The Bible –The Bible is the authoritative, authentic revealed Word of God. It has final authority for all matters of faith and truth. It is internally consistent and totally accurate. All discoveries of ancient texts clearly support the unchanged, uncorrupted texts we now have in both the Old and New Testaments (Isa 40:8; Matt 24:35; 2 Tim 3:16, 17).
God – No god but Allah; a singular unit. Justice is Allah’s primary concern. The Qu‘ran portrays Allah as merciful and compassionate, primarily in sending messengers warning of judgment and revealing Allah’s requirements for obedience.
Jesus Christ – To Muslims, Jesus was only a man. They recognize Jesus as a prophet but consider Him inferior to Mohammed. They consider it blasphemy to call Jesus God. They do, however, recognize the virgin birth and the miracles Jesus performed.
Man -Man is essentially good with a spark of the divine in him called tagwa. This enables him to choose good. Conscience is of high value to the Muslim, as love is to the Christian.
Sin – Sin for the Muslim is rejecting right guidance. It can possibly be forgiven by repentance and dedication to good works. No atonement is necessary.
Death of Christ -According to the Qu‘ran, Jesus did not die on the Cross. Judas died in His place while Jesus ascended to Heaven. Muslims consider it deeply disrespectful to God to believe He would allow one of His prophets to be crucified.
Salvation- For the Muslim, salvation lies in a person’s good deeds outweighing his bad deeds. Therefore, salvation comes through human effort. There is no assurance of salvation. Salvation must wait for Allah’s decree on Judgment Day. The Qu‘ran says Allah does not love those who do wrong and salvation must be earned.
The Bible – The Muslims are taught that the Bible as we now have it is filled with corruptions and that Christians and Jews have changed the Scriptures. The Bible is replaced by Mohammed’s Qu‘ran. However, in several places in the Qu‘ran, Muslims are advised to consult the Bible and to believe in it. The Qu‘ran uses both the Old and New Testaments to attempt to authenticate Mohammed as a prophet. Islam’s attitude toward the Scriptures is both inconsistent and contradictory.
Answering Muslims’ Questions About Christianity There are several questions Muslims commonly ask about Christianity :
- “Do Christians Worship Three Gods?”
Muslims have difficulties with the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Though there are a few similarities between the Muslim’s Allah and the God of the Bible, there are critical and important differences.
As to the similarities between Allah and the God of the Scriptures, both are represented as:
- One God;
- The sovereign Creator and Lord over the universe;
- The supreme ruler of Creation and all-powerful;
- One who knows the thoughts, intents, motives and plans of men’s hearts ;
- One who has spoken to man through angels, prophets, teachers and the written word ;
- One who will ultimately judge all men.
The differences between Allah and the God of the Bible are crucial, as shown in the comparison below:
The God Of The Bible
- God is One in essence, but compound in His makeup, and consisting of three coeternal and coequal Persons: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit (Gen 1:26; Matt 28: 19; Luke 3:21,22; John 5: 18; 10:30; Acts 5:3,4).
- God has an everlasting love for all mankind (John 3:16; Rom 5:8-10; see also Luke 15:11-24 as a metaphor for God’s heart toward humanity).
- God is merciful and kind to all (Matt 5:45; Acts 14:16, 17), and His great love causes Him to take NO pleasure in the pain, suffering or death of the unrepentant wicked (Ezek 18:23).
- God desires that all people be saved and come to know Him (Rom 11:32; Gal 3:22; 2 Pet 3:9). Therefore, He sent God the Son to bring mankind salvation. This salvation did not come in a new message or new set of religious rules, but in the Person of Jesus Christ (Gal 4:4-7 ; Col 1:15-20; Heb 1:2,3; 2:14-17; 12:2; 1 John 4:9,10) .
- Man could not save himself and no amount of good deeds could ever satisfy God’s standard of perfect holiness (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16) . Thus, God sent His Son, a sinless Savior, Jesus Christ, Who took mankind’s sins upon Himself at the Cross and paid the penalty for them in mankind’s place (Matt 20:28; John 10:9-11; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3: 13;1 Thess 5:9,10; 1 Pet 1:15-21).
The Allah Of The Qu‘ran
- Allah is one god, and is linked to no other.
- Allah has no love for sinful man (according to the Qu ‘ran – Suras 3:140; 4:107; 6:142 ;7:31).
- Allah capriciously afflicts men because of their sins (Suras 4: 168,169; 5:49; 7: 179; 9:2;40:10).
- Allah demands that his will be obeyed but does nothing to help mankind achieve this. Salvation for the Muslim is through his own personal efforts, with no assurance or hope of salvation from Allah or the Qu‘ran.
- Allah commands that each man bear his own burdens, either good deeds or bad (Suras 17:15; 35:18) and that good deeds must outweigh bad deeds in order to enter the Muslim version of heaven (Suras 7:8, 9; 21:47).
The Concept Of The Trinity
When discussing the Trinity with a Muslim, always affirm that Christians do NOT worship three gods, because there is only One God (Deut 6:4; 1 Cor 8:4). Muslims sometimes mistakenly believe that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity consists of God, Mary and Jesus (Sura 5: 116). It is important for a Christian to show, from the Bible, the actual compound unity (the tri-unity) of God. In the Bible, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – all three – are referred to as God and are acknowledged as possessing the attributes of God:
Referred to As God:
- The Father – Matt 11:25; Eph 4:6; John 6:27; 8:54;
- The Son- Luke 5:17-26; John 1:1; 20:28;Titus 2:13
- The Holy Spirit-Acts 5:3,4; 2 Cor 3:14-18
Acknowledged as Possessing Attributes of God
- The Father – Jer. 23:24; Ps. 146:5,6;Mark 13:19; Acts 4:24; 17:24,25
- The Son- Matt 18:20; 28:20; John 1:1-3,14; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:16,17
- The Holy Spirit – Gen 1:1-3
God The Son
Muslims often have difficulty believing that God has a physical Son (Arabic waladdu’llah). Christians who have a Muslim background suggest that Jesus be presented to a Muslim as the spiritual Son of God (Arabic ibn).