This is part two of the Christian-Muslim debate. This encounter contains many important topics, such as the preservation of Scripture and the deity of the Messiah. (For part one of this dialogue, click here.)
We first learn of brother David’s awesome testimony and how God showed Him the truth of Scripture through the Old Testament prophecies. (For a list of these prophecies, click here.) The claim that Jesus Christ is the only way to receive salvation has been validated through God’s error-free predictions of the future. Even Jesus Himself predicted His own death and Resurrection in Matthew 20:17-19 and John 2:19-22!
Now, in regards to these prophecies, Muslims have a dilemma. The Koran affirms the validity of the Torah (Surah 2:87), Psalms (Surah 4:163), and the Gospel (Surah 3:3,5:46).
Furthermore, the Muslim scholar and historian Al-Imam ibn Kathir regarded Isaiah as a prophet from God (see his work “Stories of the Prophets”). Therefore, since the Bible has been confirmed by the Koran as valid, but biblical teaching contradicts Islamic doctrine, Muslims have no choice but to: a) say the Bible has been corrupted, or b) interpret Scripture to match up with the Koran.
The refutation of these claims is quite simple. First of all, it is important to always look at the context of the verse(s) in question. For example, Jesus claimed to be God in the context of the Old Testament and Jewish thought when He declared to be the “I Am.” If we look at the Old Testament, which is the backdrop for the New, then we see God told Moses He was the “I Am” (Exodus 3:14). So, when Jesus claimed to be the “I Am,” the Jews understood this as a claim to deity and thus tried to kill Him for what they thought was blasphemy (John 8:58-59).
Second, the Bible has simply not been corrupted and the New Testament we possess today is essentially the same as the originals. In fact, skeptic Bart Ehrman, who Muslims will use to attack the Bible, made this startling confession in his book, “Misquoting Jesus.”
“The position I argue for in Misquoting Jesus does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.
Thus, Christians should be reassured the Bible has not been tampered with as Muslims often claim. Also, we must remember to always look at the historical, linguistic, and immediate context of the verses in question.
Another vital topic Christians need to explain to Muslims is the deity and worship of the Messiah. When we look at both the Old and New Testament, we see the Messiah being worshiped. Take Psalm 22:27-29 for example,
All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
For the kingdom is the Lord’s
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
“The families of the nations” will worship the One who’s hands and feet were pierced (Ps. 22:16). Furthermore, the “prosperous” and those “who go down to the dust” will worship the Messiah.
This matches up with the New Testament, where we see Jesus the Messiah receiving worship due only to God. Examples include Matthew 14:33, 28:9, and John 9:38. In fact, in similar fashion to Psalm 22:27-29, Philippians 2:10-11 says that every knee will bow to Jesus and confess Him as Lord.
Hopefully this helps you explain to Muslims the true nature of the Messiah. Also, showing them the O.T. prophecies is a powerful way to prove God has spoken through the Bible.
Turek, Frank. “Is the New Testament Reliable? Even Bart Ehrman Says Yes” Accessed at http://crossexamined.org/is-the-new-testament-reliable-erhman-refutes-ehrman/ on 6-1-17
NASB version used in this article