Did Paul or other Bible writers corrupt the Injil?

This is a great question. The danger for all of us is that we can either ask it with a superficial answer already in our minds. “Of course Paul or one of the others corrupted it”, we can quickly answer without thinking too much about it, mostly because this is simply what we have heard. Or, we can think, “Of course not! What a silly idea”, again without really knowing why but mostly because we have been taught that way. This is the danger for all people who ask questions of sacred Books.  We either dismiss it out-of-hand (because how we have been taught to think it not sacred) or we dismiss the question out-of-hand (again because of how we have been taught differently).

New Testament Writes other than Paul

With these considerations in mind I want to share my thinking and reasons on this question. Let us start with the writers aside from Paul. These writers were the disciples of Isa (PBUH) – his companions. They were the ones who followed him, listened to him, discussed with him, about the things that he did and said, both privately and in public. Some of them, such as John, Matthew and Peter were part of the inner circle of Isa’s 12 closest followers. They wrote eight of the books in the New Testament. Others, such as Mark, were among his wider circle of followers. The remaining authors (outside of Paul) were his brothers James and Jude. They grew up with Isa (PBUH) and James became the leader of the disciples in Jerusalem after the passing of Isa (PBUH) from this world. James, in fact, is mentioned in the Jewish historical writings of the 1st century AD. In that century there was a great Jewish military historian, Josephus, who wrote several books of history to the Roman Emperors of his day. In one of his books, writing of events in Jerusalem in the year 62 AD (32 years after the passing of Isa) he writes of how James, Isa’s brother, was martyred by his fellow Jews. Here is how he puts it:

“Ananus [the high priest] was rash and followed the Sadducees, who are heartless when they sit in judgment. Ananus thought that with Festus dead and Albinus still on the way, he would have the opportunity. Convening the judges of the Sanhedrin [the Jewish ruling council] he brought before them a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others. He accused them of having transgressed the law, and condemned them to be stoned to death” Josephus. 93 AD. Antiquities xx 197

Josephus is explaining that in 62 AD Ananus had just been made high priest in Jerusalem and there was a political confusion. Ananus used the opportunity to condemn James to death. His father (also called Ananus) had sentenced Isa (PBUH) to death about 30 years before and Ananus the son quickly took the opportunity to do the same with James. Thus James was a target for his years of leadership in Jerusalem with the followers of Isa al Masih (PBUH) his brother in Jerusalem.

What does the Qur’an say about these disciples of Isa (PBUH)?

So it is these men who wrote the books in the New Testament other than Paul’s books. To judge whether they corrupted the Injil we can first turn to the perspective given in the Qur’an. When I do that I find the following ayat:

When Jesus found Unbelief on their part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work of) God?” Said the disciples: “We are God’s helpers: We believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! we believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Apostle; then write us down among those who bear witness.” (Surat 3:52-53 – Al-Imran)

And behold I inspired the Disciples to have faith in me and mine messenger (Isa): they said, “We have faith, and you bear witness that we bow to Allah as Muslims (Surat 5:111 – Table Spread)

These ayat tell us quite plainly that the disciples of Isa (Jesus – PBUH) were a) Isa’s helpers, b) Allah’s helpers, c) and inspired by Allah to have faith in Isa. These disciples spoken of here in the Qur’an include none other than Matthew, Peter and John who wrote eight of the books in the New Testament, two of which are gospel books (Gospels of Matthew and John).  And Mark, the disciple in the wider circle, wrote a third gospel. It would seem that if one believes in the Qur’an that one would also then have to accept the writings of these disciples. These writers certainly could not have corrupted the Injil.  When we study the written gospels we are reading the writings of the disciples which are confirmed by the Qur’an.  Paul did not write any Gospel account, rather he wrote sacred letters.

Now where I live in Canada few people readily believe that there are any books by Allah. Just because something is written in Qur’an or Bible (al kitab) does not mean that they would accept it. In fact they prefer secular historical sources because, in their eyes, they are less biased. But even from that point-of-view we have seen, from the writings of the historian Josephus quoted above, that there is a solid basis to accept the writings of James, and by extension, his other brother Jude.

So we find, whether from secular sources or from the Qur’an, logical reasons to accept the books of the New Testament that are not Paul’s.

The Witness of Isa (PBUH): the Taurat and Zabur are the first standards

But what about Isa himself? What did he give as the testimony we should accept?  Notice where he appeals for a correct and uncorrupted witness to himself and his message.

Here we see that Isa PBUH (who is speaking) is using the Taurat (Book of Moses) to correct error among the experts in Jewish Law (Sharia)

“Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” Mark 12:26-27

And here we see that Isa (PBUH) starts with Taurat and then continues with Zabur (‘Prophets and Psalms’) to teach about his role as the Masih.

He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!  Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)…

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45)

And here we see that Isa again starts with Taurat (Moses’ writings) as the basis to judge the role of the Masih.

If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.  But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5: 46-47)

So we can see that Isa (PBUH) himself first appeals to Moses (which is the Taurat), then the Prophets and Psalms (which is the Zabur) to explain the role and purpose of the Masih. This is the reason I decided, both in my search, and now in this website, to start with the Taurat. If you look at the articles on the Signs of Adam, Cain&Abel, Noah, Lut, Ibrahim 1, 2, and 3 etc. you will see that the passages that support these articles all come from Taurat (and the Qur’an).

We are on safe ground if we start with the Taurat – Isa (PBUH) himself told us to. Here we are learning Signs that will help to unlock the mystery of the Injil. Then we will take what we have learned and compare it with the writings of the brothers and disciples of Isa – again staying on safe ground.

Considering Paul

And what about Paul’s writings? What are we to make of them? Once we have studied the Taurat and Zabur and learned the Signs that Allah has definitely sent us, and then when we have studied the books of the disciples and brothers of Isa (PBUH) we knowledgeable  enough so that if we turn to Paul we will notice if what he writes is different from what we have already studied. Without this background knowledge of the ‘safe books’ to inform us, it is impossible for us to really know if what Paul wrote is corrupted or not. But to keep our search on safe ground we will not start with Paul because his credentials are not unquestionable.

When I lived in Algeria I was surrounded by Arabic speakers and heard Arabic all the time. But because I did not know any Arabic I was not capable of deciding if what I heard was ‘correct’ Arabic or ‘corrupted’ Arabic. The limitation to make this judgment was in me – not the speakers around me.  I did not have enough knowledge to be a good judge. A few years ago I took a course in Arabic. All people from all sorts of positions told me that the person giving this course spoke ‘correct’ Arabic. His reputation told me I could trust him as a ‘correct’ teacher. Starting from this course – that I knew was correct – I began to learn a bit of Arabic. Unfortunately I was not able to continue, but if I had, I could see that one day I could be in a position to decide if other people spoke ‘correct’ Arabic or ‘corrupted’ Arabic – because I would now have an informed basis from which to judge.

We are using exactly the same safe process to develop a solid understanding of the Signs of Allah, starting from which everybody says is ‘correct’ (Taurat), and then the disciples, to develop the basis to better judge if something else (like Paul) is corrupt or not. The danger for all seekers of the Straight Way is that we either accept too easily as revelation that which should be rejected, or that we discard too quickly the books that Allah intends that we learn from. Proceeding in this way, in humility and prayer before Allah, asking for His guidance, will make sure that we fall into neither error and thus stay on the Straight Path.

Why did Isa (PBUH) speak in Aramaic while the Gospels were written in Greek?

Isn’t that like the Holy Qur’an coming in Chinese though the Prophet (PBUH) spoke Arabic?

This is a great question.  And probably there is another one along with it.  Though we are asking ‘why’ we are also wondering if this in some way also negates or contradicts the idea that Allah inspired the Injil.  Because after all, this is different from how the Holy Qur’an was revealed.  So let`s discuss this in several steps.

First the analogy to Chinese-Arabic is not really accurate.  There is no real historical relationship between Chinese and Arabic.  Thus, revealing a Book in Chinese to an Arabic society would result only in nonsense.   No doubt Allah does have the power to do such a thing miraculously, but it would result in a book that no one could understand – even the Prophet (PBUH) himself.  And then the message of the Book would be useless, it would quickly be ignored (because it was not understood) and in a generation it would be forgotten – along with the memory of the prophet.  No, a prophetic message, if it is to have an impact on society (and this is the reason a message is sent to a prophet in the first place) must be understood by that society.

The intent behind the revelation of the Holy Quran was to give a warning in Arabic.  The following ayat tells us that:

We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that ye may learn wisdom. [Surah 12:2 Joseph]

Thus We have revealed it (Qur’an) to be a judgment of authority in Arabic… [Surah 13:37 (the Thunder)]

Thus have We sent by inspiration to thee an Arabic Qur’an: that thou mayest warn the Mother of Cities and all around her,- and warn (them) of the Day of Assembly, of which there is no doubt: (when) some will be in the Garden, and some in the Blazing Fire [Surah 42:7 (Consultation)]

We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom). [Surah 43:3 (Luxury)]

Yusuf Ali commentary on Ayah 7 of Surat 42 (Consultation) says that the ‘Mother of Cities’ is the City of Mecca and that “The point of the Qur’an being in Arabic is that it is plain and intelligible to the people through whom and among whom it was promulgated” (#4533).   So the purpose of was to give a warning so that Arabs, especially those in Mecca could be warned, learn ‘wisdom’ etc.  And for that to happen it had to be in Arabic.

But the Injil was a message not only to the Jews, but to all peoples.  In the time of the Prophet Isa al Masih (Jesus – PBUH) the world was basically Greek-speaking.  Because of the conquests of Alexander the Great some three hundred years before, most of the world (including the Romans who ruled in the time of Isa PBUH) had adopted the Greek language.  A rough analogy exists today with English.  Because of the past colonial power of Great Britain the international language of the world today is English.  The major power in the world today (USA) adopted the English language because of Great Britain and thus English is almost universal.  As one result, I, though Swedish origin, am writing this blog in English because my English has become better than my Swedish and I know that you could probably not read a Swedish blog.

The Greek language was also adopted by the Jews of that day so most were bi-lingual.  In fact, the Jews started to use Greek so much that they translated the Taurat and Zabur into Greek about 200 years before Isa al Masih (PBUH).  This translation is known as the Septuagint.  The Septuagint became widely read by Jews and even by non-Jews of that day.  Please see here and here from my considerthegospel blog to learn more about the Septuagint.  The bottom-line effect of the Septuagint was that the Holy Books were read more in the Greek than in the original Hebrew by the time of the prophet Isa al Masih (PBUH)

Isa al Masih (PBUH) may have spoken some Greek himself because we find in the Injil several times where non-Jewish Greeks and Romans spoke with him.  However, he would have spoken in Aramaic to his disciples (companions) because that was the natural language of Galilean Jews of that day.

But the writers of the Injil were definitely bi-lingual and thus fluent in Greek.  Matthew was a tax collector by profession and thus was working with Greek-speaking Romans regularly; Luke was a Greek and thus Greek was his first language; John Mark was from Jerusalem (Al Quds) and thus was a Greek-speaking Jew; and John was from a wealthy family (thus educated) and lived for much of his life outside Palestine and thus was fluent in Greek.

They were transmitting the message of the Injil to the world.  Therefore, to make sure that the world of that day would understand it they wrote in Greek.  Because the Taurat and Zabur make the Injil clear (as I show in my post on the signs of Injil in the Qur’an) the writers of the Injil frequently quote from Taurat/Zabur and when they do so they quote from the Septuagint (the Greek Taurat/Zabur).  We know from history that this message did indeed explode across the Greek-speaking Middle Eastern world.  This shows it was almost expected to have scripture read in Greek in that day.

So this answers ‘why’ it was in Greek.  But could Allah still inspire these writers when they write down in a different language what Isa al Masih (PBUH) had said earlier in another language even if they were bilingual?  Isa al Masih (PBUH) himself had promised that Allah would send guidance to them.  Here are excerpts from a private discussion he had with his disciples just before his departure recorded in the Gospel of John.  You can read the entire discussion by clicking here.

15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth….25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning….I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. … and he will tell you what is yet to come.

So the promise was that the Counsellor, the Spirit of truth, would guide them in their writing and testifying so that what they wrote would be true.  2 Timothy 3:16 explains this further:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The point here is that what they wrote would be guided and indeed inspired by Allah himself so that the word they wrote would be ‘God-breathed’.  Thus the message would be safe and trustworthy – inspired by Allah.

So the way the Injil was revealed and made known was indeed different from how the Holy Qur’an was revealed.  But does that make it wrong, worse or obsolete?  I think to answer that we need to recognize that Allah has the right and the power to do different things in different ways.  Because the Prophet Musa (PBUH) received the Commands on Mount Sinai on tablets of stone that were written by the finger of Allah, does that mean that all later prophets must also receive their message from Him on stone tablets?  And only on Mount Sinai?  Because the first prophets were Jewish does that mean all prophets must be Jewish?  Because the Prophet Noah (PBUH) warned of a coming Judgment by water does that mean all judgments of Allah are by water?  I think we would have to answer ‘no’ for all these questions.  Allah has the power and the right, according to his sovereignty, to choose different prophets, methods and means to do His will.  Our part is to decide whether the message is really from Him or not.  And since the Holy Qur’an itself declares that the Injil was inspired by Allah, and Isa (PBUH) promised this same inspiration and guidance (per above) it would be foolish for us to argue otherwise.

In summary, the Injil was written in Greek so that it would be understood by the wider world of that day.  A promise was given that Allah would give guidance and inspire the disciples when they wrote the Injil – and this is confirmed by the Qur’an declaring that this was inspired.  This method of revelation is different from how the Holy Qur’an was revealed but it is not up to us to tell Allah what His limits are.  Throughout human history He has used different methods, prophets and means to communicate His message.

The Injil Corrupted! What does the Qur’an say?

I have many Muslim friends. And because I am also a believer in Allah (God), and a follower of the Injil (Gospel) I usually have regular conversations with my Muslim friends about beliefs and faith. In a real sense there is so much we have in common. Yet almost without exception in my conversations I hear the claim that the Injil (and zabur and Taurat which make up al kitab = Bible) is corrupted, or has been changed, so that the message we read today is degraded and full of errors from what was first inspired and written by the prophets and disciples of Allah. Now this is an important complaint, since it would mean that we cannot trust the Bible as read today to reveal Allah’s truth. I read and study both the Bible (al kitab) and the English translation of the Holy Qur’an, and have started to study the Sunnah. What I find startling is that this attitude against the Bible, though so common today, I do not find it in al Qur’an. In fact, it startled me how seriously the Holy Qur’an takes the Bible. I want to briefly show what I mean. (In English I use Yusuf Ali’s translation of the Holy Qu’ran)

What the Qur’an says about the Bible (al Kitab)

Say: “O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.” It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. Surah 5:68 Maida (The Table) (See also 4:136)

If thou art in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt. Surah 10:94 Yunus (Jonah)

I note that this declares that the revelation given to the ‘People of the Book’ (Christians and Jews) came from Allah. Now my Muslim friends say this applies only to the original revelation given, but since the original has been corrupted it does not apply to the scriptures of today. But the 2nd ayah talks about those who ‘have been reading’ (in the present tense not past tense as in ‘had read’) the Bible. It is not talking about the original revelation, but the scriptures from the time when al Qur’an was revealed. This was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) over a period of years around 600 A.D. So this passage approves the Bible (Taurat, Zabur and Injil) as it existed in 600 A.D. Other passages are similar. Consider:

And before thee also the apostles We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: if ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message. Surah 16:43 An-Nahl (the Bee)

Before thee, also, the apostles We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: If ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message. Surah 21:7 Al-Anbiya’ (The Prophets)

These speak of the apostles that preceded the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But, crucially, they affirm that the messages given by God to these apostles/prophets were still in possession (at 600 AD ) by their followers. The revelation as originally given had not been corrupted by the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) time.

The Holy Quran says that Allah’s Words cannot be changed

But in a stronger sense, even the possibility of al kitab’s corruption/change is not supported by the Holy Quran. Keep in mind Maida 5:68 (The Law …The Gospel … is revelation that has come from the LORD), and consider the following:

Rejected were the apostles before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those apostles. Surah 6:34 Al-An‘am (Cattle)

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. Surah 6:115 Al-An‘am (Cattle)

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity. Surah 10:64 Yunus (Jonah)

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, Surah 18:27 Al-Kahf (The Cave)

So, if we agree that the prophets preceding Muhammad (PBUH) were given revelation by Allah (as Maida 5:68-69 said), and since these passages, many times over, say very clearly that no one can change Allah’s Words, how then can one believe that the words of Taurat, Zabur and Injil (i.e. al kitab = the Bible) was corrupted or changed by men?  It would require a denial of the Qur’an itself to believe that the Bible has been corrupted or changed.

As a matter of fact, this idea of judging various kinds of revelation from God as better or worse than others, though widely believed, is not supported in the Qur’an.

Say ye: “We believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam).” Surah 2:136 Al-Baqara (The Cow)    (See also 2:285).

So there should be no difference in how we treat all the revelations.  This would have to include our study of them.  In other words, we should study all the Books.  In fact I urge Christians to study the Qur’an as I urge Muslims to study the Bible.

To study these books takes time and courage.  Lots of questions will be raised.  Surely though this is a worthwhile use of our time here on earth – to learn from all the books which the prophets have revealed.  I know that for me, though it has taken time and courage for me to study all the Holy Books, and it has raised many questions in my mind, it has been a rewarding experience and I have felt Allah’s blessing on me in it.  I hope you will continue to explore some of the articles and lessons on this website.  Perhaps a good place to start is the article on what the haddiths and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) thought about and used the Taurat, Zabur and Injil (the books that make up al kitab = the Bible).  The link to this article is here.  If you have a scientific interest in how the reliability of all ancient books are determined, and whether the Bible is considered reliable or corrupted from this scientific point-of-view see the article here.

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Introduction: The Pattern of ‘Gospel’ (Injil) in the Qur’an as a Sign from Allah

When I first read the Qur’an I was struck in various ways.  First of all there were rather many explicit and direct references to the Injil (Gospel or New Testament).  But also it was the specific pattern by which ‘the Injil’ was cited that really intrigued me.  Below are all the ayat in the Qur’an that directly mention ‘Gospel’ (Injil).  Perhaps you may notice the pattern that I noticed.  (I am using the Yusuf Ali translation)

It is He Who sent down to you (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (of judgment between right and wrong).  Then those who reject faith in the Signs of Allah will suffer the severest penalty  [Surat 3:3-4 (Al-Imran)]

And Allah will teach him [Jesus] the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel [Surat 3:48 (Al Imran)]

You People of the Book! Why do you dispute about Abraham, when the Law and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? [Surat 3:65 (Al Imran)]

And in their footsteps [the prophets] We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him:  We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah  [Surat 5:46 (Maida)]

If only they [People of the Book] had stood fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent them from the Lord.  [Surat 5:66 (Maida)]

Oh people of the Book! You have no ground to stand upon unless you stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord  [Surat 5:68 (Maida)]

Behold I [Allah] taught you [Jesus] the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel..  [Surat 5:110 (Maida)]

.. A promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur’an  [Surat 9:111 (Tauba)]

This is their similitude in the Taurat [Law], and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sent forth its blade, then makes it strong, it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem  [Surat 48:29 (Fat-h)]

What stands out when you place all the references to the Gospel from the Qur’an together is that the ‘Gospel’ never stands alone.  In every instance the term ‘the Law’ precedes it.   ‘The Law’ is the books of Musa (Moses), commonly known as ‘Taurat’ amongst Muslims and ‘Torah’ amongst the Jewish people.  The Injil (Gospel) is unique among the Holy Books in this regard in that it is never mentioned in isolation.  For example you can find references to the Taurat (Law), and Qur’an that stand alone.  Here are some examples.

We gave Moses the Book completing to those who would do right, and explained all things in detail and this is a Book which we have revealed as a blessing: so follow it and be righteous, that you may receive mercy  [Surat 6:154-155 (Cattle)]

Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)?  Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found within much discrepancy  [Surat 4:82 (The Women)]

In other words, we find that when the Qur’an mentions the ‘Gospel’, it always mentions it along with, and just preceded by ‘the Law’.  And this is unique because the Qur’an will mention itself apart from referring to the other Holy Books and it will also mention the Law (Taurat) without mentioning the other Holy Books.

The Pattern Upheld even in the one exception

There is only one exception to this pattern that I have found.  Notice how the following ayah mentions ‘Gospel’

‘And we sent Noah and Abraham and established in their line Prophethood and Revelation and some of them were on right guidance but many of them became rebellious transgressors’.  Then in their wake [Noah, Abraham & the prophets] we followed them up with our Messengers.  We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and we ordained in the hearts of those who followed him compassion and mercy.  [Surat 57:26-27 (Hadid)]

Though this is the only instance of ‘Gospel’ (or ‘Injil’) without being preceded by a direct reference to ‘the Law’, the context of this ayah confirms the pattern.  The preceding ayah (26) had explicitly mentioned Noah, Ibrahim (Abraham) and other prophets and then in this ayah it then mentions ‘Gospel’.  But it is this ‘Law’ – the Taurat of Musa (Moses) – that introduces and explains Noah, Ibraham and other prophets.  So, even in this exception, the pattern remains because the Law’s content, rather than just the label, precedes the mention of ‘Gospel’.

A Sign for us from the Prophets?

So is this pattern significant?  Some may just dismiss it as a random occurrence or due to just a simple custom of referring to the Injil in this way.  I have learned to take patterns like this in the Books very seriously.  Perhaps it is an important sign for us, to help us realize a principle set up and established by Allah himself – that we can only understand the Injil through first going to the Taurat (Law).  It is like the Taurat is a prerequisite before we can understand the Injil.  It may be worthwhile then to first review the Taurat and see what we can learn that may help us to better understand the Injil (Gospel).  The Qur’an does tell us that these early prophets were a ‘Sign’ for us.  Consider what it says:

O you children of Adam! Whenever there come to you Messengers from amongst you, rehearsing my Signs to you – those who are righteous and mend their lives – on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.  But those who reject Our Signs and treat them with arrogance – they are Companions of Fire, to dwell therein forever  [Surah 7:35-36 (The Heights)]

In other words these prophets had Signs on their life and message for the Children of Adam (us!), and those who are wise and prudent will attempt to understand these signs.  So let us start considering the Injil by going via the Taurat (Law) – considering the first prophets from the beginning to see what Signs they have given us that can help us understand the Straight Way.

We start right at the beginning of time with the Sign of Adam.Then we continue with the Sign of Cain & Abel, Noah, Lut and the Signs of Ibrahim (I, II, III).  Of course you may want to start by answering the question whether the books of Taurat, Zabur and Injil (that make up the Bible) were corrupted.  What does the Holy Qur’an say about this important question?  And the Sunnah?  And information from the science of textual criticism?  On Judgment Day it will be good to have taken the time to become informed.

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