Few conservative Christians have ever read the Qur’an, and as such, it remains a closed and mysterious book to them. But even if you have read it, it likewise remains a closed and mysterious book, for it is not written in such a fashion as to communicate with much clarity to the vast majority of the human race, and apart from the traditions (the Hadith) many portions of the Qur’an are unintelligible.
I am often asked about where the Qur’an contradicts the Bible. I would like to start providing some examples, as time permits, of such passages. One that strikes me every time I read it comes in the middle of a key passage in Surah 5, to which we will have to return numerous times in the future. It reads:
After reminding him of these favors, Allah will say: “O Isa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Marry), Did you ever say to the people, “worship me and my mother as gods beside Allah?” He will answer: “Glory to You! How could I say what I had no right to say? If I had ever said so, you would have certainly known it. You know what is in my heart, but I know not what is in Yours; for You have full knowledge of all the unseen. (Surah 5:116, Al-Maida, F. Malik Translation)
Here we have two grand errors in one short space: the gross misidentification of the doctrine of the Trinity (to which we will turn at a later time), and the assertion, placed upon the lips of the Lord Jesus, “You know what is in my heart, but I know not what is in Yours.” I often ask audiences as I lecture on the topic, “What portion of Jesus’ teaching about His relationship to the Father does this passage directly contradict?” Sadly, I have never had anyone offer the appropriate passage in response. Not once. It seems to be one of Jesus’ lesser-known sayings, possibly because it sounds like it should be in the Gospel of John, yet it appears in the Gospel of Matthew:
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27).
The intimate, reciprocal knowledge of the Father and Son, a theme repeated often in John’s Gospel (see esp. chapters 5, 10, 17), here finds expression in Matthew, once again in the context of Jesus’ role as the perfect, sole revealer of the Father. Islam, of course, denies this intimate union, let alone the idea that God could be so fully known as He made Himself known in Christ. There is truly so much less revelation of God’s nature and Person in Islam than in the Christian faith. And remember, these words were written more than half a millennia before Mohammed, and we in fact can document them in papyri manuscripts dating to the third century (the Qur’an being a production of the seventh century). So you might want to start a little list: Matthew 11:27/Surah 5:116.