How is the Quran different from the Bible?
Well, the Bible starts out with stories and is mostly stories all the way through.
I have a lot of favorite stories. I certainly have a lot of favorite Bible passages. I certainly enjoy reading the creation. It’s, I would say, in the long run, a little easier to read than the Quran.
Well, the Quran is easy to read once you become accustomed to it, but if you’ve been a Bible reader all your life, it’s very difficult to catch the context initially. And once you’ve talked to some Muslims and kind of get some background and some understanding, it gets easier.
Then I found that once I read the Quran to a certain part, and was understanding what I was reading, it was easy, I went back to the beginning and started again… So that was much clearer and easier.
The Bible is very easy to read, certainly in a lot of places, really boring like in Numbers when they are doing all the genealogies… but it was important especially to the Jews of the time in the Old Testament to have genealogies because their beliefs were strong about their lineage to the twelve tribes.
I also had some problems with the Bible. And then I found there were contradictions and things I didn’t understand. Normally, when I’d say something that one thing seem to contradict another, because I was brought up to believe, I just think:
“Well, when I get to heaven, I will find out what this means, or maybe sometime I can ask somebody.”
Rarely did I ever ask anyone.
Bible reading, when I was younger, was not encouraged. And, as an adult, I was among people who read it all the time, and among people who were doing Bible studies and attended Bible studies, but I didn’t always feel free to ask questions.
But I did find some things that were really bothering, really inconsistent. For instance we were always taught about the Trinity: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, all one God, all Equal, all Fully Empowered even as individuals.
For instance Jesus as a human was fully God, fully Human. God, the Father, was in Heaven was fully God, the Holy Spirit was fully God, fully Holy Spirit. It didn’t make sense.
So if Jesus was fully Human and fully God, why did he say the father is greater than I? Why did he beg the father, when he was on his knees the night before his death, with tears of blood running down his face?
There is any way this cup should pass from me, I would ask you to do that but if not I will drink it.
I mean that’s really sad, isn’t it? He is God and he is begging God? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Knowledge of the Last Day
The other thing that doesn’t make sense to me is John 14 when Jesus says:
“The Father is Greater than I.”
Well, if they are both fully God and fully who they are, how can the Father be Greater?
So if you ask any Christian, Jesus is fully God which means he’s Omnipotent, All Knowing, All Powerful, All Present, all of those attributes of God.
But if he’s All Knowing, why when the people ask him about when is the Last Day, he says that only the father knows, neither son nor the angels know of this.
So that’s another stark contradiction for me about reading the Bible.
There just seem to be so many contradictions. In the New Testament, Jesus says:
“I did not come to change the law, I came to fulfill it.”
But if the law, as it stood in the Old Testament, was still standing, we’d be out stoning people all the time for their sins.
He also said the two greatest commandments, and that those are the most important, and I think really, probably one of the biggest things I can take away from the Bible is:
“Love your God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul. There are no false Gods before Him.”
And: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” which brings me to the Quran which says:
There is no God but God, there are no false gods. (2:163)
Bring no false gods, use no idols, there is one God… this Being is too complex, too huge, too Powerful for any of us to understand; and yet is also Oft Near, Oft Forgiving, Oft Merciful. There will be a Day of Judgment. Everybody in the world will answer for their sins. (Quran 43: 44)
I Made the Decision
Now initially, when I became a Muslim, when I was thinking about it, maybe that last week before I made the decision, two things were foremost in my mind:
1- The Christian Bible, Christians tell us that unless you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ that he died for your sins and rose from death, you cannot be saved.
2- The Quran tells us once you’ve been shown the truth, once you have been led to the path to guidance, if you reject it, you cannot be saved.
I felt, like for about a week, I had one foot in both camps thinking:
“I’ve got to make a decision here.”
And I was so drawn to the beauty of Quran, to the fullness of the way to walk the right path, from the assurances of Allah, always being present, being Near, being Merciful, being Gracious.
There is no doubt, that He has Power; that there is no doubt that He will Judge us for our sins and if we’ve not repented, we will be punished. But we can repent, we can mend our ways and Allah will forgive.
I think I can’t really talk so much about the Quran as I can about the Bible because I am more familiar with the Bible, and I am still reading the Quran.
But of all the lessons, the lessons of repentance and Allah’s Nearness have struck me the most and have comforted me and guided me.
I know that I will not be reading the Quran only once, I know that I will have to go back and read it again, already I’m learning more and more about what I should be doing while I’m reading it.
So I, I feel like I can’t talk about the Quran as much but I just want you to know that it’s so beautiful and I dearly love the Quran.
I think I need to really say the Quran is different from the Bible in that it is a guide, it is a guide to the path to righteousness and the path to Allah.