The Qur'an  & the  Bible

Course Description:

This course is a careful exploration of the contents of the Qur’an by reading completely through the Muslim scripture in translation. Each session of the course facilitates reflection on the contents of one tenth of the Qur’an. Insights into the Arabic text of the Qur’an will be offered. Muslim concepts of the chronology of the materials in the Qur’an will also be covered, as well as the way in which Muslim exegetes and other scholars have connected the words with incidents in the story of Muhammad; and truth claims which Muslims make for the Qur’an and how it came together.

More than any other source, the Qur’an has formed the basis of life, law and language for the Muslim community. A good knowledge of this book is indispensable for anyone who wants to understand the Islamic world—past or present. Only after a realistic knowledge of the contents can the reader develop an appropriate response.

This course will devote special attention to the way in which the Qur’an seems to interact with the Bible and its contents. (1) The Qur’an contains significant narratives about biblical figures such as Moses, Abraham, Noah and Adam. Passages that challenge biblical faith, and others which appear to support gospel witness, will be highlighted and discussed.

(2) The Qur’an also projects an undercurrent of suspicion about the handling of the earlier scriptures by Jews and Christians. Some Muslim commentators and polemicists have interpreted this undercurrent to mean an accusation of textual falsification against the Bible. The qur’anic verses in question, their exegesis, and a scholarly Christian response to the accusation will make up a distinctive component of the course.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a measure of facility in finding their way around the Qur’an

  2. Appreciate the range of types of material and types of language in the Qur’an

  3. Describe the way in which the diverse text units repeat and relate

  4. Explain the main themes of the content of the Qur’an

  5. Understand various aspects of the Muslim dogmatic approach to the Qur’an

  6. Articulate a Christian theological response to the Muslim scripture

  7. Locate passages which seem to either deny or support the gospel message

  8. Respond to the Qur’an’s claims in the midst of gospel witness among Muslim friends

  9. Make a case for the reliability of the New Testament and Old Testament

  10. Challenge Muslim accusers of the Bible with scholarly questions about the Qur’an

Excerpts from a sample lecture
Lesson 1 - Accusations against the Bible?
Lesson 2 - Origins of the Qur'an
Lesson 3 - Story of the messenger
Lesson 4 - Commands to fight and kill
Lesson 5 - The Qur'an's Prophetic Pattern
Lesson 6 - Reliability of the Gospel
Lesson 7 - Manuscripts and Canon of the Old Testament, Salvation in the Qur'an
Lesson 8 - Penetrating Questions for the Qur'an
Lesson 9 - The Full Extent of God's Love
Lesson 10 - Verses used to support the claim of 'inimitability'