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It is my goal to read the Surah via three different translations and to consider the remarks presented by these translators especially in relation to what the Bible actually teaches. In other words, what does the Qur’an say about what the Bible teaches? Does it assert something the Bible does not? Does the Qur’an misuse the Bible?

I have three varied translations of the Qur’an with comments by various Islamic scholars. They are Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Maulana Muhammad Ali, and Muhammad Asad. On occasion, in addition to these, I will reference other Islamic sources.

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Surah 2 is the longest Surah in the Qur’an, with 40 sections, 286 verses (Yusuf). One might compare it with Psalm 119 in the Bible. Yusuf said this Surah “sums up the whole teaching of man” (Yusuf 16), wherein creation, Abraham, Israel, Jesus, jihad, and other things are mentioned. Maulana, however, has a different summary perspective on the Surah: “[t]his chapter deals mainly with the Jews and their contentions against Islam…” (6). Maulana gives a summary to the chapter he mentions the 13th section; “The thirteenth states that the former scriptures are abrogated and a better and more advanced code is given in Islam, the religion of entire submission” (p. 6).

My plan, with regard to this Surah, is to write in accordance with the 40 sections as it might pertain to the Bible. There is no way to adequately address the many things contained in the Surah in brief (or short) articles; I hope to adequately address the significant points in a number of articles.

Let me begin by addressing Maulana’s words concerning abrogation. During the times of the Old Covenant, the Lord made clear on at least two occasions (more than that actually) that the Law of Moses was but a temporary law and when a prophet came along to assert and sustain that point, the Israelites were to hear.

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers–it is to him you shall listen– just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’– when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:15-22, ESV).

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34, ESV).

There are some points of emphasis for us in this. First, God’s prophet was going to be able to sustain any point he makes authoritatively. This stands to reason. Before one should be expected to accept something contrary (in part or in whole), there needs to be a [the] recognized authority behind that demand. Second, what the Lord gave Moses was (by God’s design) temporary, and the Lord made this clear in His words to Jeremiah. To these two quick points from the above reading is now added a third concerning the New Covenant. In Jude 3 one reads, “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (ESV).

Not only was the law temporary, but the law (Galatians 6:2; James 1:25) given by the Lord is permanent and final. Thus, anything contrary to this, especially since the Lord gave no forewarning of such a change, means that Islam and the Qur’an is not from God, but from some other source (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).