Muslims assert that Christians have deliberately corrupted The Bible, changing the original teaching of Jesus so as to obscure the original Islamic message that He supposedly bought.
In order to prove this allegation, Muslims need to bring the supposed original Islamic Bible, or a copy of it, so that we can compare the supposedly Islamic original Bible with the supposedly corrupted version that exists today.
Unfortunately for Muslims there is no evidence that an original Islamic Bible ever existed. There are approximately 25,000 ancient manuscripts and fragments of The Bible dating back to 125 AD, 500 years before the coming of Islam. All of these ancient manuscripts support the text of the current Bible and not one of them is a copy or fragment of the supposed original Islamic Bible.
Muslims thus have no proof, no evidence at all, that an Islamic Bible ever existed. On the contrary, all proof of the ancient manuscripts, which amounts to more than 2.6 million pages of text, is for the current Bible.
What Was Changed, Exactly ?
But what exactly do Muslim scholars claim was removed from or added to the supposed original Islamic Bible ? The website Islamic Q&A gives a specific answer to this. It says
they erased everything from their Books that foretold the coming of Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and they concealed what knowledge they had of this matter.
IslamQ&A goes on to say:
Al-Baghawi (an Islamic scholar ) said the rabbis of the Jews were afraid of losing their livelihood and position of leadership, when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah. So they tried to prevent the Jews from believing in him. They went to his description in the Torah, where he is described as having a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and being of average height, and they changed it, writing instead: Tall, blue, with straight hair.
When their foolish ones asked them about the description of the Prophet, they read what they had written and said that he was different from this description, so they disbelieved him and rejected him. So Allah said (interpretation of the meaning): “Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands” [al-Baqarah 2:79].
Thus IslamQ&A provides us with a time and place when the Bible was supposedly changed, giving even a general idea of the place where the text was changed (The Torah) and details of exactly what was changed, this being details of the physical description of Mohammed.
Mohammed arrived in Medinah in 622 AD. This means that according to the scholar Al-Baghawi, who is apparently reliable enough to be quoted as an authority by IslamQ&A, that the original supposed Islamic Bible was in existence prior to 622 AD and said that the prophet to come would have a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and would be of average height and that the current Bible says that the prophet to come would be Tall, blue (presumably blue-eyed) , with straight hair.
Bibles Ancient And Modern
Unfortunately for IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi we possess virtually complete Bibles from prior to 622 AD and they all support the text of the current Bible. I speak specifically here of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus written in approximately 330 AD in different parts of the ancient Near East. The small part of the Torah missing from Codex Vaticanus is supplied by numerous other ancient Bible manuscripts and Christian writings of the period. The portions of the Torah missing from Codex Sinaiticus are supplied by Codex Vaticanus.
So the manuscript evidence is contrary to the claim of IslamQ&A and Al-Baghawi that the Bible was changed in 622 AD. Al-Baghawi has quite simply made things up out of his own mind or repeated erroneous teaching that he has received from his own predecessors. IslamQ&A has repeated these errors of Al-Baghawi without bothering to check his scholarship.
Secondly, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who has a handsome face, with handsome hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and who would be of average height. So there is no evidence whatsoever for a change in The Bible as decscribed by Al-Baghwai.
Furthermore, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam records a prophet to come who is tall, blue-eyed with fair hair. The current Bible does not say what Al-Baghawi says it does. What is this man talking about ? He is obviously in complete ignorance on his subject. It is amazing that IslamQ&A would choose to relay such arrant nonsense to their readership.
Same Error In Reverse
Even more embarrassing for IslamQ&A is that they then go on to record the opinion of another Islamic scholar, Al-Qurturbi, who says that The Bible was altered in more or less the exact opposite manner to that described by Al-Baghawi.
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Ibn Ishaaq and al-Kalbi said: The description of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in their Book said that he was of average height and white, but they changed it to say that he was dark with long, straight hair, and they said to their companions and followers: Look at the description of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) who will be sent at the end of time; he does not resemble this one.
Again, to the detriment of Al-Qurtubi, no manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come would be white and of average height and neither does any manuscript of The Bible either before or after Islam says that the prophet to come will be dark with long, straight hair.
As with Al-Baghawi, the current Bible does not say what Al-Qurturbi says it does. These scholars are simply inventing untrue assertions about supposed changes in The Bible or passing on baseless rumour that they themselves have received from their predecessors.
Thus, these scholars, supposedly among the best of Islamic history, simply have no idea what they are talking about in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible. How can the scholars of Islam state that The Bible has been corrupted when they don’t even know what The Bible says ?
How can the scholars of Islam be believed about ‘what The Bible says’ when the things they say are written in The Bible are simply not there ? Who could believe or trust or follow such blind and ignorant guides ?
It is clear that the scholars of Islam have no certain knowledge of their subject and follow nothing but conjecture. They are in the same hopeless position as that described by their own scripture, that of simply repeating baseless rumour.
And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)] 4:157 Hilal-Khan Translation
This grasping onto rumour, conjecture and invention of falsehood is demonstrated by Islamic scholars not only in relation to supposed corruption of The Bible but also in Islamic accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus which you can read here.
Muslims Have Changed The Qu’ran
It is not sufficient for Muslims to simply state without evidence that Christians have changed The Bible. Anyone can spout baseless accusation like that. What if I told my Muslim friends that the original Qu’ran had been changed to conceal the divinity of Jesus and that the original Qu’ran contained a description of Jesus to the effect that he would be a tall old man with straight white hair and that the current Qu’ran had been changed in the city of Petra in the year 833 AD to say that Jesus would be short with green eyes and curly red hair ?
Muslims would of course laugh at such ludicrous statements and demand that I bring proof. Yet their own scholars are making, and continue to make, equally ridiculous claims in regard to The Bible.
Change Must Be In Accordance With Prediction
Furthermore, for Muslims to prove their allegations of corruption of The Bible they must demonstrate corruptions corresponding to the way they say it has changed. It is not sufficient to demonstrate any supposed change at all and say that therefore the Bible has been changed in order to eliminate Islamic belief.
For example, if Muslims say that there are multiple different versions of The Bible and that therefore The Bible has been corrupted to conceal the coming of Mohammed, they must demonstrate that these supposed different versions show the elimination of Islamic belief. That requires production of originals which contain the Islamic beliefs so that comparisons can be made with the supposed different versions. Spelling or copyists errors and other trivial manuscript variants are proof of nothing.
That is why the IslamicQ&A article is so instructive. It contains descriptions by Islamic scholars of the supposed changes to The Bible and gives a specific time and place where these changes were supposed to have been made. But as we have seen, the changes described by Islamic scholars do not exist and neither do any copies of the supposed Islamic originals, despite the existence of many thousands of ancient Bible manuscripts from both before and after the time of Islam.
Quite simply, Muslims have no evidence at all to support their oft-repeated assertion that The Bible has been corrupted.
On the contrary, all evidence, of which there is mountainous quantities, is for the current Bible.