Last night I attended a religious discussion on the West Virginia University campus. The topic was “Two World Religions: Two Books.” Andrew Roberts, a gospel preacher, and Sohail Chaudhry, a Muslim Imam, discussed the differences between the Bible and Quar’an.
Both men presented their material with respect, effectiveness, and passion. It was not a debate in the strictest sense of the terms. But a discussion where each man presented his beliefs and allowed the audience to decide. One nice feature was a question and answer period at the conclusion of both presentations.
Andrew began with this candid observation. “If you investigate the Bible and decide that it lacks marks of the divine then don’t waste your time calling it a Good Book because it would not be good – you cannot have 1500 lies about inspiration and think it a good book. On the other hand, if you read the Bible and investigate and realize it does bear marks of the divine, then shouldn’t you know it and shouldn’t you build your life upon it?”
Roberts then presented several points that illustrated the singular nature of the Bible. Its claims for divine inspiration. Its uniqueness its antiquity. In continuity. And In Unity. The Bible is book written over a period of 1500 years, by 40 different writers, on three different continents, and in three different languages. Yet the Bible is a harmonious book, with a unified theme and no contradictions.
Andrew pointed out how many today are confused about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. He clearly explained the difference and how they complement one another. He clearly demonstrated that the New is a fulfilment of the Old.
The thrust of Andrew’s lecture was the fact that we can trust the Bible because this book contains “God’s fingerprints.” One of the strongest proofs of the Bible’s inspiration, he said, was “the amazing evidence of Predictive Prophecy.” He gave several illustrations of fulfilled prophecy–people, nations, events and more importantly Jesus Christ.
Josh McDowell, in his book A Ready Defense, put this way, “One of the unique and fascinating aspects of the Bible is that in no other religious literature do we find the accuracy of fulfilled prophecy. Biblical predictions recorded sometimes hundreds of years in advance of their happening are fulfilled in minute detail”
In addition to this evidence, Andrew introduced the record of verifiable miracles and their purpose in confirming the Word. Finally he appealed to historical and manuscript evidence that has been provided through outside archeological discoveries. In a very impressive and dramatic he showed how the Bible stands alone in comparison to other books of antiquity. Neither Homer’s Iliad, Josephus’ The Jewish War, or Plato’s Dialogues, can match the Bible in the number of extant manuscripts. There are more than 5700 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament alone!
It is impossible in this short post to do justice to the material presented by Andrew Roberts. But I share this event for a three reasons.
(1) To commend Andrew for his deep convictions, strong faith and his courage to defend the Truth. We should all be willing to stand up for our beliefs. And equip ourselves to give an answer for our faith.
(2) To once again affirm that the Bible does not fear investigation. The Bible is God’s inspired Word. The evidence for its veracity is overwhelming. Never doubt the accuracy of the Bible.
(3) And to encourage young people in churches and on university campuses to explore the evidence. Don’t live in doubt. Build your faith on a solid foundation.
This discussion was insightful. Productive. And eye-opening. I would encourage other such events between Muslims and Christians.
Andrew closed by issuing this challenge.
◆This is a free country. We’re at a university, a place of learning and discovery. You have every reason to read the Bible for yourself.
◆You may have heard the Bible talks about prophets and Jesus, read it for yourself!
◆You may have heard the Bible talks about Muslims, read it for yourself!
◆You may have heard the Bible foretells the Prophet Muhammad, read it for yourself!
◆You may have heard the Bible is just like the Qur’an, read it for yourself!
◆See for yourself! Because the Bible is open to all! You can read it and you can understand it for yourself.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman