
speak, though delivered to us by Christ 2 Himself, 
who claimed that His teaching was from God 

1 The other view, that the writer of the Epistle of St. Judr 
ll the one mentioned in Matt. xiii. 55, is more commonly held. 
But the result is the same, t. <?., he was not Iscariot. 

3 Vide note to 37. 


(John vii. 16 ; viii. 28 ; xii. 49, 50 ; xiv. 10, 24). 
We Christians do not believe that the Law and 
the Gospel were written down in heaven ages 
before the creation of the world and then brought 
down piecemeal to the prophets and dictated to 
them word for word. Such a doctrine might 
perhaps be described as contrary to Reason, but 
you Muslims at any rate could not bring such 
an argument against us without condemning your 
selves. It is true that the Bible does contain a 
great deal of history, because our faith rests upon 
historical facts, not upon fancies and assertions. 
But the history of the Israelites and the narratives 
given us of the lives of prophets and apostles are 
capable of being proved true, and have been so 
proved wherever means exist of testing them. We 
do not find in the Bible statements like some in 
the Qur an, e. g. that Haman was Pharaoh s wazir 
(cf. Surahs XXVIIL, Al Qisas, 5; XXIX., Al 
Ankabut, 38 ; XL., Al Mu min, 25, 38), and that 
the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was sister of 
Aaron (Surah XIX., Maryam, 29) and daughter 
of Imran (Amram) (Surah III., Al Imran, 31, &c.), 
and hence identical with Miriam the sister of Moses 
and Aaron 1 . God teaches by the history contained 
in the Bible the reason for the coming of Christ 

1 In a note Sale refers to the Muhammadan attempt to 
answer this charge brought against the Qur an. All they can 
say is that the Virgin Mary had a brother called Aaron, &c. &c. 
But this is only assertion, without a particle of proof. 


and the manner in which His way was prepared. 
There is good reason, therefore, why so large a 
portion of the Bible should consist of history, 
telling us of God s dealings with mankind, and 
revealing to us God s view of human history. In 
this way we learn to judge our own conduct, and 
perceive that Righteousness exalteth a nation, 
but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov. xiv. 
34). The Epistles that bear the names of certain 
apostles were written by them under Divine guid 
ance (John xiv. 26), and hence, as " all l Scripture is 
given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. iii. 16), the 
Qur an is justified in giving the Bible the title 
of the " Word of God," and so are we. In our 
view of Inspiration, God did not use merely the 
apostles or prophets mouths or hands, but made 
use of their whole being, the wisdom which He 
had bestowed on them, their minds and hearts and 
souls and spirits as well as their bodies, to convey 
His message to men. When we find, therefore, 
a human element in Scripture, this by no means 
disproves its inspiration, since we do not hold 
an illogical view of inspiration like that held by 
some, as for example the Hindus and the Sikhs. 
Nor do we hold the Muhammadan view of Inspira 
tion, which seems to us to bo illogical too. If you 
consider all these facts I think you will perceive 
that in accepting the Bible as the Word of God we 

UVMTK *oi (ty^os irp^ MaaxaXiav. As ,\ 
w.-Il known, this v.-rse is differently rendered by sum,-. 


are not upholding a doctrine which is in itself 
opposed to Reason or even to the Qur an. 

80. If. But many of your doctrines, which you 
say are taught in the Bible, are contrary to both. 
For example, your Bible represents all men except 
Christ as sinners even the prophets. Consider 
what shameful tales it tells of the sins of Lot, 
David, and Solomon. Even Moses is said to have 
sinned. Peter is said to have thrice* denied Christ, 
and Paul speaks of himself as the chief of sinners. 
Is it not contrary to reason to represent God as 
using wicked men as His messengers ? We deem 
all the prophets sinless (.,7-0**), at least after 1 their 
call to the prophetic office. 

C. And thereby you contradict your own Qur an, 
which mentions sins as committed by all the 
prophets except Jesus, regarding whom alone it 
is never said that He sinned or asked pardon 
for having sinned. Your traditions (v^ojU.1) agree 
with this : for Imam Muslim tells us that Muham 
mad said to Ayishah that every child who is born 
of Adam s seed is at his birth pricked by Satan, 
except Jesus and His mother 2 . Imam Ghazzali says 
that Satan declared that he had been present at 
the birth of every child except at that of Jesus. 
This agrees with Surah III., Al Irnran, 31: i( I have 

1 This is said to be the correct form of the dogma, but Muslims 
generally seem to forget this clause, at least at the outset of an 
argument on the subject : vide 82. 

2 Or, touched under the rib. Vide Mishkat, Bab XXV., fasl. 
i., i, and Bab I., fasl. iii., i. 


named her Mary, and I commend her and her 
offspring to Thy protection from Satan the stoned." 

81. M. Where does the Qur an accuse the 
prophets of sin ? 

1 C. In very many places, as for example : 
() Adaw is accused of sin in Surahs XX., Ta Ha, 119, 
and in II., Al Baqarah, 33. 34. He sinned in dis 
believing God s word and in disobeying His com 
mand, and als in believing what Satan said and 
in obeying him. From the words *Zj ^ ^^ j (wa 
*a*a Aflamu ralbahu, " and Adam rebelled against his 
Lord ") in the first of these passages it is clear that 
Adam s sin deserved the punishment of hell fire, in 
accordance with Surah LXXIL, Al Jinn, 24, and 
it was one of the greater ( J&S kabdh ) sins. 

82. M. But Ar Razi says that Adam sinned 
before he became a prophet, hence this cannot 
be counted as a sin committed by a />r/i/n-f. 
Moreover, Ar Razi states that Adam repented and 
was forgiven, and that his sin was not imputed 
to him. 

C. How does Ar Razi know that Adam sinned 
before becoming a prophet ? Besides, you accused 
us Christians of holding irrational views and ideas 
contrary to the Qur an in thinking that ** God 
chose sinful men as prophets." Baizawi agrees 
with Ar Razi in acknowledging that Adam sinned. 
The very fact of his repentance proves his sin, 

1 Vil- llfititlm l Mujtahidin, pp. 29 sqq., and also Mr. ,7am. I 
Monn/.- tr;i -t mentioned in tin- 


as does his being pardoned, for even Almighty 
God cannot forgive a sin that has not been com 
mitted in thought, word or deed. 

83. M. What other prophets are said in the 
Qur an to have sinned ? 

C. (b) Noah is represented in Surah LXXL, Nfth, 
29, as asking forgiveness for himself. This im 
plies that he had sinned, otherwise the words 
are meaningless. 

(c) Abraham was guilty of idolatry (e)^), as is 
stated in Surah VI., Al An am, 76, 77, 78. This 
is the one sin for which, according to Surah IV., 
An Nisa/, 51, 116, there is no forgiveness. In Surah 
II., Al Baqarah, 262, we are told that Abraham 
doubted God s power to raise the dead (and this is 
confirmed by the expression ^ dLUb ^\ ^.so 
p^Ajjl). This is another of the u greater" sins. 
Imam Muslim and Bukhari on Surah XXI., Al 
Anbiya , 64, quote from Abu Hurairah a saying of 
Muhammad that Abraham told " only " three lies, 
all of which are mentioned in the Qur an 1 . Abraham 
confessed that he had sinned, and prayed for pardon 
(Surah XIV., Ibrahim, 42), so there can be no doubt 
about his guilt. 

(d) Moses, we are told in Surah XXVIII., Al Qisas, 
14, 15, committed murder, and confessed that this 
was the work of Satan ; he asked for forgiveness 
and was pardoned. In Surah XXVI., Ash Shu ara , 
19, Moses confessed that he had done the deed 

1 Cf. Mishkat, Bab XXIII., fasl. xii. 


when he was one of the " transgressors " . 

In Sarah VII, Al A rAf, 150, Moses begged forgive 
ness for himself and his brother Aaron, thus con 
fessing that they had loth sinned. He also sinned 
in throwing down the two tablets of the Law, and 
in insulting Aaron, as there recorded. Some of 
these sins were of the " greater " order. 

(e) Aaron, as is confessed by Moses in the last 
quoted passage, sinned in permitting the idolatry 
of the Israelites when they worshipped the Golden 

(/) Joseph is accused of sinning in thought by 
Wahidi (KitdMl Bavit) in his comment on the 
word ^ in Surah XIL, Yusuf, 24, though this is not 
in accordance with the Biblical account of the inci 
dent there referred to, and the Arabic may be 
otherwise understood. 

(ff) David, in Surah XXXVIIL, Sad, 23, 24, asked 
forgiveness, repented, and was forgiven. Uns bin 
Malik, Ibn Abbas and Wahab agree in thus ex 
plaining the text. 

(k) Solomon also, in Surah XXXVIIL, Sad, 34, we 
are told, asked forgiveness. He must therefore 
have been conscious of guilt. 

(/) Jonah too is said in Surah XXXVIL, As Safat, 
1 39-i 44, to have fled from God s command and 
to have therefore been " blameworthy " (^Ju). The 
passage clearly states that this sin was committed 
at the time when ] was one of God s messengers 
or "apostles " ( o v^L,JJ ^ m in al m 


Do not therefore accuse us of altering the Bible 
by inserting accusations against the prophets. 
Your own Qur an does this ; and if we agree with 
the Qur an in holding that the prophets were 
sinners who repented, what is there against reason 
in the belief l ? At any rate, any fault you find with 
the Bible in this respect recoils upon the Qur an. 

84. M. The prophets are by us called sinless 
because they repented and their sias were there 
fore not reckoned to them. 

C. If that is what you mean, your argument 
against the Bible, on the ground that it mentions 
that the prophets did commit sins, falls to the 
ground, for you say the same thing yourselves. 
We are not called upon to discuss the entirely 
different question whether or not God forgave them 
their sins. Before He could forgive them, they must 
have committed sins which required forgiveness. 

85. M. At least Muhammad is never said to 
have committed sin. 

C. If you read what Muhammadan writers have 
related concerning his life, his treatment of the 
Jews, his conduct towards those who had lam 
pooned him, his matrimonial relations, and other 

1 A well known Tradition states that on the Judgment Day 
every prophet except Jesus, when asked to act as Mediator or 
Intercessor, will decline, alleging his sins as a reason for not 
being able to do so. Unfortunately, however, this Tradition 
represents Muhammad as undertaking the task, which our 
Lord also is said to decline, though He gives no reason for so 
doing. (Mishkat, Bab XXIII., fasl. xi.). 


such matters, you will be able to form an opinion 
of your own upon that matter. 

86. M. Some of these things would have been 
wrong in any one else, but in the Apostle of God 
they were not, because God commanded him to act 
as he did. Certain privileges also were granted 
him in matrimonial matters because he was God s 
chosen one. This we learn from Surah XXXIII Al 
Ahzab, 38. 

C. The affair of Zainab, to which that verse refers, 
and which is dealt with in the preceding (v. 37) verse 
of that Surah, is one upon which it would be well 
to reflect before pronouncing Muhammad sinless. 

87. M. The Quran never attributes sin to 

a In Surah XLVIH., Al Fath, 3, God is repre 
sented as saying to Muhammad, " Verily, we have 
won for thee an undoubted victory, in order that 
God might forgive thee what went before of thy 
fault and what followed after 1 ." Abbasi says that 
this means the faults he committed before he 

1 Zamakshari is commenting on this verse says : < What went 
I" f<-re of thy fault, i.e. the matt, r.-f/aiuab, < and what f.,11, ,w,-,l 
after, i.e. the matter of Mai-yam (Mary the Copt)." In both 
the* cases, as Muslims must thus confess, Mulmmnia,|\ 
< n.ual passions were the cause of his sin. (Kov. Dr Zwemer 
Tradition represent* Muhammad u acknowledging Ins WB 
MMiuln,^. C f. Hayutu l Qulub, vol. II, pp. 75 , 30I . UtohkU, 
I- ii ., i; and fad. vii., i; J {a l, XXII., I.,,], rfl - 
Ijal, IV., la. r l. xii., i ; fasl. xix., I ; la I. xx.v., ,. Vl ,|, Mr. James 
onry. Ticking of the Moulds as to the Sinfulness of Maho,, 
-i,.l \- A. I art> I an.l II . 


received inspiration, and those that he should 
commit even until his death. Again, in Surah 
XLVIL, Muhammad, 21, he is bidden "Ask pardon 
for thy sin, and for believers, both men and 
women." In Surah XL., Al Mu inin, 57, and Surah 
IV., An Nisa , 106, the command to Muhammad to 
ask for pardon is repeated : cf. also Surah XCIV., 
Al Inshirah, 1-3. If you accept the Qur an as 
a revelation from God, you must penueive that God 
is here represented as commanding Muhammad to 
ask forgiveness, and as promising to grant it. 
Does not this amount to a Divine assertion of 
Muhammad s sinfulness? 

88. M. By no means, for our commentators for 
the most part, as Ar Razi and Zamakshari, explain 
this by saying that by "thy offence" is meant 
" thy people s offence." 

C. You must see that the passage above quoted 
from Surah XLVIL, Muhammad, ai, refutes this 
argument, for there he is bidden to pray for 
forgiveness for his own sin first, and then for those 
of " believing men and believing women." 

89. M. The word used (vloi) does not mean sin 
but only fault : it is explained by Baizawi (on 
Surah XL., Al Mu min, 57) as denoting in that 
passage some remissness on Muhammad s part in 
spreading the true religion. In reference to the 
prophets it means only the natural weakness of 
man, to overcome which he requires the strength 
and support of God. 


C. With reference to Adam, Abraham, Moses, 
Jonah, Solomon and others, we have seen that it 
means much more than that. In Surah LY., Ar 
Rahman, 39, the word tank (v-^) in the plural is 
applied to the sins of \>Q\\\jinns and men. In Surah 
XXVIIL, Al Qisas, 78, it is thus said of idolaters, 
"But such sinners [^^-^s^ mnjrim^na\ need not be 
asked about their crimes [vjoJ zunui~\" The To/sir 
i lluxaihi distinctly and rightly says that this is said 
of idol-worshippers ; and their sin is the unpardon 
able one. This text shows that a junn. [*/*] * s 
rightly called a qanb [v-Ji], so that the latter word 
does not denote a slight and unavoidable weakness 
but a sin actually committed. In Surah LXVIL, 
Al Mulk, 1 1, the souls of the wicked " shall confess 
their sin " (^J3) in hell-fire. In Surah XII., Yilsuf, 
39, the crime of Potiphar s wife (lying, slander, 
lust) is called ^3. In Surah XCL, Ash Shams, 14, 
the people of Thamud are said to have been de 
stroyed for their ^i, which consisted in accusing 
their Prophet Salih of imposture, disobeying God s 
command, and slaying the Prophet s camel. Hence 
the Qur an itself proves that u>Ji does not mean 
mere human weakness, or at worst some trivial 
otfence, for the word is used of "greater" sins 

90. JA Muhammad, like all others who are of 
the number of the cj^V*-* (***JflfraW*4f, those nearest 
to God), felt remorse for even slight faults, and to 
him they seemed serious. 


C. But, if the Qur an is not Muhammad s com 
position but God s, it is not Mv-kammad but God 
who speaks of Muhammad s acts as crimes (vj^)- 
[Moreover, tradition shows that Muhammad con 
fessed his own sinfulness, for Muslim and Bukhari 
relate that when he said to his followers, " Not even 
one of you shall enter Paradise except through the 
mercy of God Most High," and was asked, "Not 
even thou, Apostle of God ?" he said, "Not even 
I, except that God through His mercy cover me." 
Abu Hurairah relates that he heard Muhammad 
saying, "Verily I ask God for pardon, and I turn 
to Him in penitence seventy times in the day. 
In the Mishkdtul Masdbth (Babul Masdjid, sect. ii. 
p. 62) we are told by Tirmadhi and Ahmar and Ibn 
Majah, on the authority of Fatimah, Muhammad s 
granddaughter, that whenever Muhammad entered 
the Mosque he used to say, " my Lord, forgive 
me my sins (Vj-^) and open to me the gates of Thy 
mercy," and on going out again he used to say, 
" my Lord, forgive me my sins and open to me 
the gates of Thy grace."] My object is merely to 
show you that in speaking of the sins of the 
Prophets the Qur an does not contradict the Bible, 
and that your argument against the Bible on this 
point falls to the ground, if you accept the teaching 
of your own Qur an. Remember too that the 
Quran agrees with the Bible in never accusing the Lord 
Jesus Christ of sin. 

91. M. When Jesus said, "There is none good 


but one, that is God," did He not imply l that He 
was not sinless? (Luke xviii. 19 ; see bent reading) 2 . 
C. The idea that this is the meaning of the verso 
is refuted by the whole tenor of the Gospels, and 
by His own words, John viii. 46. (See also T Pet. 
ii. 22 ; J John iii. 5 ; Heb. iv. 15.) It means, "If 
you call Me good, remember that means more than 
an empty compliment. Only God is good : hence, 
if you acknowledge Me to be good, you recognize 
My oneness with the Father 3 ." 

92. M. Baptism was given only to repentant 
sinners, yet Jesus was baptized (Matt. iii. 1 3 sqq. ; 
Luke iii. 21). Does not this prove that He was 
not sinless, if we accept your Gospels ? 

C. If you read what John the Baptist said in 
Matt. iii. 14, you will obtain an answer to this 

93. M. Why then does the Gospel say that Christ 
was crucified, which the Qur an denies? If He 
was crucified (which we deny), He must have been 

1 The Bishop of Lahore says, I used to lay stress on the 
form of the question, * Wlnj ralN-st th.u me? &c., i.e., On 
what grounds do you think what is implied in the word good? 
See Dean Chuivh s famous M rmon on the t-xt." 

a Muslims also sometimes argue that Ps. li. 5 applies i<> 
Christ as well as to other men. (Rev. J. I. Hasler.) But I 
vii. 14 : Matt. i. 18-25 : Luke i. 35) Christ * Immaculate Conception 
i> a.lmitt.-d l.y tin- IJurYin ^Vido 80. 116, 117, Il8). 

Dr. H. Martin Clark says, " In my ttp0ri*nM tl..- in-st 
h.-lpful UMIWer i- point out that Christ did n>.t n-pudiat.- His 
p.-t- iial goodlMM, " an>o to one who professed t<> 
all tin- Law of God He said, On<^ th-.u 
Mo (Mark x. 21 : Luke xviii. 22)." 


a sinner and a false prophet, according to the 
Taurat : for in Deut. xviii. 20 [cf. xiii. 5, and Jer. 
xiv. 14, 1 5, and Zech. xiii. 3] it is prophesied that 
a false prophet " shall die," that is, shall be put to 

C. This is not a prophecy but a command. It 
is one thing to say that a false prophet shall be put 
to death, and quite a different thing to declare that 
every prophet who was put to death was a false 
prophet. For example, John (Yahya ) the Baptist 
was put to death, but the Qur an speaks of him as 
a true prophet in Surah III., Al Imran, 34 (and in 
Surah XIX., Maryam, 13, he is mentioned as given 
"the Book" by God: cf. verses 1-15* also Surah 
XXI., Al Anbiya , 89, 90). Abel [Habil] was slain 
by his brother (Surah V., Al Maidah, 33), but that 
did not prove him to be a false teacher. So also 
in Surah II., Al Baqarah, 81, and Surah V., Al 
Maidah, 74, it is said that the Israelites slew some 
true apostles sent to them by God. 

94. M. But the Qur an distinctly denies that 
Jesus was crucified and slain by the Jews (Surah 
IV., An Nisa , 156), which the Gospels assert. 

C. Possibly the reason why the Qur an denies 
that He was crucified by the Jews is because, as the 
Gospels assert, He was really crucified, not by the 
Jews, but by the Roman soldiers (Matt, xxvii. 26- 
35) at the command of Pontius Pilate, the Roman 
governor of Judaea (Matt, xxvii. 2, 26) 1 . The guilt, 

1 This is suggested only as a way for Muslims to escape from 


nevertheless, rested on the Jews (Matt, xxvii. 24, 
25 ; Acts ii. 23). The Qur an, however, elsewhere 
(SCtrah III., Arirnran,48, and Surah XIX., Mary am, 
34, and perhaps in Surah IV., An Nisa , 157) 
speaks of Jesus death, though your commentators 
endeavour to explain that this is yet future 1 . We 
are quite willing to grant that in this matter 
the Qur an contradicts the whole teaching of the 
apostles and of 1 many of the prophets (cf. Ps. xxii. ; 
Isa. Hii.) on the subject, but that shakes the argu 
ment in favour of the Quran, not that in favour of 
the Bible. 

95. M. Why do you think that He was cru 
cified ? 

C. Because (i) the prophets foretold it; (2) the 
Gospel relates it; (3) the apostles testify to it; 
(4) the Jews confess it ; and (5) so do the Romans, 
as their historians testify. When the guilty parties 
themselves confess the crime, how can we doubt 
their guilt? Certain heretics in early times, like 
Mani in Persia, said that the Jews had crucified 
some one else 2 in mistake for Jesus, but this is 

a difficulty. Christians consider that the Qur an is wrong here, 
as it implies that Christ did not die on the cross. 

1 Yet Baizawi admits the death of Christ on the cross, but 
says He remained without life for only a few hours. Vil- his 
commentary, Cairo edition. roL i. p. 209. (Rev. Dr. /women) 

a See Mo^heim s History, Bead s edition, Cent. III., Pt. II., 
Cap. v., 6. Mani (Ep. Fund. ;ip. Evodium) taught " Prinr.-ps 
it ; ,,,u. t,.|i.|.ranun .Tii.-i ed ailixu-." 1 IM- i;n>ili l 1X11 h.-iiii that 
Sim.n of Cyrene had been crucified in mistak. f,,r Christ; the 
" Gospel of Barnabas" says Juda- \va^. i hotius mentions that 
II 2 


contrary to the testimony of the Word of God, and 
therefore should not be believed. Those who were 
present, like the apostle John, testify to Christ s 
crucifixion, while those who deny it were born 
hundreds of years afterwards and cannot therefore 
be accepted as witnesses. The punishment of the 
Jews for their terrible crime is evident to every 
one, and this is an additional proof that they are 
right in saying that they were guilty of crucifying 
Jesus 1 . 

[The following arguments on the Muhammadan 
side may be entered here, as they are in some measure 
answered in the reply to the preceding- question. 
We therefore reply to them very briefly : ] 

96. M. If what your New Testament says about 
the deity of Christ be correct, then why was 
Muhammad sent to reclaim men from error by 
bidding them not call Jesus the Son of God 1 

C. You here acknowledge that the New Testa 
ment does teach the Divine Sonship of Christ. As 
the Qur an was sent to " confirm " the Gospel, and 

the book called the TlepioSoi J AiroaTo\ojv taught that Christ was 
not crucified, but some one else in His stead. Muhammad s 
denial of our Lord s crucifixion was based on Docetic error. 

1 The Kev. M. G. Goldsmith mentions as standing proofs from 
Church history those afforded by : (i) The use of the sign of the 
cross ; (2) The Lord s Supper ; (3) The ancient creeds (Nicene, 
A.D. 325, &c.). Perhaps, however, Muslims can hardly grasp the 
value of these proofs. But the Bishop of Lahore thinks that 
the immensely strong evidential value of these things can be 
put clearly and briefly so as to be understood by Muhammadans. 
(See The Death of Christ, published by the C. M. S. in 1885.) 


as the Gospel has not been corrupted since Mu 
hammad s time, you have logically no escape from 
admitting the doctrine to be true, if you believe in 
the Quran. You have not proved that Muhammad 
was sent by God, and you can hardly expect us to 
admit it without proof. The question you put is 
an argument against your own religion and Mu 
hammad s claim, if he really did come to deny 
a doctrine taught in the Gospel, for that would be 
to lead men astray. But the Qur an does not tell 
us that he came to bid men not call Jesus the Son 
of God, but rather to recall them to the faith of 
Abraham. Hence he was born not among Christians 
(believers in Christ, of whose coming Abraham 
received the promise) but among the heathen Arabs. 
The Qur an denounces carnal ideas like those which 
led the Arabs to attribute daughters to God, but 
these are not what the Gospel inculcates when it 
calls Christ God s Son. (Vide 114.) 

97. M. At one time Christians did not believe in 
the deity of Christ. 

C. That is not correct. In early times the Arians 
and other heretics arose and denied His perfect 
deity, but they were confuted by arguments drawn 
from the Bible, and also the old creeds of the 
various Christian Churches were adduced in proof 
tlmt the Arian heresy was a new and false 
doctrine \ 

1 See Ottley, The Doctrine of the Incarnation ; Athanasius 
Orations against the Arians. &c. 


98. M. If God had a son, He must have had 
a wife : but to assert that is blasphemy l . 

C. Certainly it is, and therefore such a thought 
has never entered into a Christian s mind. Your 
argument shows that you do not understand in 
what sense we believe in Christ s Divine Sonship 

( XI 4) 2 . 

99. M. Where is it written in the Bible that 

Jesus Christ is God ? 

C. In many places, e. g. Isa. ix. 6 ; John i. I ; 
xx. 28, &c. 

100. M. If Christ was God, how was it possible 
for Him to be hungry, to be tempted, to be killed, 
as your Gospels say He was. Can God die ? 

C. The Gospels tell us that there are three 
kypostases (*--oUl) 3 in the Divine Unity 4 , as we shall 

1 A more learned form of somewhat the same objection is thus 
given by the Kev. T. E. Wade from a written controversy : 

M. Between the begetter and the begotten there must 
necessarily be either the likeness of species or that of genus. But 
everything that implies, as this does, lack or change in the Self- 
Existent Eternal One is impossible. 

C. The Christian doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son 
does not imply lack or change in the Godhead. (Vide also 114, 
135-7, 147-166.) The question ultimately turns not upon 
metaphysics but on the Divine authority of the Biblical teaching 
on the subject, upon which rests our doctrine of the Trinity. 

2 See Rev. Dr. Rouse s tract, God our Father (Christian 
Literature Society for India). 

3 The Arabic word (sing, aqnum, pi. aqdmm) comes from the 
Syriac qnum, which is used in the technical Christian sense of 
ovffia or viroaraffis. Its derivation is doubtful, but I suggest that 
it is the Assyrian qinum, from the Sumerian gin. It would thus 
mean " that which is firm, enduring." * Cf. Matt, xxviii. 19. 


see in discussing the doctrine of the Trinity. One 
of these, the Son or Word, assumed the perfect 
nature of a man (John i. 14), and in His human nature 
was hungry, tempted, slain. God cannot, but man 
can, be tempted (Jas. i. 13), or be hungry, or die : 
hence, in order to suffer thus for and with us, Christ 
assumed human nature. 

101. M. How could Jesus be the Son of God 
or one with God, since on the cross He cried, 
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 

C. This is a quotation from Ps. xxii. i, and calls 
attention to the fact that His death was there 
prophesied of. That Christ was the Son of God 
and one with His Father is clear from His own 
statements. If these were false, how can the Qur an 
speak of Him as a prophet? He spoke in His 
human nature on the cross, just as in His human 
nature He suffered and died. The words show (i) 
that His was a real human body, in which He suffered 
mental and physical pain for your sake and for 
mine : and (2) they are therefore a proof of His 
Humanity. We need proofs of His human nature 
as much as proofs of His Deity, for both natures 
in union were requisite to make His atoning work 
perfect ( loo) 1 . 

102. M. From John xvii. 3 it is clear that He 
was distinct from God, and was merely sent from 

1 Of course this is not intended as a/wK explanation of tho 


God like other prophets. If God sent Jesus, then 
God must be greater than Jesus. 

C. These are some of the difficulties which the 
doctrine of the Trinity helps us to understand. 
They help to prove that doctrine, for all Christ s 
teaching must be true, if He is even a true prophet : 
and He made these and other statements about 
Himself (e. g. His oneness with the Father) which 
can be reconciled with one another only by accepting 
that doctrine. Christians have always acknowledged 
that the Father is the " Fountain of Deity," and that 
in lit is sense the Son is subordinate 1 to Him, just as 
the ray of light springs from the sun ; but the sun 
would not be the sun if it were devoid of rays, 
nor would the Father be Father without the Son. 
(Vide 114.) 

103. M. How can Jesus be Divine when He said 
that He could do nothing of Himself (John v. 

C. A careful study of the passage will show that 
in it He claimed to do all that God did. How then 
can He le less than God ? Besides, the context shows 
that He was proving that what He did was in ac- 

1 The Eev. P. Z. Easton says "The fundamental Muham- 
madan objection to Christianity is that Christianity does not 
teach the Unity of God. This objection is not met and cannot 
be met by any presentation of Christianity which either denies 
or ignores the doctrine of the subordination of the Son and 
Spirit to the Father. There can be no question of Arianism 
so long as the Son is set forth as the Eternal Logos, nor of 
Sabellianism so long as the Father is set forth as the root and 
fountain of Deity." 


cm-dance with the will of God His Father, and not 
contrary thereto, as His enemies were trying to 

104. M. How can the " Word of God " be God I 
C. We shall see by and by what is meant by 

calling Christ the "Word of God," as the Quran 1 
does as well as the Bible. We shall then see that 
it is impossible that the " Word of God " should be 
other than Divine. 

105. M. How is it possible for the Divine to 
mingle with the human, the Infinite with the finite ? 

C. We clearly teach that the Divine nature was 
not confounded or mingled with the human in 
Christ, but that the Eternal Word of God assumed 
human nature without any lessening of His own 
Divine nature. Of course our knowledge of the 
Divine nature is too limited for us to understand 
the whole mystery of the Incarnation, but our 
reason teaches us that what God has revealed must 
be true. We cannot understand /ton- our own 
immaterial spirit acts upon our material body ; 
how much less can we understand how the Divine 
can unite with the human. We must therefore 
accept what God has taught us in the New 
Testament. So too we cannot understand how the 
Kesurrection will occur, or how God created all 

1 It may bo said that the value of tli- t.-tim<>ny .! the 
(Jur an in tin- ni.-itt. r is iiiimilli-1 by its very dinVr-nt t.-U -hin- 

,,r, tli.- s,ib]Y-t ebewhere. But if the (jm- an otmtrw&t 

that Is an arumnent against the book. Muslims have tu take it 
as it a a ads. 


things out of nothing, yet He has taught us that 
it is so, and we know that He is true. The same 
thing applies to the Incarnation. We accept it 
because God has revealed it. 

106. M. If, as you say, Jesus did not foretell the 
coming of Muhammad, then He was not omni 
scient, and therefore not Divine. 

C. This begs the question as to Muhammad s 
apostleship, which we deny, as you know, since 
we cannot find any proof of it. It would be more 
logical to say, since Christ did not foretell the 
coming of Muhammad, we have all the less reason 
to believe the latter s claims to be sent from God. 

107. M. If Christ was the Son of God, why did 
He so constantly call Himself the Son of Man ? 

C. That He was the Son of God is clear from many 
passages, of which one is Matt. xxvi. 63, 64, where 
we find Him answering to that effect on oath. He 
called Himself also the Son of Man (not a Son of Man) 
to make His real Manhood evident, but especially 
(i) because in the Syriac language, which was His 
mother-tongue, the expression, Son of Man, is con 
tinually used to denote Man ; (2) because Daniel 
(vii. 13) uses the title to denote the Messiah, and 
Jesus claimed to be that ; (3) because of the promise 
that a man, one of Adam s descendants, the seed of 
the woman, should bruise the Serpent s head (Gen. 
iii. 15), and Christ was the person referred to. All 
this we learn from His use of the expression. Thus 
the Bible teaches that He is both God and Man. 


108. M. Why then did He tell His disciples not 
to let people know that He was the Christ (Matt. 
xvi. 20) ? 

C. Because the time had not yet come for the 
announcement. The Jews would have taken up 
arms to make Him their King, if they had then 
heard that the Messiah had come, as they tried to 
do (John vi. 15). Even His disciples had not yet 
learnt that, instead of coming to receive an earthly 
kingdom, He had come to die on the cross. He 
had to teach them this, and He began to do so as 
soon as ever they had learnt that He was the Christ 
(Matt. xvi. 16, 21). 

109. M. If He was Divine, He ought to have been 
omniscient, as God is (Surah VI., Al An am, 59), 
yet He said that He did not know when was the 
time fixed for the Day of Judgment (Matt. xxiv. 
36; Mark xiii. 32). [Nor did He know who 
touched Him (Mark v. i) 1 .] 

C. In the very verses in which He is recorded to 
have said this, He speaks of Himself as the Son of 
God. Evidently therefore there can be no con 
tradiction intended. He probably meant that in 
His human nature He had laid aside that know 
ledge, as He had laid aside His freedom from 
suffering and death. 

110. M. If He was God s Son, why did He say 
that He could not give a place on His right or on 

1 This question no more implies ignorance than does that in 
Luke xx. 24, or those in Gen. iii. 9, n, 13. 


His left except to those for whom it had been 
prepared by God (Matt. xx. 23 ; Mark x. 40) *? 

C. Probably for the same reason 1 . All this is 
explained by such passages as lt The Word became 
flesh" (John i. 14), and " He humbled Himself" 
(Phil. ii. 8) 2 . In the verses you quote, Christ 
speaks of God as His Father, thereby asserting 
His own Divine Sonship. 

111. M. Many of the passages which you quote 
to prove the deity of Jesus do not prove it at all. 
For instance, He said, " Before Abraham was. I am " 
(John viii. 58). Now that does not prove His 
deity, for we can all say the same (since Muslims 
believe in the pre-existence of souls). 

C. None of us can truthfully say the same. For, 
on the supposition of the pre-existence of souls 
(a doctrine which you have derived from heathen 
philosophers, and which is not taught by the 
prophets and apostles), if Christ had meant to say 
merely " Before Abraham was born, I existed," the 
phrase would have been meaningless, since (on that 
theory) Abraham also existed before his birth. 
Whether the theory be true or false, Christ clearly 
stated that He existed before Abraham and other 
creatures came into existence at all. This shows 

1 Our Lord s answer also means that such rewards could not 
justly be made on the basis of simple favouritism, as the two 
apostles wished, but must depend on moral characteristics. 
(Bishop of Lahore.) 

2 More forcible still is the expression in verse 7, titivcaatv 


that He claimed not to be a creature like Abraham 
and ourselves. Moreover, Christ did not say, 
< Before Abraham was, I tea*" but " Before Abraham 
was, I am." He thereby claimed for Himself God s 
highest title (from which " Jehovah " was derived : 
Exod. iii. 14). The Jews understood this, and, not 
believing in Him, desired to stone Him for what 
they considered blasphemy. So the passage does 
bear the meaning which we assign to it. 

112. M. Christ is only a prophet, like the 
prophets which were before Him. 

C. That is contrary to the Taurat, the Zabur, the 
Injil, and the Quran, in all of which language is 
used of Him that is not used of any other prophet. 
No other prophet was born of a Virgin, no other is 
called "The Word 1 of God" (it Ljtf) O r "a Spirit 
from Him " (L^ ^), of no other prophet is it said 
that he was " illustrious in this world and in the 
next " (Surah III, Al Irnran, 40), and He is the 
only sinless prophet. 

113. M. It is said (Surah III, Al Imran, 52), 
" Verily the similitude of Jesus is as the similitude 
of Adam " in the sight of God : for we are told that 
God " created him of dust : He then said to him, Be, 
and He was." Hence Jesus was not the Son of God 
in any other sense than Adam was, to whom the 

1 The exact words of the Quran are: "Innama 1 Muslim 
KV too Marv.-ima ra - ulu llal.i wa kallmatuhu, alqaha Ha 
Maryama, wa rnlnn. minim " (Surah IV., An Nisii, 169). The 
contexi ihowi that /.-,///,/</* ("His \v,,i-,r^, ,.,uals 
God s Word"). Viden8. 


title Son of God is also given in the Gospel (Luke 
iii. 38), as it is to the angels in the Old Testament 
and to believers in the New (i John iii. 2). 

C. Doubtless the meaning of that verse in the 
Qur an and the verse in Luke is that Jesus was like 
Adam in having no human father. The angels are 
probably called sons of God in Job i. 6 ; ii. I, &c. 
But neither of Adam nor of the angels are the other 
things said that are said of Christ. (Vide Heb. i.) For 
example, Adam was not sinless, nor is he called 
" The Word of God " (vide 117,118,1 19). All the 
prophets believed in Christ and received life from 
Him (John xiv. 6). The difference between them 
and Him is seen from the whole teaching of the 
Bible (e. g. John i. 17, 18). Believers become " sons 
of God " only through union with God s Son (John 
i. 12). 

114. M. The Bible certainly does call Jesus the 
Son of God (John i. 34, &c.), and teaches His Deity. 
This is contrary both to reason and to the Qur an, as 
is clear from Surahs IX., At Taubah, 30 ; X., Yvinus, 
69 ; XXXIX., Az Zumar, 6 ; II., Al Baqarah, 1 10 ; 
VI, Al An am, 100, 101 ; XIX., Maryam, 36, 91-93 ; 
LXXIL, Al Jinn, 3 ; XLIIL, Az Zukhruf, 81 ; CXIL, 
Al Ikhlas, 3 ; and V., Al Maidah, 19, 76, 78. 

C. Many of these verses (e. g. VI., Al An am, 100, 
101) show that what Muhammad wished to repudi 
ate was the carnal idea of the generation of a Son, 
an idea similar to that which the heathens of Greece 
and Rome had held before they became Christians, 


just as the Hindus hold it now regarding some of 
their deities. The heathen Arabs of Muhammad s 
time held it also, and called their goddesses 
daughters of God (Surah XVI., An Nahl, 59). 
Such an idea is blasphemous, and Christians have 
never held it. Centuries before Muhammad s time 
a learned Christian writer, Lactantius, wrote a work 
in which he told the heathen that the Christians 
did not hold such carnal and blasphemous ideas 
regarding the generation of Jesus Christ as those 
which were attributed to them. It is this In-athm 
doctrine which is contrary to reason, not the 
Christian one. When the Gospel speaks philo 
sophically, it speaks of Christ as "the Word of 
God " (u)T L*tf). The expression " Son of God " 
really denotes the same \ but is used for the benefit 
of simple people. It reveals the Lore which must 
exist between the Persons (^Vsl JyW///) of the 
Trinity. No human language can be really in 
every respect suitable to express the realities of 
the Divine nature, but we are quite justified in 
using the words employed by the inspired writers 
themselves. The relationship between the Persons 

1 This is the reason why we call Christ Ibnu lldh and not 
Waladu lldh. In Arabic there is a clear and beautiful dis 
tinction between Ibn and Walad ("Son"), just as there is 
b.-t\vi--n Ab and Wdlid ("Father"). Christians never use the 
latter of each group of words (Walad and Wnlid f r " Son " and 
"Father" respectively in reference to the Trinity, as they 
denote physical Son.ship and Fatherhood ; not so the won I- K n 
and .! , which are often used in Arabic in & spiritual 01 
j.h .rkal sense. (Kev. Dr. Zwemer.) 


of the Godhead so transcends all human thought 
and language that we cannot fully comprehend or 
express it. Whether we call Jesus the Son of God 
or the Word of God, the meaning in each case 
is to express His Deity. When we come to dis 
cuss the doctrine of the Trinity, we shall see that 
belief in His Divine Sonship is not contrary to 
reason but demanded thereby. No true doctrine 
can be directly contrary to reason, but all that 
concerns the nature of God Most High may well 
be superior to our fallible and limited intellect. 
This is why your Tradition (oiAjjua. Jfa<UtJi] says, 
" Argument about the nature of God is blasphemy " 
(j^ 4iJl ui>lj> ^ ^^Jl). All we can know of such 
matters is what has been revealed to us by God 
Himself, and the Bible very clearly asserts the 
Divine Sonship of Jesus. 

115. M. The Qur an denies the Deity of Jesus, 
and declares that God can destroy Him (Surah V., 
Al Maidah, 19). He was a prophet, and is com 
pared to Adam (Surah III., Al Imran, 52) ; and he 
was a servant of God (Surah XLIIL, Az Zukhruf, 
59: cf. V., Al Maidah, 109, no), but no more. 
Your Bible must therefore be wrong in proclaim 
ing His Deity. 

C. Again you take the Qur an as a touchstone, 
and assume that it is from God. This, however, 
you cannot prove. Until it is proved, the argu 
ment that the Qur an is opposed to the Bible may 
shake the authority of the Qur dn l>ut not that of the 


Bible. For the Quran not only confesses the Bible 
to be the Word of God, but xta/cx thai It wax ifm-ff sent 
down to confirm and guard the Bible ; nay more, it 
appeals to the Bible in support of MukammatT* cLiims 
(Surah VII, Al A raf, 156 ; Surah LXL, As Saff, 6). 
Even taking into consideration the verses to which 
you refer, the teaching regarding Jesus which the 
Qur an gives amounts to this, that He is far higher 
in nature and dignity than any other prophet. 

116. M. It certainly cannot be proved from the 
Qur an that Jesus is superior to Muhammad, who 
is called " the Apostle l of God and the Seal of the 
Prophets " (Surah XXXIII., Al Ahzab, 40). 

C. Besides these titles, the first of which is given 
to Salih as well as to Muhammad (Surah XCL, 
Ash Shams, 13), the latter is also called a "Warner" 
(Surahs LL, Adh Dhariyat, 50, 51 ; XXIX., Al 
Ankabut 49 ; XV., Al Hajr, 89). But we are told by 
Tradition (as we have seen), by implication at least, 
that he was not exempted from receiving the prick 
of Satan at his birth. He needed to have his 
breast opened and his burden removed (Surah 
XCIV., Al Inshirah, 1-3), and his sins forgiven 
(Surah XLVIL, Muhammad, 21). Moreover, Mu 
hammad died and was buried, and he wrought 
no miracles. Regarding Christ the Qur an gives 
much higher testimony. We have sivn tliut 
Muhammad, according to Tradition, testified that 
at Christ s birth alone Satan was not present, 
Vide note at the end of Chaj.t. i VII. 


nor could he prick Him 1 . We have seen that, 
according to the Qur an, Christ did not die, and 
that He was taken up alive to Heaven, where 
He still lives *. We have also noticed that to Him 
alone of the prophets no sin is ascribed. He did 
not need to have His breast cleansed, His burden 
removed, or to ask forgiveness of His sins. Besides 
all this, the Qur an acknowledges that Jesus was 
born of a virgin (Surahs LXVL, At Tahrim, 12 ; 
XXL, Al Anbiya , 91 ; XIX., Maryam, 16-22 ; III, 
Al Imran, 40-42), through God s Spirit (Surah XXL, 
Al Anbiya , 91), and was strengthened with the 
Ho]y Spirit (Surah II, Al Baqarah, 81, 254). These 
things are said of no other prophet 3 . 

117. M. Why do you make so much of Jesus 
birth from a virgin ? The Qur an teaches us that, 
no doubt : but it also teaches us that Adam had 
neither father nor mother. Ought he not then 
to be preferred to Christ, with whom we have seen 
that the Qur an compares him, doubtless for this 
very reason, as commentators say ? 

C, If that is the reason of the comparison, why 
do Muslims try to explain the verse (Surah III., 

1 Vide 80. 

2 Mr. Harding says : " I have found most effective the argu 
ment that Jesus is alive and Muhammad is dead." This is 
a very general experience of missionaries, and much use should 
be made of the admitted fad. 

3 A missionary should use the Qur an only as a subsidiary 
aid, to show the greatness of Jesus even from the took on which the 
Muslims rely, but not to prove distinctively Christian truths. 
(Rev. W. A. Eice.) 


Al Imran, 52) as implying that Christ was not 
greater iJian Adaml The verse may mean that 
(as the New Testament says) Christ is the second 
Adam ([ Cor. xv. 45), greater than the first because 
He gives spiritual life, whereas it is merely our 
natural life that comes from the first Adam. " For 
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be 
made alive " (i Cor. xv. 22). Adam was not 
born but created : Christ was born l without a father. 
The creation of Adam was in this respect similar 
to the creation of the world, plants, and the lower 
animals ; whereas the Qur an itself says that 
Christ s supernatural birth took place through 
God s purpose to give men a sign, and this is not 
said of any other prophet s birth. To Abraham 
and Zacharias there was promised, according to the 
Qur an, " a wise son," " a righteous prophet." But 
regarding Christ s birth the language used is very 
different, for of Mary it is said, " Her who kept her 
maidenhood, and into whom We breathed of Our 
spirit, and made her and her son a xi(jn fo all crea(t>rc* 
(Siirah XXL, Al Anbiy t a , 91). The Qur an there 
fore represents Christ s birth as without a parallel. 

1 In dealing with this question, I used to lay stress on the 
significance of interrupting the ordinary method of human 
generation, after it had been once established, in the case of our 
Lord, and of Him only. If the human race was to commence at 
all, it must hare been, so f;ir a> \v<> c.-ui see, by something likt fix- 
creation of Adam directly by God Himself. But this is wholly 
different from the unique interruption in the chain of human 
life once it had been started." (Bishop of Lahore.) 

I 2 


The same language is used neither of Muhammad 
nor of any one else. Why is this, except because 
Christ is superior to all other prophets ? 

118. M. He is a servant of God and an apostle, 
but no more. 

C. He is that, but also much more. In Isa. 
liii. ii He is styled God s servant, but the expres 
sion is " My righteous servant," because He was 
the only one of the prophets who was without sin, 
as the Qur an acknowledges. In Phil. ii. 6, 7, 
we are told that He was much more than this 
originally, but "took upon Him the form of a 
servant" for your salvation and for mine. The 
Qur an agrees with the Bible in stating that He 
was much more than a servant of God and an 
apostle of God, for in Surah IV., An Nisa , 169, He 
is called " An apostle of God and His Word (JJLJ5) 
which He conveyed into Mary, and a spirit from 
Himself " ; and in S&rah III., Al Imran, 40 we 
read, " When the angel said, Mary, verily God 
announceth to thee the Word from Him : His name 
shall be Messiah, Jesus the Son of Mary, illustrious 
((4.^*3) in this world and in the next, and one 
of those who have near access to God (^^ail cr ) V 
Here Christ is called "His Word," and "the Word 
from Him," and "a spirit from Him." These 
titles must have some meaning, and they are 
applied to no other than to Christ. No other 
prophet has such lofty 1 titles given him by God. 

1 " I always used to quote the titles of the other five greater 


119. M. Ar Razi and Jalalain well explain this 
by saying that Jesus is called the Word of God 
because He was created by God s command, born 
without a father. 

C. If we assume this explanation to be sufficient, 
we still see that He was superior to all other 
prophets in that very particular. But the explana 
tion is wrong, for Adam was created without either 
father or mother by God s command, but is not 
called God s Word. We shall consider the full 
meaning of this title when treating of the doctrine 
of the Trinity 1 . Meanwhile, is not God s Word 
or " a spirit from Him " greater than any apostle 2 
or messenger can be ? Moreover, Jesus is said 
to be " illustrious in this world and in tfie next" 
which is not said of any other prophet. 

120. M. In Surah XXXIII., Al Ahzab, 69 it 
is said of Moses that " with God he was illustrious " 

jjjl c. ^ kdna inda lldhi wajihan). 
C. Yes, but not that he was "illustrious in 
this world and in the next." Ar Razi explains 
the " illustriousness " (laUj wajdliali) of Moses as 
consisting in his " knowledge " of God (i^-xil 
al marifa/i] : whereas Zamakshari in his Al Kash- 
shaf explains that of Jesus as " The office of prophet 

prophets, and show how each of them can obviously be ;ip|>li< >l 
to a creature, and then contrast with these the titles * The Word 
of God, The Spirit of God, 1 given by Muslims to Christ." 
(Bishop of Lahon-.) 

1 Vide 158 sqq. 

a In Arabic apostle (-) is used of any messenger. 


and supremacy (*JJS^J1 at taqadduni) over men, in this 
world ; and in the next world the office of inter 
cessor (aLftUjJl ash shqfaaJi) and loftiness of rank in 
Paradise V So clear is it from the Qur an that 
Christ was superior to Moses as well as to all other 
prophets. Here again the Qur an harmonizes to 
some extent with the Bible; for in Heb. iii. 5, 6, 
we read : " And Moses verily was faithful in all 
His (i. e. God s) house as a servant ; . . . but Christ 
as a son, over His own house." Besides all this, 
there is another passage in the Qur an which goes 
further and ascribes Divine power to Jesus. 

121. M. Impossible. 

C. Is not the act of creating (<jl^ al Khalq) 
peculiar to God, and an act of Divine power 1 

122. M. It is. 

C. Well then, in Surah III., Al Irnran, 43, Jesus 
is represented as saying, " Verily I CREATE (jl 
tjla.1 inni akhlaqu) for you from clay as it were the 
likeness of a bird, then I breathe into it, then it 
becomes a bird by God s permission." Here the 
Qur an represents Him as creating a bird 2 in the 
same way in which God created Adam, when He 

1 The Rev. W. Goldsack observes that Baizawi uses similar 
language in his comment on Surah III., Al Imran, 40. Baizawi s 

words are IcUUT s^iSl <y j jjj^Itt W^f ^J ^W^ : 
"The illustriousness in this world is the office of a Prophet, and 
that in the next world the office of Intercessor." 

a Vide Ibhdthu l Mujtahidin, pp. 62 sqq. Of course it is possible 
that Muhammad used the verb khalaqa here in a loose sense, 
but a Muslim can hardly grant that. 


formed him from the dust of the earth and breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. ii. 7). 

123. M. The Gospel does not say that Christ 
made a bird in this way. 

C. We are not now talking of the evidence of the 
Gospel but of that which the Qur an gives to Christ s 
superiority to the rest of the prophets. The New 
Testament says that all things were created in or 
through Christ (Col. i. 16 ; John i. 3). 

124. M. The Qur an says that the bird was made 
" by God s permission." 

C. Of course : the Gospel says that all that 
Christ does is in accordance with the will and per 
mission of God (John v. 19 ; viii. 28). 

125. M. We honour Jesus more than you do, for 
we call Him " a spirit from God." But we do not 
thereby imply His Deity. All men are spirits 
from God. 

C. All men s spirits were created by God, which 
is a different thing. Your last words hardly agree 
with your preceding ones. Nor does the Qur an 
call any other man <; a spirit from God," as it does 
Christ (Surah IV., An Nisa , 169). According to 
your argument this expression becomes meaning 
less. If you honour Jesus more than we do, why 
do you assert that Muhammad was superior to 
Him, and why have you left Christ to follow 
Muhammad 1 ? 

1 The proper way to honour a prophet is to hear and obey 
his Divinely given message. (Rev. W. A. Rice.) 


126. M. Because Muhammad s miracles were far 
greater than Christ s \ 

C. The Qur an acknowledges that Christ wrought 
miracles (Surah II., Al Baqarah, 254, &c.), but denies 
that Muhammad did so. Christ s are acknowledged 
not only in the New Testament but by the Jews 
(who thought they were wrought by magic, but yet 
could not deny that they were really performed, as 
their own books show), and by the Muhammadans, 
in accordance with the Qur an, while none but 
Muslims believe that Muhammad wrought any 
miracles. Of his miracles we have no contem 
porary written account, for those mentioned in the 
Traditions were not written down till long after 
the death of his contemporaries. Moreover, the 
Qur an shows clearly that he wrought none. 

127. M. Our Traditions are full of accounts of 
Muhammad s miracles, and moreover the Qur an 
asserts that it is itself a miracle (Surah X., Yunus, 
38, 39). Besides this, the Qur an records the split 
ting of the moon (Surah LIV., Al Qamar, i), the 
night journey (Surah XVII., Al Asra , i), and the 
victory at Badr (Surahs X., Yunus, n, and III., 
Al Imran, n). In addition to this we have the 
prophecy in Surah XXX., Ar Rum, 1-3: "The 
Greeks have been defeated in a land hard by, and 

1 The Bishop of Lahore says, " I do not think that any at all 
well-instructed Muhammadan would make this reply." But 
the majority of them are not well instructed, and, if they accept 
the teaching of such books as the Rauzatu l Ahbdb, for instance, 
they are led to think and say so. 


after their defeat they shall defeat (their foes) in 
a few years." The Persians under Khusrau Parviz 
[A.D. 615, B.H. 6] defeated the Greeks, and in 
accordance with this prophecy the Greeks under 
Heraclius defeated the Persians [in A.D. 625, A.H. 3] 
ten years later. This wonderful prophecy is of itself 
a sufficient proof of Muhammad s being a prophet. 
C. Let us take the prophecy first. As the text 
stands, the verses assert that the Greeks would be 
victorious "within a few years" ( c ^i /^ ( j}> 
Jalalain s commentary explains ^ as denoting 
a period "between three years and nine or ten," 
and asserts that the Greeks gained their victory 
" in the seventh year." It was not, however, until 
rather more than ten years had elapsed that they 
were victorious. Nor was this statement of Mu 
hammad worthy of being called a prophecy, for 
it was not difficult for a clever man to see that 
the Roman Empire was stronger than the Persian, 
and would in the long run prove victorious. But 
we know that the vowel points were not written 
in the early copies of the Qur an ; hence, had the 
Greeks again been defeated, the passage would have 
been just as correct, for the word ^jU**- 1 8 "V a ~ 
gMildna t "\h*y shall defeat," would have been read, 
with a change of two vowels, J,^li-U 9ayngUMna l 
" they shall be defeated." You must really produce 
some better proof than this, if you can. The Bible 
prophecies are of quite a different description, as 
we have already seen. 


Now let us consider the alleged miracles of 
Muhammad. The victory at Badr was not a 
miracle, for many idolaters have gained quite as 
great victories. No one but Muhammad seems to 
have seen the angels who are said to have fought 
on his side. As for the Night Journey, commen 
tators differ regarding it. Muhiyyu ddin says it 
has only a spiritual meaning, and Ayishah asserted 
that during that whole night Muhammad had not 
quitted her chamber 1 . There are no witnesses of 
the event, and there is this strong evidence against 
it. Regarding the splitting of the moon 2 (j+jd\ JU ), 
commentators and traditions differ. According to 
some, the passage means that one of the signs 
of the approach of the "Hour" that is, the Day 
of Judgment will be the splitting of the moon. 
Perhaps so, but we must wait till then to know 
whether this is a true prophecy or not. This seems 
to be the clear meaning of the verse, and so Abbasi 
understands that the splitting in two of the moon 
and the appearance of Dajjal will be signs that the 
Resurrection is at hand. If so, you can hardly 
assert that the Qur an here attributes a miracle to 
Muhammad. If the moon had thus been split, 

1 Vide the opinions of Muslim commentators and the Tradi 
tions quoted on this point in my Yandbiu l Islam. 

2 On the question whether the first verse of Surah LIV., 
Al Qamar, is borrowed from a Qafidah of Imrau l Qais, see 
Appendix to Ch. II of my Original Sources of the Quran. The 
Rev. Dr. Zwemer says that learned Muslims in Arabia are 
much perplexed about the matter. 


doubtless some record of it would have been kept 
by astronomers, and the moon would still bear 
marks of it. But such is not the case. Again, 
had the moon been split, that would have been no 
proof of Muhammad s being an apostle. For (i) 
it would not be evident that tie had done the deed 
(which even the Qur an does not ascribe to him) ; 
and (2) injuring part of God s creation would 
not of itself suffice to prove a Divine commission. 
How different would such a deed have been 
from the miracles of mercy wrought by Christ 
and testified to in the Qur an itself: raising the 
dead, opening the eyes of the blind, healing 
the lepers, &c. (Sarahs V., Al Maidah, no; III., 
Al Imran, 43). 

Nor again can the Qur an itself be considered 
a miracle. All Arabic scholars are not agreed that 
its style is superior to that of the Mu allaqat or 
to that of the Maqainat of Al Hariri, although the 
fact that Muhammadans have for ages regarded 
it as of Divine composition has, by many people, 
caused it to be deemed the model of the best Arabic 
style 1 . But even if we acknowledge its style to 

1 But in one or two places it contains grammatical errors : 
e.g. in Surah XIII., Ar Ra d, 28, wo have al qululm llculh nm ; 
in Surah XX., Ta Ha, 66, we find in Iniillnini instead of inna 
hadhaini. Vide also Mandru l Haqq, Arabic Ed., pp. 14-16 ; also 
iV.M.-ke s Geschichte ds Qurans , also the Appendix on the 
slyl.- of the Qur an in the Maqdlahfi l Mam (an Arabic revision 
.- s "Introduction"). It also contains not a lV\v f-m-iu ii 
wordt ;is K.m i; m, Taghut, Tabut, and others), so that its 
lan-uage is not pure Arabic. (Vide Yatidbl u l IsWu.) 


be unrivalled in Arabic, that does not prove it a 
miracle. In Sanskrit the Rig-Veda is a work which 
cannot be imitated successfully ; in English no 
dramatist equals Shakespeare ; in Persian Hafiz is 
unique in one form of composition, Firdausi in 
another. Yet no one supposes that these authors 
were prophets on this account. In a book which 
claims to be inspired we look not for elegance of 
style but for true doctrinal teaching l , as we do even 
in the case of ordinary theological works in our 
own time. When we test the Qur an in this way, 
we find no reason for accepting it as a revelation 
(J^jjj) from God. Nay rather [as is shown in 
The Original Sources of the Qur an], we come to 
a contrary conclusion. 

128. M. How can you say that the Qur an denies 
that Muhammad had power to work miracles, when 
the Traditions relate so many ? 

C. The Qur an informs us that the unbelievers 
challenged Muhammad to work miracles, and that 
he evaded the demand by saying that miracles 
were in the power of God alone, and that he was 
not sent with miracles but with verses from the 

1 The teaching of the Qur an ought as is well shown in the 
late Rev. Dr. Koelle s Food for Reflection to be as far deeper than, 
and superior to, that of the New Testament as that of the latter 
is to the Old Testament, if the Qur an were a later and more 
perfect revelation from God. This is not the case. On the 
contrary, while the Bible deals with the great facts of sin and 
salvation most fully, the Qur an almost ignores them, and its 
teaching is distinctly on a far lower level than that of the Law 
of Moses. 


Qur an, lest the Arabs should see miracles and still 
disbelieve, and therefore be destroyed as other 
unbelieving peoples had been. This is what we learn 
from the following passages: Surahs XXIX., Al 
Ankabut, 49, 5 ; XIII., Ar Ra d, 8, 30 ; VI, Al 
An am, 37, 57, 109 ; IL, Al Baqarah, 112; X., Yunus, 
21 ; XVIL, Al Asra , 93, 95, 96; VII., Al A raf, 202. 
But the statement in Surah XVII., Al Asra , 6 1 is the 
clearest of all : " Nothing hindered Us from sending 
(thee) with miracles, except that the peoples of old 
treated them as lies 2 ." It is quite clear from this 
that Muhammad did not work miracles, for the 
Qur an represents God as explaining why that power 
had not been given to him. 

129. M. The Qur an itself is a sufficient miracle, 
as we see in the same Surah, verse 91 : " Say thou : 
Assuredly if mankind and the Jinn should con 
spire to produce the like 3 of this Qur an, they could 

1 Also called Surah Bani Isrdil. 

2 In his commentary on this passage Bai?awi thus para 
phrases it : "That is to say: We have abstained from sending 
thee with miracles, as the Quraish demand, only because 
the former peoples those of like temper with tlnni, as tlu> 
tribes of Ad and Thamud gave them the lie : and so like 
wise would these men of Mecca: and they would ..1hrr\\ !- 
have been destroyed according to our wont (i. e. if they had 
rejected the miracles) ; so We determined not to destroy tin m. 
seeing that there are amongst them those that believe, or will 
have believing seed." (Quoted in Sir W. Muir s English renion 
of Sweet Firstfruits, p. 141.) ALhuM adopts virtually the same 

8 The Qur an does not tell us in what the likeness is to 
consist, \vhfthT in eloquence or in something else. Hence the 


not produce its like, though the one should help 
the other." The miracles granted to the prophets 
varied with the requirements of each separate age. 
In Moses time the power of the magicians was 
greatly feared, therefore the miracles of Moses 
resembled theirs, but were more wonderful. In 
Jesus time the healing art had reached its acme , 
hence Jesus came with miracles of healing, which at 
that time impressed people more than anything else 
would have done. So in Muhammad s time eloquence 
among the Arabs had reached perfection, and he 
was sent with the Qur an, a marvel of eloquence, 
which no one could equal. Even if he wrought 
no other miracle, this was quite enough for the 
" illiterate prophet " to do. 

C. We have already seen that the Qur an is not 
a miracle. Many other books, in other languages, 
far surpass it in eloquence : for example, the Book 
of Isaiah the prophet, the Psalms of David, the 
Book of Deuteronomy, to say nothing of the works 
of the Arabic, European, Indian, and Persian 
writers already mentioned. Eloquence cannot be 
considered as sufficient proof of a prophet s calling. 
We now know from what erroneous sources 1 the 
Qur an was derived, and this alone suffices to prove 
that the book is not from the all- wise God. 

difficulty in " bringing a verse like " one of those in the Qur an. 
(Dr. H. M. Clark.) 

1 See this proved in my Yanabl u l Islam, and Original Sources of 
the Qur an. 


From this whole investigation we see that the 
Qur an itself ascribes a higher power, dignity, and 
nature to Christ than to Muhammad or to any of 
the prophets, since Christ is represented as alone 
sinless, miraculously born, and the worker of 
miracles, and is called " God s Word " and " A spirit 
from Him." Moreover, the ability to create, which 
is peculiar to God the Creator, is ascribed to Christ. 
Should not, therefore, believers in the Qur an give 
due weight to these statements regarding Christ ? 
The Gospels give us His own statements about 

Himself, which agree with these assertions of the 
Qur an, though other verses in the Qur an may 
conflict with these. It follows therefore that our 

statements about the deity of Christ should not be 
rejected without careful study of the Bible, to which 
your own Qur an bears such high testimony. In fJie 
Jlihle you will see that His deity is repeatedly 
asserted in the clearest terms . And surely, if you 
believe what your own Qur &n says of Christ, it is 

1 It is not necessary here to quote passages to prove this to 
a Christian missionary. He will know where to find them in 
both the Old and the New TY-taim-nt. Vide Liddon s Bampton 
Lectures on the Divinity of Christ, Bull s Defensio Fidei Nicaenae, 
&c. &c. Rev. Dr. Rouse, in a tract on The Nature of God, well 
and simply shows that the attributes of God are displayed and 
, claimed by Christ as His own, and assigned to Him in Scripture, 
BO that very many of the "ninety-nine" special names or 
titles which Muslim thr"lijms uiv to God suit what tin- 
Bibl - t-lU us of Jt sus Christ. Hi- indicates th- -aim- lin- -f 
argument in reference to the II>ly Spirit. (Vide Up. Harold 
Browne on Art. I. of the Thirty-Nine Articles.) 


unreasonable to disbelieve His own statements at 
Himself, for He who is " the Word of God " cann 
lie, since God is Truth (JU1 Al Haqq)^ and Christ 
is Himself spoken of in the Qur an as " The Speech 
of the Truth " (jJJ Jy Qaulu l Hagq) \ 

1 Surah XIX., Maryam, 35. (Rev. W. Goldsack.) 



DOCTRINES (continued). 


130. M. FROM your belief in the Deity of Christ 
rings the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. 
; s is one of the greatest faults in Christianity, 
e Muslims are Monotheists, whereas you Chris- 
ens believe in three Gods. This is contrary to 
ie Qur an and to Reason 2 itself. How can you 
sk us to abandon Monotheism for such an impious 
nd irrational doctrine ? 

1 Vide 102, 114, 135. "The Christian doctrine of the 
rinity is this: There is but one God ; but in this Godhead the 
dost High God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God, these 
ree, are present in a way which man cannot comprehend, 
he Word of God became man, was conceived by the power of 
he Spirit of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and became 
evealed as Jesus Christ." (Rev. Dr. Rouse in preface to the 
Jengali edition of Siceet Firstfruits.} 

3 A correspondent well says that the very fact that the 
octrine of the Trinity presents difficulties at first, and seems 
many at first sight to be illogical, tends rather to prove that 
is not the product of hiun:in imagination. It is noteworthy 
o that the doctrine of the Triune nature of the Godhead 
1 the Deity of Jesus Christ originated, hi-t -rirally speaking, 
Palestine and among the Jews, who wn-r thru as ardent 
sellers of the Unity of God as Muhananadaus now are. 


(?. We do not ask you to abandon Monotheism. 
Belief in the Unity of God is the very foundation 
of Christianity in general, and of the doctrine of 
the Trinity in particular. Any one who abandons 
it and believes in three Gods is a Polytheist and 
not a Christian. Both in the Old Testament and 
in the New the Unity of God was taught ages 
before Muhammad s time. In the Taurat, for ex 
ample, Moses thus lays down the Kalimak or Creed 
of the Jews : " Hear, Israel : the LORD our God 
is one LORD " (Deut. vi. 4). In the Injil, Jesus 
repeats the very same words : t{ Hear, O Israel : 
the Lord our God is one Lord " (Mark xii. 29). 
The doctrine of the Trinity, as taught in the Bible 
and held by Christians in all ages since the Resur 
rection of Christ,. is not contrary to this. Reason 
could not reveal to us the doctrine of the Trinity, 
but it is not contrary thereto ; nay, we shall see 
that Reason demands our acceptance of the doctrine. 
Let us, however, leave the question of Reason for 
the present and confine ourselves to the Qur an. 
What proofs have you that the Qur an is opposed 
to belief in the Trinity ? 

131. M. The Qur an in many places denies the 
doctrine of the Trinity : for instance in Surah V., 
Al Maidah, 77 : " They surely are Infidels who say, 
God is a third of three : for there is no God but 
one God." 

C. This verse is not contrary to the doctrine of 
the Trinity, for we all acknowledge that eve . 


word in this extract is true. The doctrine opposed 
in this verse was never held by Christians at all. 
Certain heretics, followers of Marcion 1 , said that 
there were three Gods the God of Justice, the 
God of Mercy, the God of Evil. Perhaps Muhammad 
had heard of this most blasphemous doctrine and 
here rejects it in God s name. 

132. 3[. It is to Christians that this verse refers, 
for in the same Surah we read : 

" Surely now are they Infidels who say, God is 
the Messiah, Son of Mary : for the Messiah said , 
children of Israel ! worship God, my Lord and 
your Lord ..." (v. 76). "The Messiah, Son of Mary, 
is but an Apostle ; other Apostles have nourished 
before Him; and His mother was a just person : 
they both ate food ..." (v. 79). Say thou ; 
people of the Book ! outstep not bounds of truth 
in your religion ..." (v. 81). "And when God 
shall say : O Jesus, Son of Mary ! hast thou said 
unto mankind, Take Me and My mother as two 
Gods, beside God? He shall say: Glory be unto 
Thee ! it is not for Me to say that which I know 
to be not the truth. ... I spake not unto them 
aught but that which Thou <H<lst bid Me Worship 
God, My Lord and your Lord . . ." (vv. 116, 


C. The Qur an here denounces the idea of a 

1 Atharmsius, Orationes contra Arianos, III. 15 (whore he 
attributes the same doctrine to Mani also). Vi<I also Mosheim, 
Read s ed., Cent. II, pt. II, cap. V, 7. 

K 2 


Triad of Gods, consisting of 1 God, Jesus and Mary. 
Christians have never believed in this Triad. It is 
only too true that many ignorant " Christians " in 
Muhammad s time worshipped Mary (as some still 
do), asking her to intercede with her Son for them, 
and the early Muhammadans may hence have fancied 
that belief in three separate Gods, of which Mary 
was one, was what was meant by the doctrine of the 
Trinity. But such an idea was wrong and of heathen 
origin. The Gospels show that Christ did not bid 
men worship His mother, and He did use words 
very similar to those here imputed to Him, for in 
John viii. 28, He says, "I do nothing of Myself; 
but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these 
things" ; and in xx. 17, He says, c; I ascend unto 
My Father, and your Father ; and to My God, and 
your God." But in both passages He asserts His 
own Divine Sonship. If therefore the Qur an is 
correct in representing Him as saying, <c I spake 
not unto them aught but that which Thou didst 
bid Me," we cannot be blamed for accepting this 
and every other part of His teaching. 

133. M. The Qur an refutes this as part of the 
doctrine of the Trinity, for in Surah IV., An Nisa , 
i 69, we read : " O people of the Book ! overstep 
not bounds in your religion ; and of God speak 

1 Vide Jalalu ddin s commentary on Surah V., 77, and also 
his and Baizawi s and Yahya s comments on Surah IV., 156. 
These commentators show that their opinion was that the 
Christian Trinity consisted of Father, Mother, and Son. 


only the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, 
is only an Apostle of God, and His Word which 
He conveyed into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. 
Believe therefore in God and His Apostles, and say 
not A Triad. Forbear! it will be better for you. 
God is only one God! Far be it from His glory 
that He should have a Son." And so we read in 
vv. 51, 1 1 6 : " God truly will not forgive the join 
ing other Gods with Himself." 

C. Here again what is denounced is belief in 
three Gods the sin of joining other gods with 
God. The Old Testament shows how severely the 
Israelites were punished for this sin, and the New 
Testament includes idolaters among those who 
<; shall have their part in the lake which burneth 
with fire and brimstone " (Rev. xxi. 8 ; cf. xxii. 15). 
We have already seen that it is the carnal idea of 
the generation of Christ which the Qur an rightly 
rejects, as do all Christians. The acknowledgement 
that Christ is the Word of God (4! 1 i-JiS) implies 
in philosophical language what we mean by calling 
Christ God s Son, for the same title is used in 
John i. i, 14. Here again therefore we see that 
what the Qur an repudiates is what we Christians 
too repudiate, and not the true doctrine of the 
Trinity (vide 114, 135, and chapter V). 

134. M. In Surah IX., At Taubah, 30, 31, we 
read : " The Christians say, The Messiah is a Son 
of God. . . . God do battle with them! How ;iro 
they misguided! They take their teachers and 


their monks and the Messiah, Son of Mary, for 
Lords, besides God, though bidden to worship one 
God only. There is no God but He ! " 

C. We have already seen why and in what 
sense the Qur an refuses to Christ the title of Son 
of God. The habit of giving religious teachers the 
title of Rabbi (to which v. 31 refers) is condemned 
by Christ Himself in Matt, xxiii. 8. But the title 
did not mean in Hebrew what it does in Arabic. 

135. M. If you say that you do not believe in 
three Gods but in one God, and that the doctrine 
of the Trinity is not what the Qur an condemns, 
what is your doctrine of the Trinity ? 

C. It is given in the Nicene Creed (A. D. 325), in 
the Creed known as that of St. Athanasius, and more 
simply still in the following Article : " There is but 
one living and true God, everlasting, without body, 
parts or passions ; of infinite power, wisdom, and 
goodness ; the Maker, and Preserver of all things 
both visible and invisible. And in unity of this God 
head there be three Persons " /Hypostases, Subsist 
ences), " of one substance, power, and, eternity ; the 
[Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost 7 (Art. i of the 
39 Articles). These statements are merely attempts 
to summarize what the Bible l teaches ; that there 
is but One God in three Hypostases ( ~ate\ ). These 
Hypostases cannot be separated from one another ; 
but, if they could, no one of them alone would be 

1 The Bible proofs are given by Boultbee and by Bishop 
Harold Browne on Art. i. 


God, while each with the other two is God l . This is 
what we understand to be taught in the Bible. It is 
not taught in the Quran, but it can hardly be said 
to be contrary to the latter. It is above Rea^n. 
not contrary to Reason. Of God s Nature ice can 
know only what lie has Himself revealed : hence 
the saying, " Disputation about the Nature of God 
is blasphemy" (JiS 4ill cylj ^ o~J1) 2 . 

136. 3L It is contrary to both Reason and the 
Quran : for God is One, and the idea of Unity is 
the very contrary of that of plurality. Contraries 
cannot be both true. 

C. The idea of Unity does not exclude all idea of 
plurality. You rightly acknowledge the Unity of 
Essence in God as well as plurality in His attributes, 
such as mercy, justice, power, wisdom, eternity. 
These two ideas do not contradict one another. 
You rightly call God the " Union of (good) Attributes : 
(cyUUl ft**** Mqjmiiiix Sifaf), and His many Names 
or Titles express these, as " the Merciful, the Just, 

1 This is, in effect, what Dr. Cook says (Boston Monday 

8 "The New Testament clearly expresses, and (in most of tl.. 
places where a plurality within tho Godhead is referred to) 
strongly insists on, the novapxia of the Father. He is th. 
original Divim- IVr.-.n original, <>f -,,urso, not in time but in 
couaon) ; the Son and tl.- Spirit isMio (in diffon-nt ways 
from Him. It lias always seemed to me that tin- Scriptural 
insistence on the suburdiim i in ! tin* Second and Third Persons 
to the First within th.- (J..dh.-:id ought to be helpful t-. an open- 
iiiiinli-d ami intelligent Mu>lim." Ii-v. Dr. II".. j., r. V.di- ii"t 
to loa.) 


the Almighty, the All- Wise, the Eternal." So too 
the belief in the existence of three Hypostases in 
the Divine Unity is not contradictory. No perfect 


illustration (J-i^ mathal} can be found, but the 
meaning will in some slight degree be clearer from 
considering your own nature, according to the 
traditional saying of c Ali, " Whoso knoweth him 
self knoweth his Lord " (<-^- II* -~Jo v_3j!c ^ 
wj) 1 , for the Bible tells us that God created man 
"in His own image" (Gen. i. 27). You speak of 
your Spirit (^ rfih) as " I " (the Ego, U1 ana), of 
your Mind (Jic- *aql) as " I," of your Soul (J*&> nafs) 
as " I " : these are distinct in some measure, and 
yet your personality is one 2 . There is no contra 
diction in this. In the Divine Nature we are told 
of three Hypostases, but of only one God. 

137. M. Spirit, Soul and Mind are parts of the 
man ; but God has no parts. 

C. True, as I have already said. Yet, though 
the example is imperfect, we may learn something 
from it. If you had no Spirit but only Soul and 

1 This is, of course, a later form of the old Greek saying, 
TvwOi aavrov. It is taken from a poem in a collection attributed 
to Ali. 

2 I have found this argument most useful with Persians. A 
correspondent suggests instead the comparison of body, soul, and 
spirit. But Muslims rightly retort, " God has no body." Nor 
can we here appeal, as has been suggested, to their belief in the 
resurrection of the body, since their idea of this is so very 
materialistic that it needs to be corrected, not confirmed. The 
Bahais explain away the resurrection of the body, under 
standing thereby a change of heart. 


Mind, or no Mind, but only Spirit and Soul, you 
would not be a man. These three differ from one 
another, though we cannot fully explain in what : 
yet all three together form what you call your Ego, 
and each may be spoken of separately as your Ego. 
Somewhat similarly "the Father is God, the Son 
God, and the Holy Ghost God, and yet they are 
not three Gods but one God." The three are one 
in will, nature, power, eternity. 

138. M. The "Holy Ghost" (y-jJLN ^ MM I 
Qudus) is only another name for the archangel 
Gabriel. (Surah XVI., 104.) 

C. So Muslims use the words, but the Bible 
clearly distinguishes between them. Gabriel is 
a creature of God. 

139. J/. There is nothing in the Qur an to support 
the doctrine of the Trinity. 

C. We accept it on ihe authority of the llihh- 
alone. Yet there are two facts in the Qur an which 
cannot be properly explained or understood except 
by accepting the doctrine. The first is, that God is 
spoken of as One, He is called God (411! ,-///<///), Lord 
(u^Jl Ar Rahb) in the singular, and addressed as Thou. 
The other is, that He is represented as speaking 
of Himself in the plural as We, Us. Examples are 
found in almost every Surah : for example, in Surah 
XCVI., Al Alaq, supposed to be the first Surah 
revealed to Muhammad, God is called " the Lord " 
(v. 8), and " God " (v. 13) in the singular, and yet 
in v. 17, He says, " We fo will stunt man the guards 


of hell," using the plural. Does not this imply the 
existence of some kind of plurality, other than that 
of attributes, in the Divine Unity ? 

140. M. Certainly not. The " We " is used, as 
kings use the word, to imply majesty. 

C. On what authority do you say this so 
positively ? If the Qur an is from God, nothing in 
it can be unmeaning. Whatever God says is true : 
and this expression, so often repeated in the Qur an, 
may contain deep teaching. We observe that, in the 
use of the plural, the Qur an agrees with the Bible, 
since we find, for instance, in Gen. i. 26 ; iii. 22 ; 
xi. 7, the very same expression used. Those parts 
of the Bible which teach the doctrine of the Trinity 
in Unity may possibly explain the reason of this, 
as far as the Bible is concerned. If the Qur an 
was revealed to confirm the Taurat and the Injil, 
perhaps this is one of the points in which it 
does so. 

141. M. The Jews explain these passages by 
saying that God was addressing the angels. 

C. That is because the Jews reject the Gospel, 
which the Qur an "confirms." But whether their 
explanation be right or wrong, will it explain the 
use of the plural in the Qur an ? 

142. M. No, it will not : but the doctrine of the 
Trinity is contrary to the Qur an. 

C. We have seen that what the Qur an denounces 
is a doctrine which taught the existence of three 
Gods. This is not the Christian doctrine of the 


Trinity. To worship Mary as God is blasphemy ; 
to call Jesus another God besides God is also 
heretical. But to say that there is only one God 
and that in the Divine Unity there are three 
Hypostases of one substance, power, and eternity, 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is quite 
a different thing. This latter doctrine gives a pos 
sible explanation of and justifies the use of the 
" We " in the Bible, and may explain and justify 
it in the Qur an. It cannot therefore be proved 
that the doctrine of the Trinity is contrary to the 
Qur an. 

143. M. At any rate it is contrary to Reason. 
How can three be one and one three ? 

C. How can you be Spirit, Soul, and Mind, and 
yet one individual ? It is so, and yet we know not 
how. If then we cannot understand our own 
nature, how can we understand that of the infinite 
God 1 Our Reason is finite as well as created: it 
cannot comprehend to the full the nature of its 
infinite Creator. The doctrine of the Trinity is 
above Reason, not contrary to it. But we can go 
further and truly assert that Reason demands some 
such doctrine. 

144. M. It will be strange indeed if you can 
prove that ! 

C. You will supply the proof if you will kindly 
answer my questions. Do your theologians believe 
that God is the " Union of all good Attributes " 


145. M. Yes : and these Attributes exist in Him 
to the degree of Perfection. 

C. What are the good Attributes ? 

146. M. Those implied by the ninety-nine most 
Excellent Names 1 of God, such as Almighty Power, 
Goodness, Wisdom, Eternity, Mercy, &c. 

C. Is not one of these Divine Titles " the Causer 
of Causes " (vW-5\ u.4 MusalUlu l Asbdb) ? 

147. M. Yes ; we Muslims acknowledge God to 
be that. 

C. "Well then, let us consider the meaning of the 
term, for it has a very deep and true meaning. 
Philosophers have discovered that there is a law of 
causality, and that cause underlies all created things. 
The final cause of anything lies quite beyond our 
cognizance, though Reason demonstrates its exist 
ence. We know the Law of Gravity, the Law of 
the Conservation of Energy, and so on ; but the 
only conceivable origin of these, the cause of them, 
must be sought in the Will of the Creator, which is 
the origin of all Force. But these laws act upon 
Matter which is cognizable to the senses, and thus 
produce certain results. The results may be known 
to us. Behind each result or effect lies some mani 
festation or Form, and behind that again lies the 
invisible cause. For example, we see the Form 
which we call Fire. Its effects are heat (burning, 
&c.). Behind the Form of Fire lies its invisible 

1 As given, e. g. in Mishkatu l Masabih, Book On fhe Names of 
God, i and ii, quoted in my Religion of the Crescent, pp. 15, 16. 


cause (Combustion). There is therefore a group of 
three things, Cause, Form, Effect. If, as you rightly 
say, God is the Causer of Causes, may we not in all 
reverence see some manifestation of His nature in 
this as in a metaphor? God the Father may be 
regarded as the Cause ; God the Son as the Form ; 
God the Holy Ghost as the Effect, proceeding from 
both. Fire cannot exist without Heat, or Heat 
without Combustion, and so we have an indivisible 
Trinity. This is only an illustration of the way in 
which God who is the Causer of Causes has grouped 
Causes, Forms and Effects together in groups of 
threes l . When we learn the doctrine of the Trinity 
in Unity from the Bible, we think that we can see 
illustrations of it in God s works 2 , as if the Invisible 
Causer of Causes had chosen thus as it were to 
mirror forth something of the secret mystery of His 
Divine Nature a . 

Once more, among other titles of God is He not 
called "The Lover" (1^1 Al J/WV) 4 ? 

1 Again, the rays of the spectrum are of three kinds, the 
luminous, the heating, and the chemical, yet all three exist in and 
form one single ray of white light. (Rev. J. W. L:il.) 

3 Rev. Dr. Wherry prefers the old illustration of the Sun 
with its light and heat: "The Sun reveals itself only by its 
light : so No man hath seen the Father (John i. 18). Christ 
is the Light of God, revealing the Father ; and the heat or 
energy of the Sun may be likened to the Holy Spirit, by whom 
the power of God is manifested." 

3 Suggested by the Rev. P. M. Zenker. Such philosophical 
considerations have a great value to the Oriental mind, especi 
ally with Sufis. Vide Dr. Pfander s Miftnhul Atrir. 

4 This is in substance Anselm s argument. 


148. M. He is. 

C. Does not that imply the existence in the Divine 
Nature of the attribute of Love (^UjJl al ivicldd), 
pure unselfish love, such as that of a father towards 
his children * ? 

149. M. It does. 

C. Do you not also say that the Nature of God 
cannot change ? 

150. M. We do. 

C. Has then the attribute of Love always be 
longed to God, or has He after a time acquired it ? 

151. M. It must always have existed in His 

C. Love must have an object. Before the creation 
of the worlds, whom did God love 2 ? 

152. M. He loved Himself. 

1 The Christian doctrine gives a far nobler and worthier reason 
for calling God "The Lover" than does the Muhammadan. For, 
according to the Christian view, He loved from all eternity, 
having in Himself an object of love : but, according to the 
Muhammadan view, He did not exercise the power of loving 
until after Creation. The Christian doctrine also represents 
God as possessing the highest form or degree of love, self- 
sacrificing love ; whereas the Muslim view practically represents 
man as possessing a higher form of love than God, because man 
c;in exercise self-sacrifice. (Rev. Dr. Rouse, Nature of God, p. 24.) 

2 A possible objection to the argument here given has been 
pointed out by one or two correspondents. It is partly removed 
in the note to 148. The doctrine that God had from all 
eternity within His own Being an object for the exercise of the 
attribute of Love exalts our conception of the loftiness and 
sufficiency of the Divine Nature. It must therefore be true, as 
we cannot possibly think too highly of God, since He must excel 
our loftiest conceptions of Him. 


C. Is self-love a virtue or a vice, a good attribute 
or a bad ? If a man loves himself and himself only, 
do we consider him a good or a bad, selfish man? 
Can God be such ? 

153. M. He loved the angels. 

C. But they had not yet been created. If love is 
a good attribute and is most so when unselfish ; if 
it has always (like all other good attributes) existed 
in the Divine nature, and must have had an object, 
is it not clear that from all eternity there must 
have existed some kind of plurality of existences 
(Hypostases, ~*J^) in the Unity of God, one loving 
the other ? The doctrine of the Trinity shows how 
this was possible. 

154. M. Can you explain how there can be three 
Hypostases in the Unity of the Godhead 1 ? Can 
you even understand it? If not, how can you 
expect me to accept the doctrine 1 What is the 
good of professing to believe what you cannot 
understand ? 

C. You believe that you have a spirit and an 
intellect. Can you explain what these really are 
in their essence, or where they reside, or how they 
affect and rule the body, or how the senses affect 
the mind ? You believe in the resurrection of the 
dead ; can you explain how it is possible 1 Yet 
you rightly condemn a man who disbelieves in it. 
You see therefore that there is good in believing 
what you cannot understand or explain. You 
know that ignorant people cannot explain how it 


is that the food they eat does them good, or why 
man cannot live long without food. But if a man 
were to decline to eat until he knew all about the 
use of food, you would consider him mad. The 
benefit of the food does not at all depend upon 
ability to understand its effects. So with the 
knowledge of the truth. 

155. M. But what is the good of believing in the 
doctrine of the Trinity l ? 

C. It enables us to believe in the truth of Christ s 
claims to be the Word of God or the Son of God, 
and to accept the salvation which He offers. If 
the doctrine of the Trinity is not true, then Christ 
was not what He professed to be. He was not 
even a true prophet if His teaching was untrue. 
Thus disbelief in the doctrine of the Trinity over 
throws both Christianity and Islam. Again 

1 Here may be entered the following Muhammadan objec 
tions : 

M, If God is One, how can there be three Persons in the 
Godhead ? 

Ans. Your difficulty probably arises from your not under 
standing the technical use of the word "Person." [In Arabic, 
Urdu, and Persian we use the Syriac word (Aqnum") |*^-*^> Ar. pi. 
Aqdnim ^^\Js\ } to express "Person" or "Hypostasis" in its 

theological sense in reference to the Godhead, explaining it by 
the Persian word ^JL* (hasti} existence.] 

M. To say that three " Persons" are necessary to do the work 
of One God is to represent God as weak and incomplete. Which 
is greater, God the Father or God the Son ? 

The answers to this will be found given in different parts of 
this chapter. 


Muslims often ask such questions as this : "If 
Christ was God, who ruled the world when Christ 
was in the grave ? " No one who believed the 
doctrine of the Trinity would ask such a silly 

156. 3/. We want logical J proof, and what you 
say falls short of that. 

C. Different 2 subjects require different kinds of 
proof. Were I to demand from you chemical proof 
of Alexander the Great s existence, or historical 
proof of the composition of water, or mathematical 
proof of the resurrection of the dead, you would 
justly declare the demand absurd. What kind of 
proof convinces you of the truth of the doctrine of 
the resurrection of the dead, of life after death, 
of rewards and punishments in the next world ? . 

1 As such, the Rev. A. E. Johnston suggests the following 
argument : 

Is God possessed of Attributes ? Are they active or dormant ? 
Or is there change in Him, so that they would be sometimes 
one and sometimes the other ? Was He ever devoid of any of 
His Attributes? Is God dependent on anything outside of 
Himself? Does He need anything, without which He would 
not have or could not exercise His Attributes? Does not the 
. pith, t As Samadu (Surah CXIL, Al Ikhlas, 2) denote His 
> If-sufficiency ? Is not God alim? Does not the very existent. 
of ilm knowh-.l-c imply throe things, an dlim (knower), a 
ina lum (tiling known and a nisbat i ilmiyyah (bond of con 
nexion between the two)? Since God is independent of any 
tliin^ outside of His own Nature, and is Omniscient ( alhu , 
must He not have within Him-. It all three, and be therefore 
a Trinity in Unity? Rev. Dr. Hooper founds much the same 
argument on the words Allah Kdfi inscribed in a Lahore mosque. 

" Cf. Iblathu l Mujtahidin, pp. 73, 74. 


157. M. The proof of these doctrines is that 
they have been revealed by God to us ; therefore 
we believe in them. 

C. The proof of the doctrine of the Trinity too is 
found in the Bible, therefore we believe it to be 
true. God has revealed it through the prophets 
and apostles, and especially through Jesus Christ. 
His character, His fulfilled prophecies. His noble 
teaching, His miracles, and the fulfilment of His 
promises to every one who comes to Him in faith 
as we know from personal experience all these 
prove the truth of His claims. These claims involve 
the doctrine of the Trinity. 

158. M, What the Qur an says about Him is 
sufficient for us, and involves no such doctrine. 

C. In Surah IV., An Nisa , 169, Christ is called 
" His Word," that is, God s Word (CiU/ Kalimatuhu, 
that is, 41 \ Lji^ Kalimaluttdk). The Arabic shows 
that it means " the Word of God," not " a Word of 
God" (\ LjS^not AT^Uir^ ^LUT). Now what 
does that imply ? 

159. M. It is a mere title, nothing more. So 
Abraham is called "the friend of God" (S\ J-J^ 
KhalUu lldk] in the Qur an, and we call Moses " He 
that talked with God" (AT ^ Kattmn lldh). 

C. A title is either rightly or wrongly given. 
The title " Shah of Persia," if given to you, does 
not express the truth; but if given to Muzaffar- 
u ddin Shah it does state a fact. Who gives to 


Jesus in the Qur an the title of : the Word of 

160. M. God Himself. 

C. You call God "the Truth" (Jll Al 7% y ). and 
rightly. Is He speaking the truth when He calls 
Christ " the Word of God," as He does not only 
in the Qur an but in the Bible (John i. i, 14 ; Rev. 
xix. 13)? 

161. J/. Of course : God cannot speak falsely. 
C. Then we conclude that Christ is really " ///> 

Word of God." Now what does Word (Lj&KaKmaA l 
= Aoyos) mean, your word, or any one s word ? 
What is its office and object ? 

162. M. It expresses what is in the mind of the 
speaker, if he be truthful. It may be spoken, 
written, or expressed by signs, or in other ways. 

C. A word is thus an expression of the mind or 
thought. If Christ were a Word of God (^ lj 
ill u^UA5), He would be merely one expression of 

1 The Arabic term iju expresses \6yos or "Sermo" fairly 
well, ns it means a word not as to its oral utterance but as i<> its 
meaning an expression, a speech, and so on. Arabic scholars 

will notice that, while ill e^L-L$ ( ^ i-^.15 would mean "a 

Word of God," the term i]l L+JS means v \6yos rov 0of<. In 
the following argument this diiVeieiice is dwelt upon. 
The Arabic for Word of God" as applied to the Bible 

(Surah II., 70) is not the same : it is 4JT ^^ 110 t 4Vil i^JS- 
Some nii.ssi-iii.iri. -, ar^ iie similarly from the title " Spirit "1 

God" (ill _^) jriv-ii by Mul.aimiia.lans to Christ. But in tft>- 
V"- n He is not so called, but <>nly "a spirit from Him" 
Surah IV., 169 .. 

L 2 


God s will. What is the force of calling Him " the 

163. M. By the rules of Arabic grammar it 
should mean that He is the one expression of God s 
will. But this cannot be, as the other prophets 
also expressed God s will. 

C. Your argument would convict the Qur an of 
error. We understand that the prophets spoke 
through the Word of God, to whom they bore 
witness. Thus the difficulty vanishes. Is the title 
of " the Word of God " given to any other prophet 
in the Qur an ? 

164. M. No. 

C. Well then, is it not clear from the Qur an that 
Christ alone is the one expression of God s mind 
and will (Luke x. 22) 1 If so, how can He be 
a mere man, like the other prophets ? Can any one 
but yourself and God know your mind and thoughts, 
unless they are expressed ? 

165. M. No one. 

C. Are they not expressed by your word ? 

166. M. Yes. 

C. Then Christ is the expression of God s mind 
and will. Only through Him can these be revealed. 
Can He reveal them without knowing them ? If 
not, can He be less than or different from God, the 
expression of whose will He is ? Hence He says, 
- 1 am the Way, the Truth, and the Life : no man 
cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John xiv. 6). 
You see here again the doctrine of the Trinity comes 


in to explain not only the Gospel s but even the Qu- 
r an s teaching about Christ. You Muslims often call 
Jeans "the Spirit of God" (<5T -^ Euhulldlt], which 
we do not. If you are right, then this is another 
proof of His deity. The Bible gives this title to 
the Third Hypostasis of the Most Holy Trinity, 
which proves l that all the three Hypostases are 
included in the Unity of the Divine nature 2 . 

1 The Bishop of Lahore says: " There is a slightly diflVn-nt 
line of thought which I have often found extremely helpful. 
I begin, much as in this chapter, by asking the Muhammadan 
to define the nature of the Unity of God. In many respects 
one accepts his definition arid lays stress on the Unity in tin- 
sense of entire distinction from all created Being. Then I say, 
Now here we have the Divine Nature on one side, by itself (so 
to speak), and all else on the other : we see how wholly distim-t 
and unique it is. But we have not yet touched the question 
of what mysteries it may contain in itself. I go on to point 
out how inevitable it is that there should be some great myster\ 
in that Supreme Nature when there is so much in the world 
of which we are parts. I then lay stress on the fact that, what 
ever answer we may give to this, whether \v<- h<>M a stn-il.- 
Monotheism or a Plurality of hypostases in one Essence in 
either case it does not conflict with the Unity, for we an- iN-aliim 
simply with the inner Nature of that Essence \\hi< h \ve have 
already, in accepting the Unity, separated <.fl and jm-itf.! 
wholly by itself. This kind of line of argument I ha\ ..inn 
found to win assent. I should also lay more stress on what I 
consider the immensely weighty argument as to the fact that 
tin nature of Lore involves subject and object." 

2 Dr. II. Martyn Clark says that he has f. -mid the fiillwin- 
illustration helpful to Muslims: 

The figure i by itself is a mere straight line : its value is 
determined by its position with reference to the iinjli.l 
Itriinal point. It is usually taken to mean <>/ , I .-.MUSO it is 
supposed to repn-ent i . Lut if written -x its meaning would 1. 


167. 1\J. Belief in the Trinity seems to us to be 
common to you with the Hindus, who speak of the 
Trimurtt), Brahma, Vishnu , and Siva. 

C These are three l separate false gods, while 
we believe in the One True God 2 . Between belief 
in a Triad on the one hand, and belief in the Trinity 
in Unity on the other, there is the greatest possible 
difference. Have you ever considered how the 
world is divided into two parts regarding the 
deity of Jesus, which involves the doctrine of 
the Trinity? 

168 M. Only Christians believe it. 

C. From the Bible we learn that (i) the prophets 
(as, for instance, David, Isaiah, and John the 
Baptist) declared Christ s deity ; (2) the apostles 
believed in it ; (3) so do all Christians ; and (4) so 
do the angels. Even the devils were compelled to 
confess it. Those who disbelieve are (i) the Mus 
lims, (2) the heathen, (3) infidels. A time is coming 

very different. Hence the very idea of unity implies three dimen 

1 The doctrine of Triads in India, Egypt, and elsewhere may 
possibly be a corruption of the doctrine of the Ti inity, if the 
latter doctrine was part of an early Revelation. At any rate, 
it shows that men have felt that barren Monotheism or Uni- 
tarianism is not sufficient for either reason or faith. 

2 a Though the three Hindu deities referred to are philoso 
phically conceived of as three in one, yet that One, being 
impersonal, and the three being the chief personal manifestations 
of It, there is really nothing whatever in common between 
this Hindu belief and the Christian doctrine of the Trinity." 
(Rev. Dr. Hooper ) 


when all shall believe and every tongue shall con 
fess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God 
the Father (Phil. ii. 10, 11). How much better it 
will be for you, my brother, to confess Him who 
died for you, and believe in Him now, ere it is too 
late to be saved. 



169. M. YOUR whole doctrine of the Atonement, 
which you say was made by Christ, is quite con 
trary to Reason and to the Qur an. There is no 
need of an Atonement 2 or of a Plan of Salvation. 
To speak of these things is to declare that God is 
not Almighty. He can do exactly what He wills, 
and He can and does forgive penitent sinners 
without any Atonement whatever, for He is free 
and is not answerable to any one for what He does. 

C. By saying this you show that you do not realize 
the guilt of sin and how hateful it is in the sight 
of God, who is the Holy One (^llll Al Quddits). Yet 
Sin and Holiness are the antitheses of each other. 
It is because you do not realize the hatred of God 

1 In this chapter I have made no attempt to deal fully with 
the great doctrine of the Atonement, being prevented from 
doing so by the limits of the present Manual. The reader 
should consult Dr. Dale s and other works on the Atonement. 
(Vide Preface, para. 8.) 

3 Muslims entirely fail to understand our doctrine of the 
Atonement, while fancying that they know all about it. (Rev. 
J. P. Ellwood.) 


for sin and how opposite it is to His holy Nature 
and Will that you do not feel the need of an 
Atonement. This is one of the evil results of your 
religion. It has in large measure obliterated from 
your minds the truth which even the very heathen 
once knew, as shown by the sacrifices offered ever 
since Adam s time in all nations, until the perfect 
sacrifice of Christ, of which they were types and 
prophecies, removed all reason for their continu 
ance among Christians. Yet the conscience of HHIH, 
which accuses him of sin and insists on tfie need of 
a propitiation, is too strong for you. Hence sacri 
fices of camels and other animals are still offered 
by Muhammadans on certain occasions : [and 
the Shi ites believe that the deaths of Hasan and 
Husain were an atonement for the sins of Muslims.] 
Here we see human nature asserting its conscious 
need of an Atonement, but taking a stone for 
bread. You do not believe that an Atonement is 
necessary, because you do not realize the guilt of 
sin, and how impossible it is for impenitent sinners 
to be reconciled to God and happy in His holy 
presence. Hence the fearful pictures of the 
nature of the pleasures which your traditions 
[and even the Qur an] describe as appointed 
by God for Muslims in Paradise 1 . What you 

1 The attempt < m;nl< \>\ Muliiy\ uM<lin mid otlior mystic an<i 
rationalistic commentator* to explain these descriptions as 
merely figurative do not agree with the belief of Muslim^ in 
the early ages, nor are they even now generally accepted l>y 


say as to the possibility of God s forgiving a 
sinner on his repentance without an Atonement 
is contrary to our innate feeling of Justice. If 
a human judge were to do so, it would be said that 
he was unjust, for justice must be satisfied : but 
God does not do what is unjust, for He is Just 
(J-iUJI Al*Adil\ and does not therefore forgive with 
out an Atonement. Nor can a sinner truly repent 
if he does not realize the guilt he has incurred. 
Christ s Atonement was needed to make us realize 
the guilt of sin. 

170. M. How can one man s death atone for the 
sin of many ? 

C. One diamond may pay a debt of many 
thousands of rupees x . But the true reason why 
Christ s death has atoned for the sins of the whole 
world (i John ii. 2) is that He died as the Head of 
the human race and as its representative (i Cor. xv. 22, 

45-49) 2 - 

171. M. Where is the justice of the innocent 
suffering for the guilty ? 

C. The substitution 3 of the innocent for the 
guilty in the case of human justice could not be 
admitted. But much of the difficulty which is 
often found in accepting the Christian Doctrine 
of the Atonement of Christ arises from the fact 

1 Kev. Dr. Bouse. 

2 A man s back may pay the penalty for the sin of his hand, 
because both are parts of one body. (Rev. J. A. Wood.) 

3 Vide Dr. Dale on the Atonement : 5th Edition, ch ix. p. 


that so many people mistake an illustration fur 
a full explanation or statement of the doctrine. 
We have again and again seen ( 39, 114, &c.) 
that no human language is adequate (because of its 
imperfection) to express Divine realities. Almost 
all the objections are based upon a misunderstand 
ing of this fact. I hesitate therefore to use any 
illustration, lest it should be misunderstood. But 
if you remember that what I am about to say 
is intended only as a (necessarily imperfect) illustra 
tion, it may perhaps be helpful to you. Remember 
too that, if you find defects in the illustration*, that 
does not disprove the truth of the doctrine. In one 
sense we frequently see that the innocent suffers 
for the guilty. A mother s pangs usher the child 
into the world ] . On the other hand, a drunkard s 
or a spendthrift s children suffer in consequence 
of their father s sins. Or again, a child s prosperity 
may be due to his father s toil and suffering. So 
our salvation depends on Christ s sufferings for 
us. Christ, the sinless One who suffered, the Just 
for the unjust, is Himself also the Judge of living 
and dead. If a judge is compelled by a just law to 
sentence a man to pay a heavy fine, and if the 
judge is kind and generous enough to pay the fine 
himself \vhen the other cannot 2 , is not justice satis- 

1 Rev. T. P. Ellwood. 

8 A man may pay another s dt-W, his money is his own pro 
perty. He could not pay it honestly with another man -* 
money. So a man cannot give his life for another s ..n .-n.-r. 


fied as well as mercy shown ? None but the sinless 
can be a substitute for the guilty, for a debtor 
cannot pay another s debt, a criminal cannot pay 
the penalty for another criminal. Hence the Bible 
represents the sinless Christ as making atonement 
for us (Isa. liii. 5 ; i Pet. ii. 21-24). 

172. M. Would the substitution of the innocent 
for the guilty be accepted in a secular court of 
justice ? Man sinned, and you say the sinless Christ 
suffered for him. This is contrary to Ezek. xviii. 20. 

C. The latter verse does condemn us and all 
men except Christ. Unless therefore there be 
some way of escape, the result is and must be 
what is said in the Qur an about hell-fire (Surah 
XIX., Mary am, 72), " There is none of you but 
descends into it." Hence you see that a religion 
without an Atonement can give men no well- 
grounded hope of salvation. But the Gospel brings 
good news of the way of escape which God s love 
and mercy has devised, without violating Justice. 
If the Gospel is not true, then you see that you 
and I and all men are condemned and have no 
hope. It is therefore to your great advantage that 
the doctrine of the Atonement of Christ should be 
proved true. 

Now there are certain conditions of affairs which, 

for that is a Divine trust (amdnat i, ildhi) entrusted to him. 
But Christ could, for He alone could truly say of His life, " I 
have power to lay it down" (John x. 17, i8X (Dr. H. M. 


it must be admitted, would have rendered the 
death of Christ useless and our belief in His Atone 
ment unreasonable, // those coiuliUmix had exix/, ,1. 
(i) If Christ had been a sinner : or (2) if He had 
been put to death against His will : or (3) if He 
were a mere man, though the best of men : or (4) 
if His death did not really take place but only in 
appearance : or (5) if He were an angel, or (6) one 
of three Gods, as certain heretics held : then our 
belief in His Atonement would be in vain. But we 
Christians do not hold any of these ideas. The 
true doctrine is that Christ, being perfect God and 
perfect Man in one person, the two natures united 
as in man are body and soul, freely gave His life 
for us and for all men (ire pi, Matt. xxvi. 28 ; vvtp 
Luke xxii. 20; wit, Matt. xx. 28; Mark x. 45). 
Being free from sin, He did not deserve death, but 
freely took it on Him for us. He "bore our sins in His 
own body up to (or on) the tree " (i Pet. ii. 24), and 
there died as our representative. Those who realize 
His love and who truly believe in Him are so united 
with Him that His death is a propitiation for their 
sins (i John ii. 2). But this cannot be understood 
unless we recollect that He who died on the Cross 
for us was one with God, and that thus our Creator 
and our Judge voluntarily satisfied the demands of 
justice, by dying for the guilty in the human nature 
which He had assumed. 

One or two considerations make the matter 
clean i . 


(a) By one man s sin : it was that condemnation, 
sin, and death came upon all men through their 
federal union with him 2 . Hence it was just 
that by " the righteousness of One " all men should 
be offered salvation. As all men are not compelled 
to perish through Adam s sin (for salvation is 
offered through Christ), so all men are not compelled 
to be saved through Christ (since they who will 
may refuse the salvation which He offers). 

(b) The sight of Christ s sufferings and the fearful 
cruelty, hardheartedness, and wickedness of those 
who crucified Him, shows us, as nothing else could 
do, the awful nature and heinous guilt of sin, since 
it is hostile to God and to everything good in man. 
This helps us to hate and shun sin and to repent of 
our past iniquity. 

(c) Since Christ tells us that He is one with His 
Father (John x. 30), and that whosoever sees Him 
beholds His Father (John xiv. 7, 9), and also informs 
us that the Father s love for men was manifested 
in the gift of His Son (John iii. 16), therefore 
Christ s love reveals His Father s and " we love 

1 Cf. Mishkat (Bab IF., fasl ii.), where a tradition states that 
Adam s children have inherited sin from him. 

2 In accordance with this is the Muhammadan tradition 
which states that God extracted all men from Adam s loins in 
the form of " existent motes" (adh-dharrdtu l Kdindf), in order 
to make them parties to the Covenant. (Mr. H. G. Harding.) 
This refers to what is called the AkhdlwCl Mifhdq ^jlt-J.1 J-J>-1, and 
the various traditions on the subject are given in the Turkish 
Mir dtu l Kdindt, vol. i. p. 106). 


because He first loved us" (i John iv. 19). 
Thus the believer s heart is drawn to God, his will 
submits with perfect trust to God s will, not as 
a slave but as a son. Thus man is reconciled to 
God, and the Atonement is accomplished. 

Although much else is shrouded in mystery, yet 
enough is here revealed to enable every one who 
wills it to obtain salvation through Christ (cf. 
Deut. xxix. 29). 

173. J/. We know from the Qur an (Surah IV., 
An Nisa , 156) that Jesus was not killed, but 
ascended up to heaven without dying 1 . It is a 
mere Jewish legend that represents Him as put to 

C. If so, there is no hope of salvation for you, 
for me, or for any man. But we know from God s 
Word that He died and rose again before He ascended 
into heaven. [Vide 94, 95.] 

174. 37. If the forgiveness of sins is dependent on 
the death of Christ, how was it that He forgave 
sins before Ho died ? and how were men saved in 
the ages before His birth \ 

C. Through the Atonement which He was about 
to accomplish (Heb. ix. 13, 14, 24-28). [There is 
no time with God, though we speak of past, present, 
and future.] 

175. M. If Christ paid our debts, to whom did 
He pay them ? 

1 For varinix Muhammadan accounts of this vide The 
of the Crescent, App. A, and authorities there cit <!. 


C. This is a metaphor and may be pressed too 
far. By His death for us He satisfied the claims of 
Divine Justice, ultimately, though not proximately, 
for Divine Justice still demands the death of our 
bodies (Ezek. xviii. 20: vide 193-195). 

176. M. Did He make atonement for all men, or 
only for His own disciples ? 

C. Potentially for all (i John ii. 2), though 
practically (as far as we know) His death benefits 
only those who believe in Him. 

177. M. If He died for all, then all are thereby 
freed from guilt and punishment 1 . 

C. Only potentially. If a rope be thrown to a 
drowning man, it is safety to him only if he catches 
it and clings to it until he is drawn ashore. Salva 
tion means deliverance from the power of sin and 
the guilt of past sin (Matt. i. 21), and only con 
sequently from the future punishment of sin. It 
does not denote escape from temporal punishment 
(2 Sam.xii. 10-1 8, and subsequent history of David). 

1 Somewhat the same objection is occasionally put thus : 
M. If Christ paid all men s debt (i John ii. 2 : Heb. ii. 9) 
and if God nevertheless punishes some men, then He is unjust. 
Or if you say that God only wishes to save all men through 
Christ s death and yet punishes some for not being saved, He 
is still unjust. But this is impossible. Hence the doctrine o f 
the Atonement is false. 

(7. Christ paid the debt and opened the prison doors and now 
offers all men both the will and the power to come out, but does 
not force them to do so. If they refuse to come out, they are 
doubly guilty, both as sinful rebels and for despising God s 
mercy. (Rev. W. A. Rice, from Leupolt.) 


178. M. If Christ paid the penalty, all men may 
sin as they like without fear. 

C. Certainly not (Rom. vi. I sqq. ; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15; 
Titus i. 15 and ii, esp. ii. 11-14; Heb. x. 26-31; 
i John ii. 1-6, &c., &c.). 

179. M. How could He make atonement for the 
world, since we are told in the Old Testament that 
no man may make atonement for his brother 
(Ps. xlix. 7)? 

C. That means atonement to save a man from 
death. The next verse says, " For the redemption 
of their soul is costly" (Ps. xlix. 8). Hence 
Chrisf s death was necessary to atone for sin. 
Christ was not a mere man, though Ho was truly 
man. " God was in Christ, reconciling the world 
unto Himself" (2 Cor. v. 19). [See above, 171, 

180. M. It was unjust for the innocent to have 
to suffer for the guilty. 

C. Christ gave Himself for us, voluntarily dying 
for our salvation (John x. 17, 18). 

181. H. How can that be, when the Gospel tells 
us that He was seized by a band of soldiers 
(Murk xiv. 46; John xviii. 12), and that with 
strong crying and tears" He prayed to escape 
death (Heb. v. 7)? 

C. Scripture explains itself. If you read Mutt. 
xxvi. 36-46 ; Mark xiv. 32-42 ; Luke xxii. 39-46 ; 
John xvii, you will understand Heb. v. 7 ; while 
John xviii. 6 shows that He had power to resist, 



had He pleased. The Gospel narrative is so 
clear on this point that no one can fail to under 
stand it. 

182. M. When you say that Christ s death saves 
Christians from their sins, this must mean (i) from 
ability to sin, or (2) from the punishment of their 
sins. According to your Scriptures, the prophets 
(who, as you say, believed in Him) were not saved 
from either the one or the other. It did not save 
from sin Judas the betrayer of Jesus, or Peter who 
denied Him, or Thomas who doubted Him, or the 
other disciples who " forsook Him and fled." Nor 
does it save modern Christians from sin. (We see 
a good many of them in India, in Egypt, in 
Palestine, in Turkey, and even in Persia!) Some 
may be good, but good men are found in all 
religions. Christ s death does not exempt Chris 
tians from punishment here: it is difficult to believe 
therefore that it will do so hereafter. Nor do they 
even escape from the curse on Eve, for even Christian 
mothers suffer in childbirth. 

C. Faith in Christ crucified saves true Christians 
(John iii. 3, 5) from the love of sin, and through 
the grace of God s Holy Spirit overcomes sinful 
desires and temptations in them, and makes them 
long, pray, and strive to rise from the death of sin 
to the life of righteousness. If they fall into sin, 
they are punished here ; but change of heart does 
produce change of life. They are conscious of 
reconciliation with God, and obtain that peace which 


the world can neither give nor take away. No other 
religion produces such good fruit. Islam certainly 
does not. We find the Bible bearing witness to 
the change which faith in Christ crucified wrought 
in Peter, in Paul : we see the like change in many 
among our own countrymen, and you see it too in 
those of your people who have become true 
Christians. You must not confound nominal 
Christians with true ones. The tree is known 
by its fruit, and St. James tells us that faith which 
does not produce good fruit is dead and not living 
faith (Jas. ii. 26). 

183. J/. If it is true that " in every nation he 
that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is 
acceptable to Him" (Acts x. 35), that is to God, 
what possible need can there be for an Atonement ? 

C. St. Peter, in the very chapter from which you 
quote, answers your question by preaching remission 
of sins through belief in Christ crucified (Acts x. 
36-43). He shows us that verse 35 means that, when 
God sees that any man is trying to do right through 
fear of God, He guides that man to believe in 
Christ who died for him, as He guided Cornelius 
to believe and be baptized (Acts x. 48). 

184. M. At least we Muslims need no atone 
ment, for all Muslims are ultimately saved. 

C. It would be hard to prove that on any better 

authority than your Traditions. Yet Surah XII., 

HAd, 120 (cf. Sarah XXXIL, As Sujdah, 13, &c.) 

tells us that God "will fill hell with jinns and men 

M 2 


all together " ; and the Qur an, addressing Muslims, 
says, " There is none of you but descends into it," 
that is, hell-fire (Surah XIX., Maryam, 72). That is 
a terrible prospect, in spite of the attempts which 
commentators make to console you with promises. 

[185. J7. The name of God s prophet on the seal 
which will be stamped upon our foreheads will 
prevent the flames from hurting us \ 

C. If you are wise men, you will write the name 
of Muhammad on your foreheads and make the 
experiment with fire now, before it is too late to 
change your opinion should it be wrong !] 

186. M. Ours is the broad, easy way (Surah 
LXXXVIL, Al A la, 8), while yours is narrow and 

C. You say well, but Christ has told us whither 
the broad way leads (Matt. vii. 13). Does not the 
Qur an agree with this in telling you that none of 
you shall fail to arrive at hell-fire (Surah XIX., 
Maryam, 72)? 

187. M. Isaiah s words, " He was wounded for our 
transgressions " (Isa. liii. 5), cannot refer to Jesus, 
but must have reference to some prophet who pre 
ceded Isaiah 2 . 

1 This view is not now entertained by educated Indian 
Muslims. But it is sometimes brought forward by Muhammadans 
in Persia, and is in accordance with the well-known tradition 
that the nineteen angels who preside over hell are thus pre 
served from the fire. 

2 How little weight this argument has with Muslims who 
know Arabic is seen from the fact that such (vide 213) men 


C. Even if we suppose that, and apply the same 
supposition to Ps. xxii, where also the ^ast tense is 
used, we see that the Old Testament agrees with 
the New in declaring man s need of an atonement, 
for "without shedding of blood there is no re 
mission" (Heb. ix. 22). But what you say cannot 
be correct, since neither the Taurat, the Zabur, the 
Injil, nor the Qur an tells us of any such prophet, 
and reason proves that no mere man could atone for 
the sins of all men. A very slight knowledge of 
Hebrew or even of Arabic grammar would show 
you that the past tense is often used for the future, 
when the future event is so firmly fixed and certain 
to come to paps that it may be regarded as already 
past. An example of this from the Qur an itself 
(according to many commentators) is found in the 
first verse of Surah LIV., Al Qamar, where the Day 
of Judgment is said to have approached, and the 
moon to have been split, the meaning being that 
these things will take place. With God there is 
neither past nor future, all is present. The Hebrew 
past tense is called the }H nnansive, because it denotes 
a permanent state of things. The older 1 Jewish 

sometimes state that Isa. liii is a prophecy of Muhammad s 
coming and work. 

1 The Targum explains "My servant " in Isa. hi. 13 as "The 
M iali." Solomon Yar i says " Our fathers assigned it to tlio 
M-^-iah,"and adds, " For they say that the Messiah is stricken, 
as it is written, l He took our infirmities and bare our griefs. " 
R. Moses Alshekh also says that many said this was spoken " of 
the King Messiah." In his comment on Zech. iv. 7, also, 
Solomon Yarhi quotes Isa. Hi. 13, and refers it to the Messiah. 


commentators understood Isa. liii as a Messianic 
prophecy, and the New Testament shows its ful 
filment in Christ. 

188. M. Since God is Almighty, He can make 
people good, and thus reconcile their wills with His 
own, without the death of Jesus or any other atone 

C. But God has chosen to do everything by means 
which He has appointed. This is a fact of experience T . 
We are not now discussing the power of God or His 
ability to do what He chooses. We are discussing 
the fact, revealed to us in the Bible, that Christ 
gave " His life a ransom for many " (Matt. xx. 28 ; 
Mark x. 45). But experience shows us that God has 
given us freedom of will to choose good or evil. 
To destroy this and force us to choose good would 
(i) be unworthy of His wisdom, for it would prove 
that He had made a mistake in giving us freedom 
of will in the first instance. (2) If there was no 
freedom, there would be no possibility of virtue, 
which implies choice. (3) To deprive us of freedom 
of will would not be to undo our past transgres 
sions. This plan, instead of making all men good, 
would prevent any from being good. 

189. M. All that happens is fated 2 to happen. 
God has firmly fastened every man s fate to his 

1 Rev. W. A. Rice. 

2 Vide Surahs VI. 123, 125; VII. 177, 185 ; X. 99 ; XI. 120 ; 
XIII. 27, 30 ; XVI. 39, 95 ; XVIII. 16 ; XXXII. 17 ; LXXVI. 
29, 30 ; LXXXI. 28, 29, &c. 


neck (Surah XVII., Al Asra , 14), He " misleadeth 
whom He willeth and guideth aright whom He 
willeth" (Surah LXXIV., Al Muddaththir, 34). 
Hence He is the real author of our sins l (Surah 
VI., Al An am, 39 ; Surah XCI., Ash Shams, 8). 
No atonement therefore is necessary. 

C. This fatalism of yours is contrary to both 
reason and experience. You call God "the Just 
One " ( J^UJl), and such He is. Hence He does not 
commit the fearful injustice of forcing us to do evil 
and then punishing us for doing it. Such a doctrine 
represents God as evil : it places Satan on the 
throne of God. You would define sin as what God 
has forbidden and does not wish us to do. It is 
illogical therefore to hold that He does wish and 
compel us to commit it. Our own experience 
shows us that we are generally free with regard to 
actions and always free in reference to intention* 
(ili niyyaJi). You forget this and make sin consist 
(principally at least) in act, whereas Christ shows 
that God judges the heart (Matt. v. 27, 2 : cf. Exod. 
xx. 17 ; Ps. vii. 9). In reality fatalism is a pagan 
doctrine, and is found in every form of paganism. 
It everywhere shows that those who hold it do not 
really believe that their God or Gods are the true 
rulers of the universe 2 , but that it is ruled by fate. 

1 Some of the Shi ites, how. vr, hold that God withdraws 
His -jrace when a man has made up his mind to sin. 
(Rev. W. A. Rice.) 

3 This latter point is urged by Prof. \Vutt k, lli^ry of 
Paganism. I OW tli- i- ! rano< t" tin- Rev. P. M. 


190. M. If, as you hold, God is the Author of all 
good and Satan of all evil, we are still not respon 
sible for our actions 1 . 

C. We hold that God enables us " both to will 
and to work" (Phil. ii. 13, 13) what is good, but 
we do not hold that He compels us to do so or 
deprives us of freedom of will. He gives us grace 
to withstand the temptations of the devil, if we 
wish. The very existence of conscience proves our 
responsibility, for wefeel 2 our guilt when we have 
done wrong even in thought. 

191. M. Christ s atonement is needless : Mu 
hammad s intercession is sufficient for us. He is 
God s chosen, greater than Christ. His name was 
written on the Preserved Tablet, on the base of 
God s throne (o^jJl Al Arsfy, before the creation of 
the world. All things were made for him, and his 
light (jjj nnr) was the first of all created things 3 . 

C. In saying this you say what cannot be proved. 
It is mere assertion 4 . Moreover, we have already 
proved from the Qur an Christ s superiority to 
Muhammad ( 116, 117; cf. 85-90). Muham- 

1 Note the latent Dualism in this assertion. (Mr.H. G.Harding.) 
3 A good Pagan proof is given in the isth Satire of Juvenal. 

3 Vide the Ardisu t Tijdn, Story of Adam (p. 36 of Indian 
Edition), and traditions there recorded. 

4 Moreover, Muhammad is dead, Christ is alive in Heaven, as 
you confess. Hence Muhammad cannot now intercede for men. 
You say he will do so at the Judgment Day, but that Tradition 
is not confirmed by the Qur an. Besides, it witt be too late then. 
(Rev. Dr. Wherry. Vide 196.) 


mad was a mere man, born in the ordinary way, 
while even the Qur an acknowledges Christ s super 
human generation (vide 117, n8),and gives Him 
higher titles than it does to Muhammad. This 
theory about the light of Muhammad is taken from 
what the Gospel (John i. 4, 5) says about Christ, 
and it is of Christ and not Muhammad that we are 
told that " In Him were all things created, in the 
heavens and upon the earth, things visible and 
things invisible ; ... all things have been created 
through Him, and unto Him" (Col. i. 16). These 
things are true of the Word of God (ifi-JLfj, but 
of no mere man, of no creature, can they be true. 

192. M. Jesus great work was to bear witness 
to Muhammad [vide chapter VII, 196, sqq.], 
and He will come again to slay the swine, to break 
the cross, and to bring all men to Islam. He will 
marry, and ultimately die, and be buried in Medina, 
where His empty tomb is ready for Him, since 
"Every soul shall taste of death" (Surah XXI., Al 
Anbiya , 36). [See commentators on Surahs XIX., 
Mary am, 34, and IV., An Nisa , 156-157.] 

C. Christ did not bear witness to Muhammad, 
[unless possibly Matt. vii. 15, 16 ; xxiv. n, and 
similar passages include a reference to him], nor 
will He do so when He comes again. But He will 
certainly come again to judge the world (Matt. xxv. 
31 sqq.), and receive His own unto Himself (John 
xiv. 3). This is what is meant by the reference to 
His metaphorical " marriage " with His Church 


(Rev. xxi. 2, 9, 10). But He will never die again 
(Rom. vi. 10 ; Rev. i. 18). Christ s tomb, whether 
at Jerusalem or at Medina, is empty now and for 
ever ; and by His Atonement and His Resurrection 
He hath "abolished death, and brought life and 
incorruption to light through the Gospel " (2 Tim. 
i. 10). 

193. M. Your Bible says that death is the wages 
of sin (Rom. vi. 23) death of the body and death 
of the spirit, that is to say eternity in hell 
(Rev. xx. 14). Did Christ undergo for men both 
parts of the penalty, eternity in hell as well as 
death of the body 1 ? 

C. No. He does not endure eternal existence in 

M. How then can you say that He bore the 
punishment of your sins? 

C. We do not say so, for it is of the nature of 
punishment that it cannot be borne except by the 
guilty, and Christ was without sin. If an innocent 
man suffers instead of a guilty one, it is incorrect 
to say that the innocent man was punished, though 
he endured suffering for, on behalf of, or even 
instead of, the criminal. The Bible says, therefore, 
" Christ suffered for us/ . . . and He " bore our sins 
in His own body on (or up to) the tree, that we, 
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, 
by whose stripes ye were healed" (i Pet. ii. 21-24). 
Notice that the word punMment is not used. 

194. M. Does Christ deliver those who believe 


in Him from both parts of the penalty, from the 
death of the body as well as from eternity in hell ? 
C. (vide 182). He saves from the death of the 
body those who are alive in Him and are found 
living at His Second Coming (i Cor. xv. 51), and 
He then raises to an eternal life of purity and 
happiness those who have died in the true faith, 
thus overcoming death and giving them deliver 
ance from and victory over it (i Cor. xv. 54~57)- 
Moreover, He delivers His faithful followers even 
now in one sense from the death of the body, for 
death to them is devoid of terror and is therefore 
called sleep in the New Testament. In this sense 
" Jesus Christ . . . abolished (annulled) death " 
(2 Tim. i. 10), since He has delivered from its fear 
and sting those who, before believing and receiving 
the new life which He gives (John iii. 3, 5 ; vi. 50, 
58 ; xi. 25, 26), " through fear of death were all 
their lifetime subject to bondage" (Heb. ii. 14, ij). 

195. M. Does it not seem to you, then, a strange 
thing that the part of the penalty that Christ 
underwent is the part from which He does not 
deliver you, since you must die in the body, and 
the part which He does not undergo is the part 
from which He does deliver you, that is from hell- 

C. Hell-fire is the doom of the/w% impenitent, 
of those, that is, whose hearts are hardened against 
the love of Christ, who died to save them from their 
sins (Matt. i. 21). Tnte believers in Him are not 


family impenitent, therefore it was not fitting that 
He should "undergo that part of the penalty" 
which faith in Him and the change of heart which 
He thereby produces in His people prevents them 
from incurring. It is by saving them from the 
power and guilt of sin that He delivers them from 
final separation from God and being cast out into 
the outer darkness. The force of your objection 
rests upon the wrong idea that Christ was punished 
instead of us, and it has weight only against a form 
of the doctrine of Atonement which arises from 
a loose use of words and from a misunderstanding 
of the Bible 1 . 

1 The questions in 194 and 195 are suggested by the 
Rev. A. E. Johnston from his own experience as a missionary,, 



196. M. Christ was a great Prophet, but His - 
time is past. Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets 
and the Messenger of God, has succeeded Him, and 
is now the Prophet and the last l of them. So when 
one king dies, another succeeds him and is obeyed. 
Hence the Book which Muhammad was commis 
sioned to give us is enough for us, and we need 
nothing else. 

C. Let us for the moment adopt your illustra 
tion. You all, in accordance with the Qur an (and 
the Gospel), acknowledge that Jesus is alive and 
that Muhammad is dead and buried. If you are 
a Ilaji, you have doubtless seen Muhammad s 
grave at Medina and noticed that the grave pre 
pared beside it for Jesus i* ewpfy. Hence the 

1 Muhammad cannot be "the last of the Prophets and their 
because, unlike Christ, he did not fulfil and cany < n 
previous revelations. He really went back to a level below 
Judaism. The difference is not one of n->n-< -^. nt i;ils only but 
of essentials. The Bible deals with the /" ,,f sin. I.Ydrinption, 
&c. : theQur an aliu>t iu ii"iv- th-m. l,v\. T. F. Walters.) 


living Prophet and not the dead one should be 
obeyed, more especially as Christ Himself asserts 
that He is alive for evermore (Rev. i. 18). His 
" time " has no end, for He says : " Heaven and 
earth shall pass away, but my words shall not 
pass away " (Matt. xxiv. 35). You cannot any 
longer argue that the Bible has been corrupted 
(chapter II), or that it has been annulled (chapter III), 
so that these words of Him, whom you confess to 
be a true prophet, must have weight with you. 
Remember, too, that the Qur an itself bears witness 
to the Bible and bids you profess belief in it (Surah 
II., Al Baqarah, 130). What does this mean, if 
you no longer need the Bible ? 

197. M. We believe in Jesus and in all the 
prophets, but Muhammad is the last and greatest 
of them all, and he is our prophet and enough 
for us. 

C. Prove his claim. 

198. M. We have many proofs, among the prin 
cipal of which are: (i) His miracles, (2) the style 
of the Qur an, (3) the spread of Islam, (4) the pro 
phecies regarding Muhammad still contained in 
the Bible, and (5) many others which have doubtless 
been erased by the Jews and Christians 

C. We have already considered points i and 2 
( 126-165), and the question whether any pro 
phecies concerning Muhammad have ever been 
erased from the Bible ( 14). Let us now deal 
with the two which remain. 


199. M. The faith of Islam could never have " 
spread so quickly over so many lands as it did, 
if it were not the true faith and Muhammad a true 

C. If that argument is correct, then Buddhism 
must be the true faith, for it spread over more 
countries than Islam, it spread very quickly, and 
it spread peaceably ; whereas Islam was spread prin 
cipally by the sword, certainly a very trenchant 
argument! Now Buddhism was originally an ^^ 
Atheistic philosophy 1 , and is now a system of 
demon-worship. It cannot therefore be true. 
Again, while Muhammad merely preacJied his faith, 
comparatively few embraced it ; but when he drew 
the sword and handed it on to his successors to 
wield after him, then land after land was quickly 2 
won. In this we see no proof of the truth of his 
claims. Both before and after Muhammad there 
have been great conquerors. 

200. M. God would not permit such vast num 
bers of men to remain century after century in 
error, therefore Islam must be true. 

C. In spite of your own belief that " He mis- 
leadeth whomsoever He willeth " (Surah LXXI\ 7 ., 

1 "The Noble Eightfold Path," passim. 

2 The slowness of the progress of Christianity, since it was 
made generally by peaceful means, in contrast with the 
rapidity of that of Islam, made by the sword for the most part, 
is a proof of the superiority of the Christian faith. Bee I>ean 
Church s arguments on Christian civilization. (Rev. J. P. 


Al Muddaththir, 34) ! Your argument would prove 
Hinduism and every other false faith true, if the 
contention were to be granted. There are perhaps 
more Hindus in the world than Muhainmadans, and 
their religion is older far. There are more Christians 
than either. Of course we gladly acknowledge that 
Islam contains certain great truths, as for example 
the doctrine of the Unity of God. But this does 
not make the religion true as a whole. 

201. M. Well, at least the prophecies regarding 
Muhammad still to be found in the Bible are quite 
enough to prove that he was a true prophet. 

C. You must really take one line of argument or 
the other. If you rely upon the Bible, as we now 
have it, as containing prophecies regarding Muham 
mad, and deem those prophecies the best, if not 
the only, proof of the truth of his claims, then you 
must confess that the Bible exists free from corrup 
tion, as indeed has been proved (chapter II). Other 
wise you are building upon the sand 1 . On the 
other hand, if you reject the Bible, you have no 
other proof of Muhammad s claims. [If you accept 
the Bible, it confutes many of the most cherished 
tenets of Islam, and thereby disproves the truth 
of the Qur an and Muhammad s claims; but you 

1 A Muslim may retort that by referring to the testimony of 
the Qur an we are placing ourselves in the same position. But 
it should be pointed out that we appeal to the Qur an not as if 
it had any real authority, but solely to show him that, from his 
own standpoint, many of his arguments against Christianity are 


may draw from it what you believe to be prophe 
cies regarding Muhammad. If you reject the Bible, 
these latter fail you and you are none the better 
off; for your Qur an testifies to the truth and 
authenticity of the Bible, and, if the latter be not 
worthy of credence, there must be something radi 
cally wrong with the Qur an.] 

202. M. Surah ILL, Al Irmin, 75 leads us to 
expect to find prophecies of Muhammad in the 
Old Testament, and Surah LXL, As Saff, 6 assures 
us of a very distinct prophecy which Jesus, in the 
Gospel, uttered regarding him. I proceed therefore 
to adduce first the Old Testament and then the 
New Testament predictions concerning Muhammad. 
First of all comes the wonderful prophecy in 
Deut. xviii. 18, where God said to Moses, "I will 
raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, 
like unto thee, and will put my words in his 
mouth ; and he shall speak unto them all that 
I shall command him." 

This prophecy evidently refers to Muhammad. 
For (i) the promised prophet was not to be from 
among the Israelites but from among their, brethren, 
the Ishmaelites (compare Gen. xxv. 9, 18); and 
(2) no such prophet ever did arise among the 
Israelites (Deut. xxxiv. 10). 

C. This last verse refers only to the time when 
the final chapter of Deuteronomy was written, as 
is evident from the word "yet." [On the other 
hand Deut. xviii. 15 shows that the prophet fore- 


told was to come "from the midst of tkee" thus 
explaining " of thy brethren."] Ishmael was Isaac s 
brother, or rather his half-brother : and if the Ish- 
maelites can be called in one sense the brethren of 
the Israelites, in a far stricter sense can the Israelites 
themselves be called one another s brethren. (Of. 
Surah VII., Al A raf, 83, their brother Shu aib.") 
They are so called in Deut. iii. 18 ; xv. 7 ; xvii. 15 1 ; 
xxiv. 14; i Kings xii. 24, &c., &c. Moreover, the 
Taurat shows most clearly that no prophet was to 
be expected from Ishmael, for God had made His 
covenant not with him but with Isaac, to the 
rejection of Ishmael and his posterity (Gen. xvii. 
18-21; xxi. 10-13). This is confirmed by the 
Qur an, which represents the prophetic office as given 
to Isaacs seed. (Surah XXIX., Al Ankabut, 
27, and Surah XLV., Al Jathiyyah, 15: "Also to 
the children of Israel gave We of old the Book 
and Wisdom and Prophecy, and We supplied them 
with good things, and privileged them above all 

203. M. But the words "from the midst of thee," 

1 "I always found a reference to this passage effective. No 
one questions to what race Saul and David belonged, and 
therefore we see unmistakably what from among thy brethren 
means. Refer also to the universal Eastern use of brother. For 
instance, in the sentence Apne bhaion men se kisi ko bulao 
(e. g. to receive an appointment), what Muhammadan so ad 
dressed would think that members of his own family were 
excluded ? " (Bp. of Lahore.) " Did the Israelites ever choose 
a foreigner to be their king, or did God ever appoint in Israel 
a foreign king? " (Rev. Dr. Hooper.) 


in Deut. xviii. 15, must be an interpolation, for 
they do not occur in the oldest Greek translation 
(the Septuagint) 1 , nor do they occur when the 
verse is quoted in Acts iii. 22. 

C. That by no means proves that they did not 
stand in the original text, though we acknowledge 
that this is one of the passages in which a marginal 
note may have been incorporated into the text. 
Yet our argument by no means depends upon these 
words, but upon the whole tenor of Scripture. 
The Prophet spoken of is the Messiah, promised to 
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gen. xii. 3 ; xxvi. 4; 
xviii. 18; xxii. 18; xxviii. 14, &c.). This is clear 
even from the passage you quote from the Acts. 
where, although "from the midst of thee" (as you 
have pointed out) does not occur, nevertheless Peter 
(Acts iii. 25, 26) explains that the reference is to 
Jesus Christ. [Some hold that the meaning of 
"a prophet," in Deut. xviii. 15, 18, is not only one 
man but the whole body of prophets; just as "a 
king" in Deut. xvii. 14, means the kings of Israel 
and Judah in general, and "the priest" in Deut. 
xviii. 3, means the priests in general. But even 
so the passage refers to Christ, who is the Prophet, 
the Priest, and the King 2 .] Jeaus ex i* tain* f/iis and 

1 Nor in the Samaritan Pentateuch. The Heb. text contains 
just two letters more than the latter, thus making the difference. 
The argument as given above is one a Muhammadan adduced 
in discussion with me. 

3 But from John i. 21, we see that the Jews then understood 
the passage as referring to an individual. (Rev. Dr. Hooper.) 

N 2 


other passages in the Law as referring to Himself. John v. 
46. Thus in the New Testament we have the in 
spired explanation of the prophecy. 

Again, the promised prophet was to be sent 
" unto thee," that is unto Israel. Christ arose 
among Israel and spent almost His whole time 
among them. He sent His Apostles also in the 
first place to Israel (Matt. x. 6), and only second 
arily to the Gentiles (Luke xxiv. 47). Muhammad, 
on the other hand, professed to be sent to the 
Arabs, among whom he was born. He did not do 
much for the Jews [except in the way of slaughter 
ing them fl 

204. M. Muhammad is evidently the prophet 
"like unto Moses." For (i) both of them were 
brought up in their enemies houses ; (2) appeared 
among idolaters ; (3) were at first rejected by their 
own people and afterwards accepted by them ; (4) 
were married and had children ; (5) each gave 
a Law (which Christ did not : John i. 17) ; (6) fled 
from their enemies, one to Midian and the other 
to Medina which words are of similar meaning ; 
(7) marched to battle against the unbelievers ; (8) 
wrought similar miracles; and (9) enabled their 
followers after their own death to enter on the 
possession of Palestine. 

C. Almost the same things could probably be 
said of Musailamah or of Manes (Mani). Surely 
these points of resemblance are not those intended. 
We might proceed with the comparison by adding 


that [both committed murder, that both married 
wives, Muhammad a largo number, that the names 
of both begin with M *., that] both died natural 
deaths, and so on. But all this is in vain, because 
the very foundation for the comparison is cut 
away by the verses which we have quoted from 
Genesis, proving that God dcfuulcli/ ilirfm-n! that 
His convenant was to descend not in IshmaeFs 
family but in Isaac s. 

Let us now appeal to the Qur an for a proof 
that, in at least one very important point indeed, 
Muhammad was not in the least like Moses. In 
Surah VIL, Al A raf, 156, 158 we are told that 
Moses prophesied of Muhammad, calling him " the 
unlettered 2 prophet," by God s command. Now 
in this Muhammad was not very like Moses, who 
" was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians " 
(Acts vii. 22). Hence either you are wrong or 
the Qur an is. Again we are told that Moses was 
the meekest ;J of men (Num. xii. 3), which can hardly 
be truly said of Muhammad. There is no likeness 
1 .1 -twcen Moses matrimonial arrangements and those 
of Muhammad. Moreover Muhammad was not even 
of the Jewish nation as Moses was. The words 

1 Dr. H. M. Clark. 

2 I think that this title (JS&\ ) means rather "tho Gentile" 
prophet, as K. Abraham iJ.-igrr lias pointed out. But Sir \V. 
Muir thinks thr above explanation correct.* It is that a<l<- ]>! ! 
by all Muslims. 

The Hebrew word so rendered is capable, however, of other 
meanings. (Hev. P. M. Zt-nker.) 

in John i. 17 do not imply that Jesus gave no 
law, for elsewhere we are told that He did, but 
a spiritual and not a carnal one (Rom. viii. 2 ; 
Gal. vi. 2 ; Jas. i. 25 ; ii. 8 ; cf. Heb. viii. 10 ; x. 
1 6). Moses wrought many miracles (Surah VII.. 
Al A raf, 101-116, 1 60), but we have seen that, 
according to the Qur an (Surah XVII., Al Asra , 
61), God did not send Muhammad with miracles. 
(See above 126-129.) 

This last is a very important matter indeed : for, 
if you read in Deut. xxxiv, 10-12, the points in 
which the Israelites expected the promised prophet 
to be like Moses, you will find that they were not 
those you mention but only two : ( i ) personal 
knowledge of God, and (2) mighty works l . Now the 
Gospels prove that Christ resembled Moses in both 
matters, though excelling him immensely. If you 
compare what the Qur an says about Moses (whom 
you style &\ ~^} with what it says about Jesus 
(whom the Qur an teaches you to call <5l I-Jo ), you 
will see that here both the Gospel and the Qur an 

Finally, observe that God Himself has shown 
that Deut. xviii. 15-18, refers to Christ. Compare 
the words (verse 15) " Unto him } 7 e shall hearken " 

1 Perhaps the most important element in the "likeness" lies 
in the mediatorship />f Moses and Christ. Moses interceded for 
his people, and when about to be taken away he foretold the 
coming of the one true and effectual Mediator, of whom he was 
the type in interceding with God. (Dr. H. M. Clark.) 


(see also verse 19) with Matt. xvii. 5, "Hear ye 
Him " (cf. Mark ix. 2 ; Luke ix. 35). 

In fact, what you have to do isjir&t of all to prove 
Muhammad to be a prophet. It will then be time 
enough to proceed to prove, if you can, that he is 
the prophet referred to in Deut. xviii. 15, 18. 

205. M. There are many other prophecies re 
garding Muhammad l in the Old Testament. 

For example Gen. xlix. 10. Here " Shiloh " is 
a title of Muhammad, whose very name may be 
said to occur in verse 8 ; " Judah, thou art he whom 
thy brethren shall praise " : for Muhammad means 
" he who is much praised." 

C. The Taurat was not written in Arabic but in 
Hebrew, and the word in the original which is 
rendered " shall praise " is not in the slightest 
degree like "Muhammad," but is the verb from 
which "Judah" is derived. Verse 8 refers the 
praise to Judah. Muhammad was not a Jew. Shiloh 
means "he to whom it belongs," and the old Jewish 
commentators rightly explained it as a title of the 
Messiah 2 . [Onk., Targ. of Jonathan, Targum of 
Jerusalem, " until the coming of king Messiah." 
The Tract Sanhedrin of the Talmud says it is the 

1 Many of those here mentioned are brought forward in tho 
IzhdruCl Haqq, and well refuted at considerable length by Naqula 
Ya qub Ghabril in his Ibhtitlm l Mnjtahidin (Cairo, 1901). 

a Some commentators think that Shiloh here is the name of tho 
place so often mentioned in later books (e.g. Judges xxi. 19, 21), 
and render "until he come to Shiloh." But this is unlikely. 
In any case it has no possible reference to Muhammad. 


Messiah s name ; the Samaritan Targum implies 
the same. LXX. TO. aTro/cetjue^a avr<j>.] Jesus was 
born of the tribe of Judah, and the Gentiles have 
in large measure already been gathered to Him. 

206. M. Deut. xxxii. 21 "I will move them to 
jealousy with those which are not a people," &c. 
This refers to the Arabs. It cannot refer to the 
Greeks to whom Paul and other Apostles preached, 
for they were celebrated for their learning and 
philosophy, and were not " a foolish nation." 

C. But i( The wisdom of this world is foolishness 
with God" (i Cor. iii. 19). Mention is made not 
of a person^ Muhammad or any one else, but of 
a nation. If we grant that it refers to the Arabs, 
many of their tribes were Christian before they were 
compelled to embrace Islam (Himyar, Ghassan, 
Kabi ah, Najran, Hirah, &e.). But such verses as 
Eph. ii. 11-13, i Pet. ii. 10, give a sufficient 

207. M. In Deut. xxxiii. 2 the words "The 
Lord came from Sinai" refer to the giving of the 
Taurat to Moses. "And rose up from Seir unto 
them " speaks of the descent of the Gospel : while 
" He shined forth from Mount Paran * " clearly 

1 The same argument (as the Eev. C. H. Stileman points out) 
is often founded on the words, " The Holy One from Mount 
Paran," in Hab. iii. 3. (Vide Ghabril s full answer in Ibhdthu l 
Mujtahidin, pp. 84 sqq.) The Bishop of Lahore says : "I have 
answered by pointing out that the passage (Hab. iii. 3) goes on 
in the singular ( His glory covered, &c.), from which it is plain 
that only one coming is denoted by the dual expression." 


denotes the bestowal of the Qur an, for Paran is 
one of the mountains near Mecca. 

C. This verse speaks of the extent of country 
over which the glory of God s manifestation was 
visible to the Israelites when they were encamped 
in the desert near Mount Sinai. A glance at the 
map will show you that Sinai, Seir, and Paran arc 
three mountains quite close to one another. Mount 
Paran is many hundreds of miles from Mecca. If 
you read the verses in which Mount Paran and the 
desert of Paran are mentioned 1 , you will see that 
it was in the Sinaitic Peninsula, not far from the 
borders of Egypt. The verse has nothing to do 
with either the Gospel or the Qur an. 

208. J/. Ps. xlv is a clear prophecy of Mu 
hammad, " the prophet with the sword," compare 
verses 3-5. 

C. Verse 6 shows that this explanation is im 
possible, for Muhammadans never apply to Mu 
hammad the title of God." The Psalm was there 
fore evidently fulfilled in Christ (cf. Pss. ii, Ixxii, ex). 
The " king s daughter " of verse 13 is the bride of 
Christ, that is the Christian Church (cf. Rev. xxi. 2), 
and the conquest is primarily that of Satan and all 
his hosts (cf. Rev. xix. 11-21). In Heb. i. 8, 9 it is 
clearly stated that verse 6 refers to 67/m/ -. 

1 Gen. xiv. 6; Num. x. xa ; xii. 15 ; xiii. 3 ; Dout. i. i, &c. ; 
also i Kings xi. 18. 

8 Rev. Dr. Hooper calls attention to Bp. Wostcott s comment 
on Ps. xlv. 6. 


209. M. Ps. cxlix is another manifest prophecy 
of Muhammad. Notice the " new song " (verse i), 
i. e. the Qur an, and the mention of the two-edged 
sword in verse 6. This last refers especially to 
Ali, the prophet s son-in-law, for he had such 
a sword and made good use of it. The " king " in 
verse 2 is Muhammad. 

C. If you read verse 2, you will see that " Israel/ 
"the children of Zion," are called upon to rejoice 
" in their king." The title of " king of the Jews " 
is a strange one to give to Muhammad ! Why 
they should rejoice in him is rather a difficult thing 
to explain, if you remember how he treated the 
Banu Qainuqa* and other Jewish tribes. The " two- 
edged sword " is said in the Psalm to be " in their 
hands," i.e. in that of the Israelites, not in the 
hand of Ali. " The king " of verse 2 is explained 
in verse 4 to be " the Lord," who is often styled 
King of Israel. 

210. M. In the Song of Solomon (v. 16) Muham 
mad s name actually occurs in the Hebrew, in the 
form Maliamaddim. This plural form is used to 
denote his greatness as a prophet 1 . 

C. The idea that Muhammad s name is contained 
in this word is due to ignorance of Hebrew. A 
Hindu might just as well fancy that the names of 
some of his deities were mentioned in the Qur an 
because of the accidental likeness between them 

1 The Rev. Ahmed Shah mentions this objection. I have 
met with it in India but not elsewhere. 


and certain Arabic words ; or an ignorant Muslim 
might as correctly assert that in the verse Al Jiatiulo 
l ili<ihi Tlii jlj il dlamm, Muhammad s name occured. 
The translation of the word malnnnadilun in Cant. v. 
16, is simply " delightfulnesses." It is a common and 
not a proper noun, and it occurs as frequently in 
Hebrew as do some of the derivatives of the root 
_u^ in Arabic. If you carefully consult the other 
passages in which the same word occurs, either in 

A o 

the singular or in the plural, you will see that the 
word cannot be taken as Muhammad s name. Cf. 
Hosea ix. 6, 16 ; i Kings xx. 6 ; Lam. i. 10, IT; ii. 
4; Joel iv. 5; Is. Ixiv. 10 ; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 19; 
Ezek. xxiv. 16, 21, 25. In the last passage it is 
applied to a woman, Ezekiel s wife (v. 1 6, " the 
desire of thine eyes," cf. v. 18), and to the sons and 
daughters of the idolatrous Jews (v. 25). 

211. M. In Isa. xxi. 7 the " chariot of asses " 
refers to the coming of Christ, who entered Jeru 
salem riding upon an ass, and whose ass is one of 
the animals admitted into Paradise. In the same 
way "a chariot of camels" refers to Muhammad, 
who always rode a camel. 

C. Verse 9 explains that the watchman saw people 
fleeing to escape from Babylon when it was captured 
by the enemy, some on asses, some on horses, some 
on camels. There is no reference to Christ or to 
Muhammad either. 

212. M. Isa. xlii. 10, n. Here the " m-\\ 
sons: " is an evident reference to the new method of 


worship adopted by the Muslims ; and the mention 
of "Kedar" distinctly indicates the Arabian 

C. [Those of us who know what Muhammadan 
worship is will recognize that the word " song " 
does not describe it, since they exclude music from 
their worship.] "The villages that Kedar doth 
inhabit" this phrase denotes certain Arabian 
tribes, such as those that were- Christian in 
Muhammad s time and doubtless will be so again. 
But " my servant " in verse i is explained in 
chapter xlix. 3 as meaning " Israel," doubtless the 
spiritual Israel, those who believed in Christ from 
among the Jews, and in lii. 13 the old Jewish 
commentators explain the same word as referring 
to the Messiah. Christ came from Israel and re 
presented it, which Muhammad did not. Chapter 
xlii. 1-4 evidently suits Christ and not Muhammad, 
and in our own days we see the fulfilment of the 
prophecy in verse 4, though it was partly fulfilled 
when the islands and coast-lands of Europe were 
converted to Christ. That verses 1-4 refer to 
Christ is taught in Matt. xii. 17-21. 

213. M. Isa. liii is a prophecy not about Jesus 
but about Muhammad. The latter was "a root 
out of a dry ground," for he arose in Arabia 
(verse 2). He " made his grave with the wicked," 
for he was buried in Medina (verse 9). The 
words "he shall see his seed" (verse 10) are true 
of Muhammad and not of Christ, as is the promise 


that he should " divide the spoil with the strong " 
(verse 12), i. e. with the Ansars, as Muhammad did 
in all his attacks on his enemies and the enemies of 
God. The words " he hath poured out his soul 
unto death" may be metaphorical (verse 12), but 
they may also be literal, for Muhammad did die 
and Jesus ascended to heaven without dying. 
[But see 93-95 1 -] 

C. The whole of the New Testament shows how 
this chapter was fulfilled in Christ. See also 
Ps. xxii. The old Jewish commentators also under 
stood it of the Messiah. Verses 5, 6, 7, 8, and 
a large part of verse 1 2 are evidently inapplicable 
to Muhammad 1 . 

214. M. Isa. liv. i : " Sing, O barren, thou that 
didst not bear." This is a prophecy of the birth of 
Muhammad from the family of Ishmael, and predicts 
that more will be brought to God as his followers 
than were converted by all the prophets who came 
from Israel. 

C. The words of comfort are addressed to Israel 
in captivity at Babylon, and predict (verses 7-15) 
their return. St. Paul (Gal. iv. 27) explains their 

1 It is hardly worth while to answer this argument here at 
any length, as the answer so readily suggests itself. The 
argument has great weight with Muslims, especially about 
dividing the spoil." I have met it in Persia, and Rev. H. D. 
Goldsmith mentions the whole argument as above as met with 
in India (C.M.S. Annual Report for 1902, p. 286). Vide 187.. 
The spoil was to be divided by the Messiah after his <lmth. 
Muhammad did not do this : he did it during his life. (Rev. 
Dr. Wherry.) 


spiritual fulfilment in the conversion of the Gentiles 
to Christ x . 

215. M. Another similar prophecy of the conver 
sion of the Arabians and others through Muhammad 
is contained in Isa. Ixv. 1-6 : "I am sought of them 
that asked not for me," &c. Verses 2 sqq. tell how 
wicked were the Jews and Christians, whom God 
therefore rejected. 

C. Verse i is a prophecy of the conversion of the 
Gentiles to Christ. Verses 2-6 mention the sins of 
some of the Jews, but verses 8-10 declare that God 
will not reject the whole Jewish nation (cf. Rom. 
xi). Nothing is said of the Christians, and not 
one word about Muhammad. 

216. M. In Dan. ii. 45 there is a clear prophecy 
of Muhammad, the stone cut out of the mountain 
without hands, and of the Empire of Islam which 
he founded. In that chapter we are told of four 
kingdoms which were to precede Muhammad s 
coming. The first is that of the Chaldaeans, the 
second the Median, the third the Kayanian (or 
Persian), and the fourth that of Alexander the 
Great. Alexander shattered the Persian power, 

1 Muslims sometimes quote Isa. Ixiii. 1-6, as a prophecy of 
Muhammad, " the prophet with the sword." But from com 
paring v. 5 with Isa. lix. 15, 16, it will be seen that the person 
who" cometh from Edom, . . . from Bozrah," is Jehovah Himself, 
who has punished Edom for its sins. Cf. the spiritual develop 
ment of the passage in Eev. xix. 1 1, sqq. (Bozrah is Al Busairah, 
a little south of the Dead Sea, and is nowhere near Mecca or 


but it recovered under the Sasanians. After that 
it lasted, at one time weak and at another strong, 
until Muhammad was born, in the time of Anu- 
shiravan, the great King of Persia. After that the 
might of Islam arose, broke for ever the Persian 
power, subdued Persia, Mesopotamia, Macedonia, 
Palestine, and " filled the whole land " (verses 

44, 45)- 

C. It is unfortunate for your argument that 
history is against it. The Book of Daniel itself 
explains the meaning of the prophecy. The first 
of the four kingdoms was the Chaldaean or Baby 
lonian under Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. ii. 37, 38), ^as 
you say rightly. Then came the Medo-Persian 
kingdom under Cyrus and his successors (viii. 3, 4, 
20), which was not two but one k tn<j<loni, as the 
last quoted verse (with many others) proves. 
This was overthrown by the Macedonian (viii. 5, 
7, 21) under Alexander, after whose death his 
kingdom was divided into four (viii. 8, 22), and 
thus gradually faded into insignificance, as we 
know from history. To this third kingdom suc 
ceeded the fourth, the Roman Empire, which is 
described in ii. 40. It was in the time of the 
Roman Empire ! , while Rome still ruled nearly the 
whole known world, that Christ was born and set 

1 A Muslim may argue that Muhammad also was born in the 
time of the Roman (i.e. Byzantine) Empire. But we have 
already seen that there are no proofs in support of Muh.miin;ir^ 
claims, and that the Qur an itself gives to Christ higher titles 
than it does to Muhammad. ( 116, sqq.) 


up His kingdom, which was "not of this world" 
(John xviii. 36; Luke i. 31-33; Dan. vii. 13, 14, 
37). He called Himself the Son of Man, in accor 
dance with Dan. vii. 1 3 ; and His is the kingdom 
described as the stone that filled the whole earth 
(ii. 45). You yourself know how widely extended 
that kingdom now is. When Christ returns, every 
knee shall bow to Him (Phil. ii. 9-11). 

217. M\ The words "The Desire of all nations 
shall come" (Hag. ii. 7), are a prophecy of Muham 
mad s advent, for the word " desire " is in Hebrew 
Hemdatfi, from the same root as Muhammad s name. 

C. (Vide 210.) The verb in this passage is 
in the plural, and this shows that Tiemdatli must be 
used in a collective sense, so that the words mean 
that the "choice of all the Gentiles" shall come 
to Jerusalem, doubtless referring to the "election of 
grace " or the Christian church. This common noun 
(hemddh) is of not infrequent occurrence. E. g. in 
Dan. xi. 37 " the desire of women " is by some 
thought to be the title of some false god or 
goddess worshipped by the heathen. 

[218. The Shi ites assert that "Twelve princes 
shall he (Ishmael) beget " (Gen. xvii. 20), is a 
prophecy of the Twelve Imams, who with them 
take the place of the Khalifahs as Muhammad s 
successors. In answer, it is enough to refer to 
Gen. xxv. 13, 16, where there is found an account 
of the accomplishment of the promise. 

1 An objection mentioned by the Rev. Ahmed Shah. 


219. The following is also a Shi ite argument : 
J/. The words in Jer. xlvi. 10, "The Lord GOD 

of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by 
the River Euphrates," are a prophecy of the martyr 
dom of Husain at Karl -alii. They also teach that 
his death was a sacrifice or atonement for sin. 

C. If you read the *r<vW verse of that chapter 
you will see that it explains the passage you quote 
as referring to the great </>fntf <>j P/turno// .Y/r//" .v 
army at CanJieiiiixh on the Euphrates. It can hardly 
be supposed that tin; slavy/tler of these Iu-al/ n* was 
an atonement for sin. Nor can Karbala be said 
to be " in the north country." The word rendered 
sacrifice" also means "slaughter," as is evident 
from the parallel passages (cf. Isa. xxxiv. 6-8 ; Ezek. 
xxxix. 17-21 ; Zeph. i. 7, 8).] 

220. J/. In the New Testament also we find 
numerous prophecies of Muhammad. We find one 
of these quoted in the Quran, where God says 
(Surah LXL, As gaff, 6) : " When Jesus the son of 
Mary said, O children of Israel ! of a truth I am 
God s Apostle to you, to confirm the Law which \\ as 
"iveii before me, and to announce an apostle that 
shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. " 
In St. John s G<>sj -l ixiv. xv, xvi) we find Jesus 
again and again telling His disciples that the 
Paraclete (Ar. c^J^LJl At JiafaMit, Peris. 1 kOijU 
Fdraqlit), would come after Him. Now this word 
has the same meaning as Muhammad or Ahmad. 

1 Tin \N(.nl -(.m, into IVrsinn through theSyriac. 


Nothing can be clearer than that here we have 
a prophecy of his coming. 

C. The word Paraclete [UapaKX^ros] does not 
mean " the Praised," as Muhammad or Ahmad does, 
nor has it any such signification. It has two 
meanings: (i) the Comforter or Sustainer, and (2) 
the Advocate ( J^ WaUl}. The first of these titles is 
clearly inapplicable to Muhammad, and the second 
is denied to him and to all else but God Himself in 
the Qur an (Surahs XVIL, Al Asra or Banu Israil, 
56 ; IV., An Nisa , 83), since it is said that "God is 
sufficient as an Advocate." In the New Testament 
it is applied only (T) to the Holy Spirit, as in 
these chapters of St John s Gospel, and (2) to 
Christ Himself (here by implication, xi v. 1 6 ; also 
i John ii. i). Thus the Qur an (Surah IV., An 
Nisa , 83), by asserting that God is sufficient as an 
Advocate (J-^j), supports the Biblical statement 
of the deity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. 
Muhammad was doubtless told by some one that 
he was described and foretold by Christ under the 
title of the Paraclete: hence the verse you quote 
on the subject. But his informant evidently con 
founded the word HapdK\r]To$ with another word 
rie/H/cAin-os, which latter, if it had been used, might 
have been translated " very renowned " nearly 
the same meaning as "Ahmad." 

221. M. Doubtless the word used by Christ was 
ITepiKAvro ?, and this has been altered. 

C. This latter word, though Greek, does not 


occur at all in the whole of the New YV.v A/ /,///. 
It occurs neither in various readings nor in the 
old versions of John xiv-xvi, made long before 
Muhammad s time. Hence it is absolutely certain 
that Christ did not use it here. The Arabic and 
Persian Bdrakltt and Fdraqttt could not come 
from UfpLK\vr6s. If you read the verses in these 
chapters where Hapa/cA^ro? is used, you will see 
that they do not apply to Muhammad (xiv. 16, 17, 
26, xv. 26, xvi. 7-15) or to any other man. For 

(1) the promised Comforter is a spirit, the Spirit of 
Truth, invisible, who was then dwelling with the 
disciples of Christ, and was to be in their hearts ; 

(2) He was sent // Christ (xv. 26, xvi. 7); (3) His 
work was to convict of sin, the essence of which 
was disbelief in Christ (xvi. 9); (4) His teaching 
was to consist in glorifying Christ, and was not to 
be His own but what Christ gave Him (xvi. 14). 

222. M. Muhammad was given the Qur an by 
the Holy Spirit, the angel Gabriel 1 . The Qur an 
came to confirm the true Gospel, which was so 
called because it bore witness to Muhammad. He 
did glorify Christ (John xvi. 14), because he taught 
that Christ was a great prophet, born of a virgin, 
and that Christ ascended to heaven without being 
crucified, and was not God and did not claim to 
be. Muhammad does dwell in the hearts of all true 
Muslims through their faith in him (John xiv. 17). 

1 ThU is what the Muslims understand by the Holy Spirit 
: cf. Surah XVI., 104. 
O 2 


C. Yes, but you will hardly assert that he dwells 
in the hearts of Christians and abides with them for 
ever (John xiv. 16); yet it was to Christians that 
Christ was speaking. The angel Gabriel is not the 
Holy Spirit. It was a strange way of glorifying 
Christ to teach men that His doctrine was false, and 
that when He claimed to be God s Son He was blas 
pheming. The rest of your argument is assertion, 
and you have not fully answered mine. Besides, 
in Acts i. 4, 5, 8, Christ commanded His disciples, 
before doing the work of evangelizing the world 
which He had enjoined on them (Acts i. 8 ; Matt, 
xxviii. 19, 20) to "tarry in Jerusalem" until the 
Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, came, assuring them 
that He would come " not many days hence " (Acts 
i. 5). Did this mean that these specially chosen 
apostles were to wait nearly 600 years in Jerusalem 
(Luke xxiv. 49) until Muhammad s coming 1 Long 
ages before that they were all dead. Moreover, the 
promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when 
the Holy Ghost descended on them (Acts ii). 

223. M. The early Christians understood that 
Christ foretold the coming of "another prophet, 
hence many of them believed on Manes (Mani) 
when he claimed to be the Paraclete. This proves 
your explanation wrong and ours right. After all, 
the Bible is an Eastern book, and you are from the 
West. We understand it better than you do. 

C. It is to prove your understanding of the Bible 
that you accept the erroneous explanation of Mani 


in this matter, though you acknowledge him to 
have been a false prophet? He did make very 
much the same claim as Muhammad did in this 
respect. But remember that it is you and not 
/ who compare Muhammad to Mani. [The only 
prophets of whose coming Christ informed His 
disciples are those mentioned in Matt. xxiv. 1 1 and 
similar passages.] No real Christians ever thought 
that the Paraclete was a future prophet l . 

224:. N. In John xiv. 30 Muhammad is styled 
" the prince of this world," a well-known title of 
his, and his coming is foretold. 

C. It would offend you were I to tell you who 
is really spoken of by that title, and elsewhere 
called "the god of this world." If you consult 
Luke x. 18; John xii. 31, xvi. n; a Cor. iv. 4; 
Eph. ii. 2 and vi. 1 1, 12, you will discover for your 
self who the awful being is of whom Christ speaks 2 . 

225. M. The " kingdom of heaven " prophesied 
of by John the Baptist (Matt. iii. 2) and by Jesus 
(Matt. iv. 17) was that established by Muhammad 
when he gave the new Law contained in the 
Qur an. So also Matt. xiii. 31, 32. 

C. More assertion, contrary to fact. The Gospels 
show that this was the kingdom which Christ founded, 

1 This is shown by the fact that, when Montanus and Mani 
(Manes) claimed to be the Paraclete, they were accused of 
blasphemy. (Rev. W. Goldsack.) 

a Perhaps the only distinct prophecy of Muhammad and 
of the Arab conquest of many Eastern lands is that contained 
in Rev. ix. i-ia. 


226. M. The "Elias" mentioned in Matt. xvii. 
ii as yet to come was Muhammad. 

C. See Matt. xvii. 12, 13. 

227. M. In Matt. xx. 1-16 the morning" de 
notes the Jewish, the "noon" the Christian, and 
the "evening" the Muhammadan dispensation. 

(?. Perhaps because the light given in Islam is 
so faint as compared with that given by Christ, 
the true Light 1 (John i. 9, viii. 13, &C.) 1 ? [It is only 
too true that the night has followed the evening in 
Muhammadan lands.] 

228. M. In Matt. xxi. 33-45, and especially in 
verses 42, 45, we have a prophecy of Muhammad. 
He is c: the stone which the builders rejected " (that 
is, the Jews and Christians), hence the kingdom of 
God was taken from them and given to another 
nation, the Arabs who believed in Muhammad. 

C. More assertion, contrary to the whole 
context. Christ explains the prophecy as fulfilled 
in Himself. Strange fruits are those produced by 
Islam, and visible in Muslim lands. 

229. M. In this Parable, the "son" (Matt. xxi. 
37) is Christ, while the "Lord of the Vineyard" 
(verse 40) who was to come is Muhammad himself. 

C. Do you then hold that Jesus was the son of 
Muhammad ? Is that not something like the state 
ment in the Qur an, that the Virgin Mary was sister 
of Aaron the brother of the prophet Moses (Surah 

1 The only light that the " Crescent " has is the reflexion of the 
sun s rays. Christ is the "Sun of Righteousness." (Rev Dr. Wherry.) 


XIX., Maryam, 29 ; Surah III., Al Imran, 30 sqq.)? 
The destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans some 
forty years after this parable was uttered showed 
its meaning very clearly. 

230. J/. The Gospel contains the words of Jesus, 
and there we read the prophecy, " There cometh 
one mightier than I after me " (Mark i. 7). This 
refers to Muhammad. 

C. Verse 6 shows that John the baptist spoke 
these words about Christ. Cf. John i. 26, 29, 30. 

231. M. Who l is <; the prophet " mentioned in 
John i. 21 ? It is evidently not the Messiah, nor 
is it Elijah, for John has already denied that he 
is either the one or the other. It is evidently 
a prophet who was to come after the Messiah, i. e. 
the prophet mentioned in Deut. xviii. 18, that is 
to say, Muhammad. 

C. We have already seen ( 202-205) that the 
latter passage cannot refer to Muhammad. From 
Matt. xvi. 14, it is evident that some of the Jews ex 
pected Jeremiah or some other one of the old prophets 
to reappear before the coming of the Messiah, and 
this explains the question. The order of the words 
shows that "the prophet" in John i. 21, was some 
one who was looked for Itfore even Elijah, and still 
more before the Messiah whose forerunner Elijah 
was to be (Mai. iv. 5). The Jews spoke of him as 
" the prophet," because they were not certain which 
of the prophets was to come before Elijah. Some 

1 ComnHiiii -:iti-il by Rev. A. E. Johnston. 


thought that : the prophet " (Dent, xviii. 18) was 
the Messiah (cf. John vi. 14) ; others did not (cf. 
John vii. 40-41), thinking him to be one of the 
Messiah s forerunners. The whole passage (John 
i. 19-28), shows that what the questioners wanted 
to find out was whether John was the Messiah or 
one of his forerunners. There would have been no 
sense in asking whether he was a supposed prophet 
who was to come after the Messiah, since the 
Messiah had not yet manifested Himself as such. 
(Vide Godet on John i. 21.) 

232. M. John iv. 21 is a prophecy that Jeru 
salem would no longer be the Holy City and the 
Qiblah, but that when Muhammad came Mecca 
should take its place. 

C. In verses 23, 24 Christ Himself explains 
verse 2 r . 

[233. M. In i John iv. 2, 3 Muhammad is spoken 
of as the Spirit of God, because he taught that 
Jesus Christ had " come in the flesh," i. e. that He 
was man and not God. 

C. The title " Spirit of God " is neither in the 
Qur an nor in the Traditions given to Muhammad, 
nor do any true Muslims give him such a blas 
phemous title now. These verses are in refutation 
of the Docetic heresy. Your views about Jesus 
are refuted in very plain language in i John v. 5, 
9, 10, n, 12, 13, 20, ii. 22, 23.] 

[234. M. In Jude 14, 15 "the Lord" who was 
to come is Muhammad, the apostle with the sword. 


( . This title belongs to God, and is given to 
Him only in the Qur an, and not to Muhammad 
(cf. Surah IX., At Taubah, 31). This is not a true 
Muhammadan argument.] 

235. J7. In Rev. ii. 26-29 Muhammad is spoken 
of as coming to rule the nations with a rod of iron. 

C. By saying this you imply that Muhammad 
kept CJiritt g wvrkx (i. e. obeyed His commands) unto 
the end, and that therefore he received from Christ 
this power, which Christ had received from His 
Fatter I You who deny Christ s Divine Sonship, 
and deem Muhammad a greater prophet than Jesus, 
cannot really believe that these verses refer to 

We are therefore absolutely unable to find any 
proof whatever, from miracle, prophecy, or anything 
else, that Muhammad was from God 1 . 

1 A learned Maulavi from Swat, now a Christian convert, 
was first brought to doubt Muhammad s claims by reflecting 
upon the durud (darud) or petition in which, at the close of the 
fixed prayers (^ulawdt , a Muslim says, "0 Lord, have mercy 
upon and give peace to Muhammad," &c. The thought arose 
in his mind, "In no other religion is it thought necessary to 
pray for God s mercy on its founder. Why ihen is Muhammad 
prayed for?" He next noticed that in the kalinidli or Muham 
madan creed the title given to Muhammad is merely r*i i! : he is 
not even called a nabi or " prophet," whereas far higher titles 
are given to Christ in the Qur an itself ( 116-122, 129). In 
argument it would be well to put these objections to Muham 
mad s claims either in the form of the tale told h<-re, or as 
questions, asking, e. g., " Why is it necessary for Muslims to pray 
for Muhammad?" This leads the inquirer to form his own 
conclusions. (Dr. H. M. Clark.) 



236. M. In John x. 8 Christ calls all the pre 
ceding prophets " thieves and robbers." How can 
the verse which represents Him as doing so be 
from God, or be anything but an interpolation ? 

C. He does not do so. Again and again He 
speaks of Moses and the other prophets as divinely 
commissioned. The persons to whom He refers in 
this verse are probably the Theudas and the Judas 
of Galilee mentioned in Acts v. 36, 37, who were 
deceivers of the people, falsely claiming to be the 
Messiah 1 . [Another explanation is that Christ 
spoke of the Pharisees, as they " came before " 
Him, claiming to be the " door of the sheep," 
mediators between God and man. But they had 
stolen the " key of knowledge " (Luke xi. 52), and 
had " shut the kingdom of Heaven against men " 
(Matt, xxiii. 13).] 

237. M. The present Gospels contain no direc- 

1 The Bishop of Lahore refers to Bishop Westcott s note, 
which makes Christ s words condemn every one who came 
before Christ with the claim to be u epx<->pevos. This was not the 
case with any of the true prophets. 


tions (as the Law and the Qur an do) regarding 
fasting, almsgiving, the times and modes of wor 
ship, the correct way to slaughter animals, &c. 
This shows that they have been tampered with by 
interested persons. 

C. The objection shows a failure to understand 
the spirit of the Gospels and the " perfect law of 
liberty" which Christ gave. He did give what 
directions He deemed needful about almsgiving, 
fasting, prayer, &c. (John iv. 24 ; Matt. vi. 1-23, 

238. I/. Christians themselves admit that the 
Bible did not " descend " word for word and letter 
for letter as did the Qur an, which is a transcript of 
the Mother of the Book " preserved in Heaven 
(Surah XLIIL, Az Zukhruf, 3). It is therefore 
worthless as compared with the Qur an. 

C. We know the origin of the Qur an, that 
it was composed by Muhammad 1 [whose prophetic 
claims are devoid of proof]. We know the sources 
from which he drew his teaching, and know that 
they are unreliable 2 . No book has come down from 
Heaven in the way you imagine, yet we have proof 
of the inspiration of the Bible in the fulfilment 

1 Care must be taken not to hurt a Muslim s feelings \vh.-n 
.-.;iyin^ this, for he fancies that tin- (Jur an is of Divine author 

3 Vide the Yandbi ul Islam, and also my Original Sources of 
the Qur an. It may be well to point out the Redaction which 
the Qur an underwent under the Khalifah Uthman. (Vidu 
Mishkatu l Masai. ih. H .. 185, 186.) 


of the prophecies it contains, and in many other 
ways. (See 79.) 

239. M. Christ ascended to Heaven through fear 
of His persecutors. 

C. Indeed ! Does it not seem to you remarkable 
that He could ascend to Heaven if He were unable 
to protect Himself, had He wished to do so ? Your 
assertion is contrary not only to the Bible (Acts ii. 
33, v. 31 ; Phil. ii. 9-11) but also to the Qur an, 
which says that God took Him up unto Himself 
(Surah IV., An Nisa , 156), and is unworthy of a 
true Muslim. 

240. M. Why is it said that God "rested the 
seventh day " (Exod. xx. n)1 

C. His work of creation was finished. The 
words mean that after the creation of man, God 
has brought no other creature of any new kind 
into existence on the earth. Human language 
must be used to convey thoughts to human beings. 
(See 39.) 

241. M. By destroying the herd of swine, Christ 
maintained the unclean nature of the animal (Matt, 
viii. 30-32). 

C. But the Gospel says it was the devils who 
destroyed them. 

242. M. You Christians eat pork ! 

C. Not much in hot countries, since it is un 
healthy to do so, and this was doubtless one reason 
why the flesh of the pig was forbidden to the Jews. 
It is not forbidden to *, for Christ says (Matt. xv. 


ii ; Mark vii. 15-19) that all meats are clean 
(vide Revised Version and best reading). 

243. M. How could Christ commend the unjust 
steward, as the Gospel says He did (Luke xvi. 8) ? 

C. The Gospel does not say He did. It repre 
sents Him as saying that the master of the house did 
so, probably by saying, " What a clever trick that 
rogue has devised ! " 

244. M. But in Luke xvi. 9 we are told that 
Christ said to His disciples, " Make to yourselves 
friends of the mammon of unrighteousness." Surely 
Christ never said that l . 

C. He did, but not in the sense in which you 
understand the words. What they mean is, " Make 
good use of your money and other property : do 
good with it, and people whom you have helped 
here will welcome you in Paradise. Your money 
is not yours : it is God s, and you are His stewards. 
Without dishonesty you may imitate the steward 
in the parable, and by doing good with it get a 
reward hereafter." 

245. 37. "God is not mocked" (Gal. vi. 7), but 
Jesus was (Luke xxii. 63). Therefore Jesus is not God. 

C. The verbs used in these two verses are quite 
different and have different meanings, as a reference 
to any version other than the English would show 
you. The context also shows the difference of 
sense. It is well for us all to remember that " God 
is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that 

1 Mentioned by Rev. A. R. Blackett. 


shall he also reap." Men may, in one sense, mock 
God here, that is, they may scoff and blaspheme : 
but finally their folly will be manifested (Ps. ii. 4)*. 

246. M. In Matt. i. 1 1 , we are told that Josiah 
was the father of Jeconiah. Now in i Chron. iii. 
15-17 it is stated that Jeconiah s father was not 
Josiah but Jehoiakim. This is a contradiction. 

C. Some MSS. read in Matt. LIT, " Josias begat 
Joakim, and Joakim begat Jechonias," &c., in 
accordance with i Chron. But this has not been 
admitted into the text, because we are not quite 
sure that the additional words stood in the original 
MS. In any case the supposition of a contra 
diction arises from ignorance of the fact that it was 
the habit of the Jews to contract genealogies by 
passing over certain intermediate generations when 
considered advisable. There can be no reason 
assigned to account for any one deliberately corrupt 
ing the text, nor is a contradiction conceivable 
when i Chron. was readily accessible. 

247. M. How can you bring an accusation of 
cruelty against Muhammad for his treatment of 
the Jews, when the Emperor Heraclius acted so 
ruthlessly towards them when he recaptured Jeru 
salem from the Persians, and that too with the 
approval of the leading Christian teachers of the 

C. As one of our Church historians well says, 
such conduct on Heraclius s part "resulted 2 from 

1 Rev. Dr. Hooper. 2 Mosheim, Cent. VII. Pt. I, cap. I. 


the barbarism of the age and from ignorance of the 
true principles of Christianity." We condemn it 
very severely. But Heraclius did not claim to be 
a prophet, as Muhammad did. The SunnaJi records 
Muhammad s deeds for the most part as examples 
to be followed, as far as circumstances permit, by 
all true Muslims: hence evil conduct on his part 
produces like deeds on that of his disciples. This 
renders him doubly guilty. 

248. M. How can the Gospels be inspired when 
they do not always agree in actual details ? For 
example, Matthew (xxvii. 51) says that the veil of 
the Temple was rent at the Crucifixion, while John 
does not mention the fact. 

C. How does your objection apply to the various 
Surahs of the Qur an? For example, portions of 
the story of Abraham are told in many different 
Surahs, but many incidents mentioned in one 
Surah are omitted in another when dealing with 
the same narrative. But you must see that it 
would be absurd to found an objection upon this 
fact. The answer to what you urge is really this, 
that our doctrine of Inspiration does not coincide 
with yours (vide 79). According to our view, 
there was no need whatever that the Gospels should 
each relate every single detail of an occurrence. 
If they did, there would be much useless repetition. 
Moreover, we should thus lose the important 
evidence in support of the truth of the fact* upon 
which our faith is based which we now have in 


the independent testimony of several different 
witnesses. The circumstance that they agree in 
the main though sometimes differing in details is 
a proof that there was no collusion between them 
(vide 47). 

249. M. How can Jesus be " the Prince of Peace " 
(Isa. ix. 6) when He acted as mentioned in Matt, 
xxi. 12 (Mark xi. 15 : John ii. 15), and spoke as in 
Luke xii. 51 (Matt. x. 34) and Luke xxii. 36? 

C. He is the Prince of Peace because He reconciles 
men to God and gives spiritual peace to His people 
(John xiv. 27 : Phil. iv. 7 : Col. iii. 15). He was 
supporting God s law in putting an end to the 
desecration of the Temple (Matt. xxi. 13 : cf. Isa. 
Ivi. 7). He warned His disciples that they would 
be persecuted by their enemies, but even then 
assured them of the spiritual peace which He would 
give them (John xvi. 33). That He did not wish 
them to take up the sword in their own defence is 
clear from Matt. xxvi. 52 (cf. Luke ix. 54-6). 

250. M. If Jesus had been divine, He would 
have known that but few would believe in Him, 
and then He would not have died for so few. 

C. He did know, for He said, " Many are called, 
but few chosen" (Matt. xx. 16; xxii. 14: cf. vii. 
14). Moreover, your argument answers itself, if 
we apply it in another way. God must have 
known when He created the world that many 
would be idolaters. Do you therefore deny creation, 
or God s omniscience ? 


251. J/. Idolatry is practised in the Greek, 
Roman, Armenian, Syrian, and other Churches, and 
even in some parts of the Church of England. 
How can we Muslims be expected to become 
Christians when Christians are idolaters ? We 
deem the association (d^) of partners with God to 
be the unpardonable sin (Surah IV., An Nisa , 51, 
1 1 6). 

[The subjoined answer is suggested in addition 
to any further answer which might be given by 
individual Missionaries by way of a challenge to 
the facts alleged by the Muhammadans 1 .] 

C. Even if what you say is quite true, yet this 
sin is condemned in both the Old and the New 
Testament (e.g. Rev. xxi. 8; xxii. 15) in very 
terrible language. Many Muslims in Bengal and 
elsewhere worship 2 certain Hindi! deities, and in 
other places the honour paid to saints is just what 
the Qur an condemned in Muhammad s day among 
the heathen Arabs, who, along with God Most 
High, worshipped certain inferior deities. But 
neither Islam nor Christianity is responsible for 
this heathenism, which is equally opposed to tin MM 

1 This sentence is inserted by desire of the C.M.S. Secrt tari. -, 
at the request of the S.P.C.K. Committee. The introductory 
word-, oHlm following answer have al.-o ln-ni modified for tin- 


2 " In the Hazara district I have seen a grave called Klmi, 
Qabr, and have been told tb;it it K a^ it-, nanir su^csts, tin- 
grave of an ass, and that it is In Id in \.TV -n at ruvorence by 
Musalmans." Kov. T. Grahamo Bailey.) 



both. It would not be fair to say that when you 
invite us to become Muslims you wish to make us 
idolaters. Neither is it fair of you to bring the 
same accusation against us. In whatever else 
they differ, Islam and true Christianity are agreed 
in opposition to idolatry. 




Abd fsd (vide Koelle, Rev. Dr.). 

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Arnold, J. M., Ishmael. London, Rivington, 1859. 

105. 6d. 
Arnold, Dr. M., The Natural History of Isldm. 

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Muhammad, /ht</<l/r, and Christ. 

Barthelemy de St-Hilaire, Mahomet et le Coran. 

Beacon of Truth. Translated from the Arabic by Sir 

W. Muir. London, K. T. S. 28. 6d. 

Bosworth-Smith, Mohammed and MoJiammedanism. Lon 
don, Smith & Elder, 1889. 7*. 6d. 

Daumer, Mohammed und sein Werk. Hamburg, 1848. 

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P 2 


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Isldm and Christianity. American Tract Society. 
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C. M. S. 


Kulle, Rev. Dr., Tlie Death of Christ upon the Cross 
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Kashful Qurdn (Urdu version of Rev. Canon Sell s 

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Dawatul Muslimin (Urdu, Arabic, and Persian versions 

of Sir W. Muir s Muslims invited to read the Bible). 
Misbdhu l Hudd\ Arabic, Cairo : anonymous (trans 
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Mizdnu l ffaqq, Rev. Dr. Pfander (Persian, Urdu, Arabic, 

Turkish, Bengali, English. Needs revision). 
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Urdu and Arabic versions, English epitome by Sir W. 


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Infallible Proofs. 
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Christ ? by Vaughan. 

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Version of the Qurdn into Urdu ,, 





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Mizdnu l Mawdzin, Persian. (An answer to the Mizdnu l 

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(a) Acknowledged by the Sunnis. 

1. The Muwattd of Malik ibn Ans. 

2. The Sahih (Al Jdmius Sahih) of Bukhari. 

3. The Sahih of Muslim. 

4. The Sunan of Abu Baud Sulaiman. 

5. The Jdmi of Tirmidhi. 

6. The Kitdbus Sunan of Muhammad ibn Yazid ibn 
Majahi l Qazwinl. 

(The most important are collected in the MisTikAtul 

(b) Acknowledged by the Shi ties. 

1. The Kdfi of Abu Ja far Muhammad. 

2. The Man la yastahzirahul Faqih of Shaikh Ali. 

3. The Talidhib of Shaikh Abu Ja far Muhammad. 

4. The Istibsdr of 

5. The Nahjul Baldghah of Sayyid Razi. 




Baizdwi (ed. Fleischer, Leipzig, 2 vols., also Cairo 

Bukhdrl (Imdtn Muhammad Ismd U). 

Rdzi (Imdm FakTiru ddin). 

Jaldlain ( = the two Jaldls). 

Abbdsi. (This and the preceding Commentary are often 
printed in the margin of Qur ans published in India.) 

ZamaJcshari. (His Commentary is entitled KasJislidfu l 
Haqdiqi t Tanzil: ed. by Lees with Qur an, 2 vols., 
royal 4to, Calcutta, 1856-61. It is held to belong to 
the Ttizdl school and therefore to be unorthodox.) 

Muhiyyu ddtn. (Gives the mystical explanation of the 
Qur jin.) 

Xisdl] Yahya ; Jaldluddin. 

Shdh Wallulldh (Urdu commentator). 



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PALEY S HOR^E PAULINA; or, The Truth of the 
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to Estimate the Cumulative Evidence of many 
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