It’s a commonplace on places like Democratic Underground and among Liberals and Progressives generally to treat Christianity and Islam as so similar as to be morally equivalent. The patent absurdity of this - in light of the events of the past few decades - is glossed over by appealing to recent supposed Christians who did violent things. These appeals don’t stand up to examining what such “Christians” actually believed (e.g. Timothy McVeigh, Scott Roeder, or Eric Rudolph).
At a more general level, it’s common to dismiss religions such as Christianity or Islam or … by saying that they all teach the same thing. Is that true? Or just a lazy intellectual smokescreen?
What follows in the next several posts is an examination of what Christian and Islamic Scriptures teach. 3 of the 4 articles linked in this thread are part of a series by an Evangelical pastor who has read and studied the Bible and Qur’an. The similarities - to the extent there are many - are very thin, and much worn-through by the history of the past several centuries.
Startling Similarities (and Contrasts) Between the Bible and the Quran
BY JEFF SANDERS
MARCH 15, 2016
I have been a pastor for the past 28 years. I am a conservative evangelical who believes all the basic tenets of Christianity: the Trinity, virgin birth and sinless humanity of Jesus Christ, the vicarious death and physical resurrection of Christ, the future judgments of the saved and the lost, salvation by grace, and so forth. … I have also read the entire Quran all the way through twice, in two different English translations … .
One translation I used is the Yusuf Ali translation … . The other is by N.J. Dawood and is published by Penguin Classics. I realize that reading the Quran twice does not make me an expert … here are some of my observations about the striking similarities and contrasts between the Bible and the Quran:
Obviously both books claim divine origin, speaking of the one true God who exhibits similar qualities. The Bible was composed by at least 40 authors over a period of about 1400 years, being completed at the end of the first century. The Quran has one human author (Muhammed … . It was recorded almost 600 years after the New Testament was completed. Both books teach that this one true God is eternal, holy, just, merciful, and forgiving.
These books also share similar stories of creation, the fall of man, a universal flood, and the triumphs of great people of faith: the prophets, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Mary, and Jesus … .
But, the contrasts are stark and numerous. For example, the Bible tells us clearly that God is love (1 John 4:8-10) and that He loves sinners—so much so that He actually went on a rescue mission to redeem fallen humanity (Romans 5:6-8). The Quran says that God loves the righteous, but it never says that He loves sinners (Surah 3:148, 160; 5:64, 87). … the Quran specifically states that God “does not love the prodigal” (6:141). …
… the Quran never gives us stories that are located or “bordered” with specific, confirmable historical contexts. … in the Bible we have Luke 3:1,2 in which real, historical people are named (Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Herod the Tetrarch, Philip the Tetrarch, Lysanias, Annas and Caiaphas). All these people have been verified by sources outside the Bible. … There is nothing like this in all of the Quran. The Bible mentions kings, nations, rivers, mountains, cities, and events all in their historical contexts. And these have been confirmed by other historical sources and archeology. The Quran never does this. In giving such confirmed, “investigatable” landmarks, the Bible invites the skeptic to. . . investigate! The Quran does not. It simply demands the reader believe it.
The God of the Bible is of very different character than that of Allah. Allah is cruel and capricious. The God of the Bible, while executing judgment, only does so after generations of warnings intended to bring people - including His people - to repentance.