ksazam base on my observation during the course of our discussions by far the majority of your statements are either based on ignorance, or are made against better knowledge or at best depend on information selected in a very biased way. I want to credit Andrew for providing the following information, I was reminded that I didn't address the statement concerning the many version of the Bible.
"In the book "The Light" by al-Haj Sultan Hafiz Abdul (revised by Maulana Syed Zia-ud-Din Ahmad Gilani) we are told that the synoptic writers (i.e. the three recorders of the Gospel that are more historically orientated and as such are rather similar in comparison to the fourth recorder, John, who looks at the events from a more elevated position) of the Gospel are Paul, Luke, Matthew and John. Actually there are only three; John's part of the Gospel is the exception; and Paul did not write an account of the Gospel at all! The "synoptic", as every Christian of even rudimentary learning knows, are: Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Christians rightfully look at "learned men" like this with suspicion, for they cannot make an acceptable contribution. We find it, however, extremely tragic that millions of Muslims get their sole information about the Bible from such uninformed or dishonest men, who build their arguments entirely on one-sided, sifted and selected knowledge, or who argue against better knowledge.
We must, however, hasten to add that by no means all Muslims argue in this rather base spirit. We shall confine our analysis primarily to one book, which is typical in its anti-Christian stance, is relevant to our situation, and is reasonably comprehensive.
We are told, however, that
"What used to be the word of God, has been so adulterated by human hands, that the word of God is hardly distinguishable from the word of man. In some places we do still find a glimmer of the truth that Jesus taught - the gems of divine wisdom that he uttered for the good of his people - but these are few and far between in the jungles of interpolations and contradictions with which the Bible is dense ... Christianity, as we all know, is founded on BLIND BELIEF, where rational thinking plays no part whatever ... It is admitted by the most learned men in the Hebrew language, that the present English version of the Old Testament contains at least 100,000 errors (this would amount to approximately three errors in every verse. G.N.) ... It is not known for certain who in fact wrote any of the books of the Old Testament ... Christians themselves are in disagreement as to what books are inspired."
It is alleged that practically all versions of the Bible have differed from one another and no-one knows yet which is right.
Again and again Christians are asked why there are so many versions. Muslims are surprised to hear that these versions are nothing other than different translations of the same original documents. The 'Authorized' or 'King James Version' dates back to the year A.D. 1611. With the changing of a living language a revision became necessary. In addition to that, many more manuscripts had since been found. Some verses were contained in some of these manuscripts, but not in others (see pp. 17ff.). These texts appear in italics in the 'Revised Versions'. To grasp the extent of these passages in relation to the whole text it ought to be said that besides two portions of 12 verses each (Nos. 5. and 6. on pp. 19-20) and two verses which are omitted for being repetitions (Mark 9:44 and 46 are repeated by vs.48), eight sentences or portions thereof (4) without any bearing on the message or meaning of the text are in question. This makes out 0.1% of the 7959 verses of the New Testament!
Some translations are aimed at great accuracy for the scholar; others are in a popular style avoiding less common words or phrases, catering for the young or less educated reader who is interested in the biblical story and its teaching rather than in theological concepts. The message and content of all is much more identical than the different translations of the Qur'an (i.e. Yusuf Ali, Dawood, Marmaduke Pickthall, George Sale, Rodwell, Arberry etc.).
"Although an extravagant claim is put forward by Bible Societies and other fanatics, that the Bible is the most read book in the world, the contrary is true."
The intimate knowledge claimed by Muslims concerning these things perplexes us. We note, however, that there is little or no substantiation for these claims. The "best known" Bible scholars and commentators referred to are men who are totally obscure personalities.
The fact that Islam has never tolerated textual criticism of the Qur'an, makes it easy for Muslims to assume that all theologians that practice the "higher (or formal) criticism", (not to be confused with textual criticism!) must surely give a true reflection of the Bible. That this is not so, is common knowledge, for "higher criticism" is based on philosophical speculations and makes for arbitrary statements, very often with no Biblical foundation. Speculative theology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries has created vast numbers of claims and speculations, which were neither Biblical nor ever substantiated and were never taken seriously by Christians. To draw material from such theology puts the Bible in a totally false light.
Muslims, however, have concluded that:
"The Bible was once upon a time the word of God"
"the present Bible can never by any stretch of imagination be called the inspired word of God"
"faith demands total allegiance to the Bible with its faults, absurdities, everything. Reason, on the other hand, is loath to accept matters that constitute an insult to the human intelligence."
Muslims also ask, referring to the Authorized Version, Revised Version and others,
"What need has the Word of God to go through so many versions? Our reason says, that the true Word of God should have remained unaltered, uncorrupted, unrevised, exactly as it was revealed to Christ."
We have to stop for a moment to consider these allegations.
First of all, the Word of God was not revealed to Jesus. He IS the revelation of God and He IS the Word of God. That is even supported by the Qur'an (Surah 4:171 and 3:45,59).
Then we would have to ask the categorical question: WHEN, WHERE And by WHOM was the Bible changed? Even the Qur'an bears witness that the Torah and the Gospel were definitely in existence during Mohammed's time (pp. 5-6). It goes against the facts to claim that the Bible was changed thereafter.
The Qur'an claims to be sent to guard the former revelations (Surah 5:47-51) and states explicitly that the Torah and Gospel are revelation. That means they came from God and are consequently His Word. The Qur'an also states strongly that no one can change the Words of God (Surah 6:34 and 10:64).
The writings of the New Testament were composed in a certain context of history and time, more than 500 years earlier than the Qur'anic writings, and up to 1,500 years after those of the Old Testament. Unlike Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, Arabic has remained a spoken language greatly influenced by the Qur'an to the present time. Hebrew experienced an interruption as a living language for about 1,500 years, during the time of the Diaspora, and Aramaic is no longer a living language at all. Research work in this century particularly, has greatly expanded our knowledge of Hebrew and has helped solve the language difficulty. This, as well as the inevitable ageing of every language (just try to read a book written 200 years ago) has made it necessary to revise existing translations of the Bible periodically to make the text true to the living language again.
To a Christian the need to read or recite Scripture or prayers in their original (language) makes no sense. Basically we are interested in the content of the message and not in the mechanics of the original. We deem it highly unlikely that the average Christian will manage to gain a knowledge of the original language(s) of the Bible equal to that of the highly qualified teams of linguists that do our translations. Besides that, we firmly believe that God understands us in our language when we worship, praise Him or speak to Him in prayer.
We also cannot subscribe to the Muslim view that the inspired character of a prophetic utterance is suspect when one cannot precisely determine the author. Ultimately the prophet or writer of an inspired message is just a tool in God's hand. If we seek to establish the authenticity of a letter, we do not make this dependent on our knowledge of the make and locality of the pen as long as we are sure that the message is genuine.
The charge that there are 100,000 errors in the Old Testament is too absurd even to need an answer, and the statement, that the Christian faith is essentially blind belief, throws poor light on the information at the disposal of the writer.
Within the framework of a book like this, it is obviously impossible to deal with all claims made against the Bible. There are, however some that are more prominent than others and we shall have to consider these first."