The Christian Bible and the Islamic Qur’an are very similar in many different aspects, yet there are some major key differences between the two religious texts. More specifically, differences between the books and people of the Bible compared to the Qur’an, the inconsistencies and parallels between the two, and the approach that each takes to get their main points across through language, tone, and point of view when transcribing the texts. Although the Bible and the Qur’an share characters and stories, there are many contradicting points between the two, and characteristics that differ vastly.
Defined by me, the Qur’an is a foundational text of the Islam religion that Muslims believe is a revelation from God. The Bible, by my own definition, is a collection of scared text that Christians consider to be an inspiration and record of the relationship between God and humans. By just comparing the definitions of each, the Qur’an is more of a direct, central text that reveals the knowledge and rules of God in a more direct and testament way. Yet, the Bible’s definition has more focus on the stories and tales collected together that tell about the bond that God has with humans and has morals bound within then to teach a lesson.
The Bible and the Qur’an are books that are the main text for both relative religions, yet both have a different way of telling them. When looking more closely at the actual language and writings of each and comparing them, the Bible has many authors and is written by man yet the Qur’an has only one and it is God. The Qur’an has no other versions, so in actuality the version that is being compared is not acceptable because it is not in its original native tongue, Arabic. Comparing that to the Bible, there are many versions and the full bible has been translated into 635 languages. The Bible is written in 3rd person and is read like a story, while the Qur’an is written in 1st person and is read more like a speech. By looking at these characteristics, the differences are obvious.
When looking closer at the events that happened in both books, however different the tales are told, the texts are agreeable on a few things. In the bible, Jesus, who is the son of God, has a miraculous birth and he was born unto a virgin. This is shown when an angel fulfills what God had spoken to a prophet saying, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Bible 808, 1:23), which the Qur’an also agrees on these events as shown in the book of Jonah on page 869 when the writing says, “Then God will say, ‘Jesus, son of Mary!’”. Further so, both texts agree that Jesus performed miracles. An example of this is in the book of John in the Bible in chapter 9 where Jesus heals a man who has been blind since birth by spinning in dirt and making mud, then putting it on his eyes. In the Qur’an, the text agrees that Jesus did perform miracles by healing the blind and lepers.
Although these texts agree on some events there are some major contrasting events that the Bible tells us about and the Qur’an does not agree or accept. The Bible says that God is a trinity, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirt,” dividing God into three holy beings or essences (Bible 835, 28:18). The Qur’an denies this saying, “God is the third of three are defying, there is only One God.” (Qur’an 866). Another example is where in the bible Jesus was killed on the cross in Matthew 27:37-38, saying that he was crucified with two robbers. The Qur’an denies this when it says, “The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger.” It denies Jesus being crucified saying that he was only a messenger and had come and left just like a messenger would.
Next in comparison, are the people and stories of each religious book. In the bible, the most famous story of Noah is about him and his ark that he built. The ark held two of every animal, alongside Noah’s family. The reason for building this ark was because God viewed the earth as corrupt and he was going to flood the planet by making it rain for “forty days and forty nights”, to wipe out all beings and creatures on earth (Bible 5, 7:12). The next character is Moses, who is most famous for his tale of crossing the red sea by stretching his hand over the sea and dividing it so that he may cross it on dry land, then as the Egyptians crossed being them to stretch his hand out again, thus killing the Egyptians (Bible 57, 14). The final character is Jonah. Jonah’s story is about him getting swallowed up by a big fish, which is sometimes also referred to as a whale, when God “anointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah” (Bible 774, 1:17). Each of these characters have a memorable story that tells about right and wrong-doings of people, the lessons they needed to learn or about the relationship God has with humans.
In the Qur’an, all these characters are summed up into one book, the book of Jonah. In this book, all 3 people are spoken of in short and have a small relationship to the stories they have in the bible (Qur’an 869-875). This shows the nature of the Qur’an of being less descriptive and more focused on getting across ideas through a more direct way of speaking. Jonah is mentioned as being swallowed but not as much about being a glorification to God as it is portrayed in the bible through Jonah’s prayer. Moses is spoken of in the book of Jonah calling out the non-believers, because of them calling the Truth, sorcery (Qur’an 873). The last character is Noah. His tale is spoken in very short sentences, spanning over a few lines. In the limited lines used, the tale of Noah’s ark was used as a reminder of the revelations god has performed and enacted on.
The Bible is a highly renowned religious text that has touched most of the world by either oral testimonies to translated books, and the Qur’an is a most sacred text that is a guide for the Islam religion. Although these two books can be so similar is certain aspects, the differences are undeniable. In conclusion, through extensive research and comparison of knowledge, although the Bible and Qur’an are both religious texts that have similar characteristics, language, and histories of people, they are vastly different in tone, story, and writings of each book.
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