Answering Islam Email Dialogs

Topic: Does The Latest Revelation Equal Truth?

Received: 14 May 2005

Subject: Hello from Cambodia

Hi, I am a Christian missionary who works with Muslims in Cambodia and one of their arguments that they use for not believing the Injil or Isa is that they don't need to. They make a simplistic comparison of prophets and holy books to people in power in government. For example they say that the Torah, Zaburr, Injil and Quran are the 4 Holy books, but the others are for the past only and the Quran is for today, much like Cambodia which has been under 4 different ruling government systems in the past 35 years. The first was the time of King Sihanouk and then the American-backed Lon Nol government and then the Killing Fields with Pol Pot-these would be compared to the Torah, Zabur and Injil respectively. Nowadays, they say, Hun Sen is the ruler and we have to live by his laws, not the laws of the past-much like they (and everyone else) should follow Mohammed and the Quran since they are for today. They even sometimes compare this to how I say that Jesus superceded Moses and the Law of Moses. I looked for an answer on the website but could not find it and that is why I am writing to you.

Thank you for your time,

Our answer:

Dear T------,

greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There is a very basic logical flaw in this argument.

Certainly the current government will not be the last. Does that mean that, as soon as the next government will come into place, the Muslims should abandon the Quran and Islam and believe in a revelation that came later in time than Muhammad (e.g. Mormonism or Bahaiism)?

Actually, extend it beyond the last 35 years to 50 years or so, then you have five governments and they need to become Mormons already now, without waiting for the next government.

I am sure this extension of the argument will not convince your Muslim friends to abandon Islam, but it should be sufficient to show them that the argument as such is flawed, and that you likewise have no reason to become a Muslim on such grounds.

The main point is this: They would reject Mormonism and Bahaiism EVEN THOUGH they are later than Islam, because they do not believe that these are from God. Muslims believe that Joseph Smith and Baha'ullah are false prophets.

I.e. the point is not "earlier or later" but the point is: Is the person a prophet of God in the first place.

Why would they reject Baha'ullah? (Baha'ullah, who claimed to provide a more recent revelation from God also claimed to accept the Quran and the Bible as from God -- somewhat like Muslims accept that Torah and Injil were originally given by God.) Why do Muslims not believe that Baha'ullah is from God? Because his message contradicts Islam, despite the fact that Baha'is accept Islam as an earlier true revelation. However, Muslims measure Baha'ullah against Islam.

Similarly, we have to measure Muhammad against the earlier revelation to see if he fulfills the criteria of true prophethood. He does not. Therefore we reject him. He never was a messenger from God. Therefore he does not replace Jesus.

Finally, Muslims often say "just like the Jews corrupted the message of Moses, so that Jesus had to come to correct them and bring God's authentic message again (Islam), so the Christians corrupted the message of Jesus and deviated from his teachings, so that God had to send Muhammad to correct it again."

However, that is wrong. Jesus never claims to come to correct the Old Testament. He came to fulfill it. In fact, the Old Testament, the Scripture of the Jews is part of our Bible. In contrast, Muhammad and Islam set the Bible aside. They claim it is no longer valid. The Quran "replaces" it.

There is no parallel at all. Islam is a DIFFERENT message that is in competition with the Bible. It is NOT a continuation like the New Testament is a continuation of the Old Testament.

The Quran contradicts most essential spiritual principles of both the Old and New Testaments.

Take, for example, the principle of making atonement for sin through the slaughter of an animal in the Torah. The sacrificial system is at the core of the Old Testament faith. And it is fulfilled ultimately in Jesus' death on the cross. The Old Testament and the New Testament fit together. But the Quran does not even know there is a sacrificial system when it talks about the Torah. It denies that atonement is necessary at all, since, according to Islam, man is good (though weak) and not in need of redemption.

The religion of Islam is utterly different in its core message. It is not a message from the same source. It is a false religion, just as Muslims would claim that anything that comes after Islam is a false religion.

I hope these thoughts help, though they may be hard to swallow for your friends.

The question is not whether it came later, the question is whether it was true to begin with.

The Lord give you love and wisdom as you speak truth to your Muslim friends.

Jochen Katz

Answering Islam Email Dialogs
Answering Islam Home Page