There are hundreds of thousands of variants in biblical manuscripts?
Muslims reject the authority of the Christian Scriptures for a number of reasons. One Muslim fatwa states the Christians and Jews distorted the Scriptures by wiping out descriptions of Muhammad. Others appeal to textual criticism and the manuscript tradition of the Bible. Those who reject the Bible for this latter reason are guilty of holding to a double standard:
- Some Muslims criticize the Bible’s textual tradition without knowledge that manuscripts of the Quran contain copyist mistakes1 and there is a textual history for the hadiths.2
Dan Wallace and the Reliability of the Bible
If you are interested in learning more about the textual tradition of the Bible and the Bible’s reliability then here are some helpful videos to watch with Dr. Dan Wallace on the John Ankerberg show:
Are there any passages in the Bible that you sincerely struggle with? If so, share your question below or use the contact page to send me an email.
- Textual criticism of the Quran is a most controversial topic. Many Muslims believe that one of the miracles of the Quran is that the Quran has no textual history (e.g. manuscript variants). This, Muslims point out, is proof that the Quran is superior to the Christian Scriptures. However, the critical scholarship Muslims sometimes use against the Bible evidences more than one prototype that preceded the codified and canonized version of the Quran today. See for example, Gerd Puin, Querying the Quran
- See for example, Eric F.F. Bishop, “Form-Criticism and the Forty-two Traditions of al-Nawawi,” Muslim World, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1940, pp. 253-61; and “Academic scholarship in the Western tradition” in Wikipedia.