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Comparing the Bible and the Quran

The Bible
The Quran
Beginnings The Bible is the Christians’ holy book. Its writings were inspired by God. (See 2 Timothy 3:16.) The Quran is the Muslims’ holy book. Muslims believe it was revealed by Allah (who they worship) to their founder, Muhammad, mostly through the angel Gabriel.
Contents The Bible contains 66 books divided into two sections: the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT). It was written by more than 40 people over a period of 1,500 years in different places and in three different languages. There is amazing agreement among all the books. The Quran is one book written from one source. It contains 114 “suras,” or chapters. The chapters vary in length from three verses to 226 verses.
History The 39 books of the OT were already written when Jesus was born. Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies about a coming of the Messiah. The 27 NT books were written by either Jesus’ disciples who were close to Him during his earthly ministry or someone close to those disciples. Many people say Muhammad could not read or write. The Quran was not put into book form until after his death. It was first recited to Muhammad’s followers who memorized it or wrote it down. Many versions existed until one version was declared official.
Languages The OT was written mainly in Hebrew and the NT in Greek. The Bible has been completely translated into many more languages. The first handwritten English translation was completed in the 1380s. Arabic is the language of the Quran. Muslims believe that it cannot be properly translated into other languages. Many Muslims who do not know Arabic read and memorize the Arabic version. The first English Quran was published in 1649.
Purpose The Bible is the unfolding story of God’s relationship to man and his plan to redeem man from sin. The Bible teaches that God loves the world and sent Jesus to save people from their sins. Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus said, “I am with you always …” (Matthew 28:20). The Quran says that one of Muhammad’s purposes was to warn people. “Therefore give warning. Your duty is only to warn them; you are not their keeper. As for those that turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will inflict on them the supreme chastisement” (Sura 88:21-24).

To read a skit about Muslims children memorizing the Quran, see page 23 of Learning About Islam in Downloads.

2 Responses to Comparing the Bible and the Quran

  1. Hi!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Hebrew 6:10

    I had a question:

    How many Muslims who do not know Arabic can read and memorize the Arabic version?

    Thanks again.

    • It would be hard to determine how many Muslims read and memorize the Quran in Arabic. But there are several countries where the majority of the people are Muslims, and the main language is a language other than Arabic. Quran competitions attract Muslims from all over the world who normally speak a another language, but recite in Arabic for the competitions. You can find posts about the competitions if you enter “Quran competition” in the Search box on this site.


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