Could Not Answer

An Observation Of The Epistles

Christians accept Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ as [Allah forbid] God, and the Apostles and Paul as a Prophet each. They accept the epistles and letters written by them as heavenly books and epistles revealed through wahy (revelation). Therefore, these epistles come right after the four Gospels in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

A close look at these epistles will show that, though the epistles are said to be the complementaries and supplementaries of the four Gospels, there are so many inconsistencies within themselves and so many contradictions between them and the four Gospels that an attempt to explain them one by one would end up in huge volumes of books larger than the Holy Bible itself.

Here are some examples:

Rahmatullah Efendi’s account of the event of Paul’s conversion in his book Iz-hâr-ul-haqq is as follows:

There are many paradoxes on how Paul believed in the ninth, twenty-second and twenty-third chapters of the Book of Acts (of the Apostles). I explained them in ten paragraphs in my book titled Izâlat-ush-shuqâq. But in this book of mine I shall mention only three of them:

1 — In the seventh verse of the ninth chapter of the Book of Acts (of the Apostles): “And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” (Acts: 9-7)

In the ninth verse of the twenty-second chapter, on the other hand: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” (ibid: 22-9)

And in the twenty-sixth chapter the question whether the voice was heard or not is passed over without any mention. The opposition between these three expressions is apparent.

2 — In the sixth verse of the ninth chapter of the same book: “... And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (ibid: 9-6)

In the tenth verse of the twenty-second chapter: “... And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.” (ibid: 22-10)

On the other hand, in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth verses of the twenty-sixth chapter: “But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;” “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,” “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (ibid: 26-16, 17, 18) The conclusion to be drawn from these is that according to the verses in the ninth and twenty-second chapters he is told that what he will do will be explained to him after arriving in the town. And according to the verses in the twenty-sixth chapter, at the place where he hears the voice he is told what he is to do.

3 — In the fourteenth verse of the twenty-sixth chapter: “And when we were all fallen to the earth, ...” (ibid: 26-14) However, according to the seventh verse of the ninth chapter those who are with him get tongue-tied; they cannot talk. And in the twenty-second chapter, no mention is made concerning tongue-tiedness.

It is also written in Izhâr-ul-haqq that the contradictions in the other chapters of the Book of Acts (of the Apostles) are even worse.

It is written in the first and later verses of the tenth chapter of the first epistle written by Paul to Corinthians: “... how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;” “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;” (1 Cor: 10-1, 2) “Neither be ye idolators, as were some of them; ...” “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (ibid: 7, 8) It is written in the first and later verses of the twenty-fifth chapter of the book Numbers in the Old Testament: “And Israel abode in Shit’tim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.” (Num: 25-1) “... and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.” (ibid: 25-3) “... So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.” “And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.” (ibid: 25-8, 9) Since there is a difference of one thousand between the given numbers of the dead, one of them is certainly wrong.

Again, in the fourteenth verse of the seventh chapter of the Book of Acts: “Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls.” (Acts: 7-14) In this passage, Yûsuf ‘alaihis-salâm’ himself and his two sons in Egypt are not included in these seventy-five people. The number mentioned gives only the number of the people in Ya’qûb’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ tribe.

Nevertheless, the twenty-seventh verse of the forty-sixth chapter of Genesis states that “... all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.” (Genesis: 46-27) The passage from the Book of Acts is apparently erroneous.

Such is the matter with the four Gospels, which form the basis for the Christian creed, and with the epistles. As we have remarked above, these are not the only contradictions in these Gospels or in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Since an explanation of all these contradictions one by one would take volumes of books and some of them have been explained in the books Iz-hâr-ul-haqq and Shams-ul-haqîqa, we have not given detailed information here. Those who would like to obtain more information in this respect ought to consult the book titled Tahrirât-i-enâjîl, which was written and published in 1233 [A.D. 1818] by Giesler, a Protestant scholar; Sellirmagir’s Muqaddima-i-kitâb-i-Ahd-i-jedîd, published in 1817; Sîfirs’s Birinci Incilin Aslı (The Real Origin of the First Gospel), published in 1832; the book İnciller Üzerine Mülâhezât (A Criticism of the Gospels), written by Your, one of the contemporary orientalists; the orientalist Shuazer’s Yuhannâ İncîli Üzerine İnceleme (An Observation of the Gospel of John), published in 1841; the book written by Gustav Ichtel, a contemporary writer, to describe the manners of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’; and [any of the countless books] written by historians such as Strauss.

As for Qur’ân al-kerîm, to which Muslims adhere, [and attain felicity in this world and the next by obeying it]; as foreordained by the blessed meaning of the ninth verse of the sûra (chapter) Hijr, which purports, “We sent the Qur’ân al-kerîm down, and we again shall protect it,” it has been protected under the divine guard of Allâhu ta’âlâ for twelve hundred and ninety-three years [fourteen hundred eighteen years as of today], i.e. from the time of hijra-i-nabawiyya (the Hegira) to our time, without the slightest addition or subtraction even in its punctuation marks, though its copies have been possessed by Muslims of various nationalities ever since; this is a universally verified fact. And now a few priests, who are in Islamic countries on a mission of several golds’ salary, are indulging in a dream in which they enjoy having a true religion by contrasting it [Christianity, whose inner essence we have explained above,] to Islam, which was founded on a firm basis and which has reached us today with its pristine authenticity and soundness; aren’t their assertions too preposterous to be answered? If their attempts were intended to disclose the truth as they claim, they could be tolerable to some extent, for they have not studied Islamic books with due attention. But it is not the case; their real purpose is to wheedle the ignorant out of Islam by means of various sophistries and tricks. Being unable to answer the books written by Islamic savants or the questions they are asked by them, they have been attacking Islam with their usual insolent ignorance [and obduracy] as if they had not seen those books. They have been secretly writing and publishing books and pamphlets full of lies and slanders and spreading them in a clandestine way.