I’m not being able to protect my faith because of Muslims and they are telling that the Bible I hold in my hand is corrupted and the original manuscripts are lost. They showed me the video of a debate of Micheal licona a Christian apologist and Shabir Ally who is a Muslim apologist.  They told that Shabir Ally had a logical claim because of various reasons that Jesus was not crucified but it appeared as if he was crucified but it was either Simon or Judas who took his place.  This argument was not made by Muhammad, according to Ally.  It started coming from 2nd century after Jesus and accepted by scholars at that time.  Then Muhammad revealed the idea  in the 6th century.  In that video Shabir Ally attacks the Bible by saying that if God is loving how can he allow his own son to suffer such a horrible torture and if that happens with his own son how are we loved by God today?


Muslims, of course, say that the Bible is corrupted.  The reason they do this is that the Qur’an itself tells Muslims that Christians are people of the book and that the original Christian scripture, the Injil, is from God.  But then the Qur’an also teaches that certain fundamental facts of Christianity are not true. For example, the Qur’an teaches that Jesus was not crucified, and that he is not God.  Well, this is a massive problem or Muslims, to say the least.  They cannot have it both ways.  Either the New and Old Testaments are true, or the Qur’an is true, but they cannot both  be true.  That is for sure!!!!  So, what do they do with this horrible conundrum?  They say that the Bible is corrupted.  In other words, they claim that, although the Bible and the Qur’an are obviously grossly inconsistent and completely incapable of being believed at the same time, and although the Qur’an itself says that the Bible is true, the problem is solved by saying the Bible was grossly changed from the original.  This is an absolutely essential claim of Muslims.

But they have a really big problem. The evidence simply does not support their position. This is a fact.  Let me say it again.  This is a fact.  The claim that the New Testament was grossly corrupted and changed by the church is simply NOT TRUE.  The evidence is that this is a lie.  We have thousands of manuscripts, including dozens from the second and third century and entire new Testaments from the fourth century.  We have literally thousands of quotes from the New Testament by early church teachers such as Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Polycarp, Ignatius, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, all of them in the second and very early third century who quote the New Testament often and extensively.  Even if, let us say, as Muslims do, Constantine or someone else wanted to corrupt the Bible they simply could not have done so, because there were thousands of New Testaments all over the Christian world, and there were tens and hundreds of thousands of Christians who would not have let them corrupt the scripture.  Even if they tried to, we have manuscripts and quotes from the second and third century, making the effort literally impossible.

I know Shabir Ally personally.  He is a nice person. I actually like him.  But on this question he is just plain wrong, and he knows it!!!  The claim is that the New Testament is wrong on the crucifixion itself!!  I am sorry, but the church could not have gotten this wrong. Mary knew who her son was, and she was at the scene of the cross, as was John and a number of other very close friends. The idea that Jesus was not crucified is ridiculous.  Ally is spouting nonsense here.  He should not be listened to on this, as his religious commitment requires him to reach a conclusion which is just plain wrong.  It is downright embarrassing that Muslims make this claim!  The idea that the Bible was changed to make it appear that Jesus claimed to be God is similarly ludicrous.  Shabir Ally can say what he likes, but what matters is what the evidence says, and the evidence is that the New Testament was not grossly corrupted.  Was there a very slight change in one verse here and there due to copying? Yess, but that is not what we are talking about.  Muslims use the evidence for very slight copying errors to claim something which is simply not possible–that the crucifixion accounts are all corrupted–that they were created much later by over-zealous Christians.

Ally says that the idea that Jesus was not in fact crucified comes, not from the Qur’an but from second century sources. OK. So, what are these sources and what is their evidence and reasoning?  Just saying this does not make it any more believable. There are people today who believe that the US never went to the moon.  The fact that people say or believe this is not evidence that it is true.  This is mere rhetoric on the part of Shabir Ally.  Again, if he wants to claim that Jesus was not crucified, telling us that someone believed this is not an argument.  We need to look at the evidence.  That is all that matters.  It is true that some gnostics said this as early as the second century, but why did they say this? Did they say this because the evidence points to this or because they held to a philosophy which does not let them believe in the crucifixion.  Do your own research and you will find out what the case is.  All that matters is the evidence and when Shabir Ally throws dust in the air by mentioning this irrelevant fact that someone in the second century said this, it shows the desperation of his position, not that Jesus was not crucified.  Again, the Roman soldiers, Jesus close friends and even his own mother would know who was crucified by the Romans.  This position does not hold up to even the slightest scrutiny.

Ally attacks the Bible by asking how a loving God could allow his Son to be killed.  The answer is that this is the most loving act in history. Why did God allow his Son to be killed on the cross?  Because he loves us so much.  The cross is the loving act, both of the Father and of the Son.  Ally appears not to understand the Bible on this subject. Jesus died on the cross because he loves us and he gave his life for us. Did God want his Son to suffer?  Of course not, but it was the means of salvation for all of us.  I am sure that Ally understand this, yet he creates this bogus argument anyway.  This is interesting to me.  Is the death of Jesus on the cross as a loving act to take away our sins a logical thing?   No it is not, but then love is not logical.  Ally can argue that it is not “logical” but that is not the question. The question is whether Jesus in fact was killed on a cross (He certainly was) and whether this was an act of love (it certainly was).  Therefore his argument is simply false. End of story.  Muslims like to present the prophets as nearly perfect and as having had fantastically blessed lives.  The problem with this is that this picture is not accurate.  Moses had some real problems, as did Noah and Abraham and David.  To Muhammad it is not appropriate for a prophet to be killed in a shameful way.  OK.  This does not change the facts of how Jesus died, and wishful thinking or bogus arguments do not change the facts of history which are not comfortable for Muslims.  Jesus died because God loved us and because Jesus loved us.  This is the story, both of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53) and the New Testament.

John Oakes

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