The efforts of a practicing Christian and a practicing Muslim to produce an edition of the Qur’an footnoted or cross-referenced to texts in the Holy Bible is both nonsensical and, probably from an orthodox Islamic viewpoint, blasphemous. Their idea is not to merge the two religions, but to show the commonalities. What is irksome about it is the subtle but still obvious Muslim assertion that their scriptures are a notch above the Bible, showing, for example, how much more they believe in Jesus than we do, by producing a much more miraculous Jesus in the Qur’an than is presented in the Gospels.
Much more miraculous? Right, by trying to get us to prick up our ears at the stupid stories their prophet borrowed from pseudepigrapha—false writings—that the Christian community of those days rejected as spurious.
For example, Jesus calls on God to send down from heaven a table laden with food for the disciples, and He does.
As an infant in the cradle Jesus speaks out to protect his mother from those accusing her of having a baby without a father.
When He was five, Jesus was playing in the soft clay near a brook and formed twelve sparrows out of clay which all came to life and flew away when he clapped his hands.
Jesus was given the miraculous ability to know what people had just eaten (oh my gosh!), as well as what they had in store for them in the coming days.
To be fair, the Qur’an also states that Jesus healed lepers and blind people and raised the dead. But the greatest miracle of Jesus, His rising from the dead on the third day, they cannot believe in. Why not? Because their holy book says He was not crucified.
The Jesus of Islam is a prophet, not the Son of God as He says He is in the Gospels, but He was born of a virgin under a palm tree in the desert, taught the people Islam which they rejected, and rather than suffer death on the Cross for our salvation, after His teaching and healing ministry, He was taken up into heaven, He ascended, from whence at the end of the world He will return to judge mankind.
I cannot say to a Muslim, this is all nonsense, because they have been taught it as the truth. They can only be liberated from their otherwise invincible ignorance by reading the Gospels for themselves. But to a Christian I do not shrink from saying, not only is this nonsense, but the whole Qur’an is a satanic forgery, possibly the bible of the antichrist, and I have the Bible to back me up. ‘Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son’ (1 John 2:22).
In the encounter between ‘Abrahamic’ faiths, one must be the liar, the other truthful.
We have already seen the encounter of Judaism and Christianity. As much as they have in common, and it is a lot, one is being truthful about the resurrection and messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth, and one is lying.
In the encounter of Christianity and Islam, not so much is in common, except for what was borrowed from the Bible by the author of the Qur’an. Far greater are the differences, and again, about Jesus of Nazareth the same controversy continues, who or what is Jesus. Christianity says He is Christ and God, and that the Oneness of the Divine Nature is not compromised by the Persons in the Trinity. Islam will have none of this, but also throws out the historical reality of the life and passion of Jesus, replacing it with childish legends.
Judaism will continue till the personal return of Christ, because Israel’s rejection of their Messiah is the very proof of His messiahship. If Israel accepted Him now, they would be suspect witnesses, like the man who is says his son is a musical genius, but of course, it is his son, after all, so how can we be sure? But if the man said his son was worthless and no musician at all and the boy was praised and appreciated by others, their estimation that he was a musical genius would be more believable than if his own father had said it. So the Jews rejected Jesus, but the gentiles discovered Him and realized that they had indeed found the messiah, someone not of their own flesh and blood.
Islam, on the other hand, will not continue till the personal return of Christ, but will instead utterly perish, and the time of its destruction is very soon, maybe even in the present century. If anything remains of it after it has been disarmed, it will be like one of many other false religious cults that gather around religious narcissists and only survive if they can focus on just one aspect of righteous living.
Mormonism is a great example of this, a false religion with a false scripture and a false prophet, all still existing after almost two hundred years of rebuttals from the outside, all because they have discovered, not the key to eternal life, but the centrality of the family unit. By magically making it eternal by secret ceremonies in their temples, and by following a very rigid and sanitized version of the patriarchal family, they have survived.
I have even known a man who, when I confronted him with the evidence of Mormon beginnings, said he knew all this, but it didn’t matter to him, because their system worked. For me, to know and follow the truth is absolutely above having a ‘perfect’ family life, because knowing and following the truth will result in something far better and more permanent that includes what God has in store for my family.
All I have written about Islam here and elsewhere notwithstanding, the Muslim believer is still for me a brother or sister for whom Christ died, whom Christ loves, whom He commands me to love, and for whom He may someday ask me to give my life: everything is in His hands.
False religions, no matter how noble they may appear, must in the end collapse or change into something else, something less lethal. Why is this? Because in the end the Truth always wins, even if it must win by being nailed to a cross.