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Muslims sometimes say that Christians themselves admit that the Bible has been corrupted. They point to the the Preface (i.e. the scholars’ introduction) of the Revised Standard Version of The Bible produced in 1971 as proof of this. In the Preface are these words:

The King James Version has grave defects…these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision.

Muslims find these statements by Christian scholars to be self-incriminating. For Christian scholars to say that the King James Version of the Bible has grave defects which require revision is taken as a self-evident admission that either the Revised Standard Version (RSV) or the King James Version (KJV) of The Bible or both have been intentionally distorted with the intention of fabricating false teaching.

But Muslim scholars include identical statements about grave errors in their translations of The Qu’ran. Does this mean that The Qu’ran has been corrupted and distorted to conceal the truth about Jesus ? Of course not. We will examine a Muslim scholars’ Preface to the Saheeh Translation of The Qu’ran (1997) below, but first a short note about the RSV.

Scholars’ Introduction To Revised Standard Version

The RSV is a revised translation of the King James Version of 1611. Both are English language translations. As we have seen, the scholars’ introduction to the RSV says:

The King James Version has grave defects…these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision

A Muslim writer quotes the RSV preface here and uses it to attempt to demonstrate that the Bible has been corrupted and that its original Islamic message has been lost.

The most important defects corrected in the RSV and other modern translations are the removal of the three major Manuscript Variants 1 John 5:7; Mark 16:8-20 and John 7:53-8:11. The Manuscript Variants removed from the KJV do not change what the Bible teaches. There is nothing in any variant which is not amply proved by hundreds of other verses in The Bible. Specifically, there is no indication that Islamic teaching has been removed or concealed or that any teaching of Jesus has been fabricated.

As the RSV preface say, the corrections made in the RSV were made because of the use of additional ancient manuscripts than were used by the scholars of 1611. See here.

Muslim writers usually omit the full statements of the RSV scholars in order create a false impression that The Bible has been corrupted. The complete quote of the RSV scholars is this:

Yet the King James Version has grave defects. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the development of Biblical studies and the discovery of many manuscripts more ancient than those upon which the King James Version was based, made it manifest that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision of the English translation.

Specifically, Muslim writers often omit to mention that the reason for the defects of the KJV which is that the KJV scholars did not have access to the earliest ancient manuscripts. In short, new translations of The Bible are provided by scholars to provide more clarity in regard to the teaching of Jesus, not less. To this end, the most ancient sources are honoured more than relatively later ones.

What is proved by the corrections made in the RSV is that Christians are scrupulously open and honest in their handling of the ancient texts of The Bible, not that they are dishonest or deceptive.

It is important to understand that the KJV is not an original text of the Bible. It is merely an English translation.  Muslim writers often fail to note that the KJV is a translation in order to give the impression that Christian scholars are tampering with original texts.

The Qu’ran, like the Bible, exhibits thousands of Manuscript Variants in its ancient manuscripts and exists in multiple versions as well as an extensive number of translations. Neither the existence of manuscript variants or of translations indicates corruption or concealment of the text of either book.

Scholars’ Introduction To The Saheeh International Translation Of The Qu’ran

As we noted above, Muslims sometimes assert that Christians have admitted corrupting The Bible by reference to the Preface of the Revised Standard Version, an English translation of The Bible produced in 1971.

Muslim writers selectively quote from the RSV Preface as follows:

The King James Version has grave defects…these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision.

Yet essentially identical notes by Islamic scholars appear in the Prefaces of Qu’ranic translations. Here are a few lines from the Preface of The Saheeh International Translation Of The Qu’ran of 1997, a highly respected Qu’ranic translation.

In recent years there have appeared a number of English translations of The Holy Qu’ran…The stated purpose behind these works has been the correction of certain errors found in previous editions…in view of the amendments made by al-Hilali and Khan in their Noble Qu’ran, there remain certain drawbacks. They concentrated their attention on corrections pertaining to aqeedah (i.e. doctrine)…It is further complicated by the inclusion of explanatory additions within the lines of the English text to the extent that a reader…often has difficulty in distinguishing one from the other.

Pages of similar “incriminating” remarks follow.

So, from the Preface to the Saheeh Translation of the Qu’ran we can find it “admitted” that Muslim scholars have made numerous errors and amendments concentrating on faulty aqeedah (i.e. doctrine), that the Qu’ran has been amended and furthermore that Muslim scholars have included additional materials not found in the original Qu’ran and so confused the meaning that it is difficult to know where the translator’s explanation ends and the meaning of The Qu’ran begins.

Surely here we have proof from Islamic scholars that there has been a succession of attempts by Muslims to conceal, corrupt and distort the meaning of The Qu’ran, only now rescued by the translators of Saheeh International in 1997 ?

Of course not. The Saheeh scholars are merely saying that their own translation is an improvement on previous English translations of The Qu’ran…which is exactly what the RSV scholars were saying in their English translation of The Bible.

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8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] This article is a re-post of my original article on this blog which you can read here. […]

  2. […] Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible […]

  3. […] Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible […]

  4. […] introduction of the Revised Standard Version of The Bible produced in 1971 as proof of this. {Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible} In the Preface are these […]

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