Sir, can you view this article: http://mquran.org/content/view/9181/16/ This comes from an anonymous Muslim apologist website written in 2006. He said that the New Testament is unreliable and the 99,5% number that Christian apologists used in their argument are not valid. He claimed that apologists just cite other apologists and only 50% of the gospel are reliable. He also said that the United Bible Society placed the reliability number as 80%. Also, he cited many sources there. I’m not an expert about this. So, my question is, is there some truth in his article? Or it’s just a “red herring”?
Ironically when I check the rest of his website and what evidences he has about the Quran, I didn’t get compelling evidences besides common claims that Muslim used for their holy book. He cited many secular scholars that try to disprove the Bible. This brought a question to me, which is why he agreed with sources from atheist scholars? I mean their Quran cited and placed the Gospel in high standard. Their claim of scriptural corruption was weird because, before eleventh century, all ancient Muslim theologians claimed Christian misinterpret their Bible. In other words, they agree that the New Testament was preserved nicely right?
To tell you the truth, this article is one of the most honest and informative articles I have seen written by a Muslim apologist. I give this person credit for doing a lot of work and relatively honest work to summarize the information. His data is really good. You mention that he uses atheist sources, which is true in some cases, but if an atheist summarizes correct data, there is no problem with this.
However, there is a really big problem with this article. The problem is in his interpretation. It is so biased as to be misleading at best or deceitful at worst. For example, it is true that the weight of the manuscript evidence is more important than the number of manuscripts. True. But we have a very large number of truly ancient manuscripts of very high quality. And he cannot refute the evidence from the church father quotes, which, as I note in another article at my web site, is truly spectacular evidence in support of the reliability of the Bible. He claims nearly 50% unreliability, but what he fails to notice that virtually all of his supposed textual variants involve truly insignificant variations such as misspellings or word-order switches and other copying areas which do literally nothing to undermine the reliability of the Bible. The number 40 lines in some remaining doubt out of 20,000 is a reasonable measure of reliability, which amounts to 99.8% reliability, and that is using the data that he quotes in the article!!! Like I said, it is either highly misleading or, honestly, more like deceitful to quote anything like 50% or 80% reliability. This is simply not true. Not true at all, and this person has to be aware of the weakness of this conclusion.
It is also interesting to note that Muslims are utterly unwilling to discuss the reliability of the Qur’an. They will not even enter a discussion about their own scripture and the problems with its text, raised by the wholesale destruction of manuscripts by Uthman and the existence, nevertheless, of the Sanaa manuscript, which show that the reliability of the Qur’an is, very roughly, on the same order as the reliability of the New Testament. The oldest existing manuscripts of the Qur’an are about as far removed from the original of the Qur’an as the New Testament. Until recently, the oldest manuscript of the Qur’an was from about 165 years after the original, whereas, for the New Testament it is fifty years after the original. More recent discoveries, including of the San’aa Manuscript are closer to 50 years from the original, making the manuscript evidence for the two to be relatively similar. Will Muslims even enter this discussion? The answer is a hard no. Christians have entire journals devoted to attempts to reconstruct the most reliable Greek New Testament, but Muslims do not even allow the discussion, never mind devote tens of thousands of hours to studying the Qur’an text. The hypocrisy of this is rather blatant. Why do Muslims attack the Bible, but refuse to defend the Qur’an? Why do they consistently misuse the information to create a false impression of the Bible? What is the motivation for this deceitful activity?