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The Qur'an's Challenge to the Bible

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Passages from the Qur'an said to be revealed in the earliest days of Islam suggest that Muhammad (570-632) viewed his religion as a reassertion of the monotheism of Christianity. As contacts between Christians and the nascent Muslim sect in Mecca increased, he even reportedly dissuaded his followers from debating with Christians. Instead the Muslims were instructed to approach them by saying, "We believe in what has been sent down to us, and what has been sent down to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we have surrendered" (29:46). Nearly 1,400 years later, in an age of religious syncretism, it seems that many Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly in the West, would agree. However, even a brief assessment of the Qur'an makes it evidently clear that Christianity and Islam share very little in common. Indeed, the Qur'an directly challenges the theology and authority of the Bible.

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1 [ Back ] Passages from the Qur'an are taken from the translations of Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an, 11th ed. (Amana Publications, 2004) and A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (Touchstone, 1996).

Adam S. Francisco is assistant professor of history at Concordia College (Bronxville, New York).

Issue: "Gods Unto Ourselves" March/April 2007 Vol. 16 No. 2 Page number(s): 22-23

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