At this point our authors return to the issue of isnad, and in the process demonstrate an accute ignorance not only of the irrelevance of the topic given the history of their own Scriptures, as we have noted, but likewise the fact that to follow their reasoning is to abandon the existence of any historical records of antiquity at all. Their arguments would, in essence, close the door to inquiry into any ancient history, let alone, by definition, refute any ancient Scripture that was not canonized by a central body through the power of the sword. Setting up your parameters so that only relatively modern Scriptures like the Qur’an can “pass the test” is hardly a meritorious argument for Islamic apologists.
Next our Muslim apologists go back to comparing apples and oranges. They complain that “Another serious blow to the textual integrity of the Bible comes as we notice almost a complete absence of control methods for its transmission.” I.e., the control of the text by a central authority is the only way to ensure a valid text, or so they wish to argue. They raise the issue of ijaza, the means of passing on a text, or tradition, with controls and the like (not unlike the mechanisms designed by the Massoretes with reference to the Hebrew text), once again failing to recognize that their own system precludes them having any higher confidence in the form of their own Scriptural text than that provided by the religious body to which they entrust themselves, and the singular “version” it produced in the past. The New Testament scriptures were not promulgated by armies: they were promulgated by believers. They were copied not by scribes authorized by a central religious body, but by passionate believers who wanted others to be able to read and possess this portion of God’s revelation in Christ. S&A may not like the mechanism God chose, but I do not accept their ipse dixit that God is bound to their system of transmission, either.