The Koran vs The Bible: Are these two books compatible?
by David Catchpoole
Muslims claim to respect Jesus and other Biblical figures, which has
caused many to think Islam may be an ‘additional’ revelation from the
Creator, building on a Biblical foundation.
However, the differences
between the Koran and the Bible are massive, beginning with the
foundational history in Genesis, upon which the Gospel is squarely
This evidence is consistent with the Christian claim that the Bible is the Creator’s truthful, sole revelation, and that the Koran, despite some superficial resemblances, is a radical departure from its teaching.
To list all instances where the Koran contradicts the Bible would take very many pages. But the following examples suffice to show how Koranic teaching is utterly incompatible with the Bible:
- The Bible says that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12), while the Koran says that only through Islam (obedience to Allah and his prophet Muhammad) can one avoid the ‘Blazing Fire’ (Koran 3:85; 48:13).
- The Koran denies Christ’s death and Resurrection. Various passages in the Koran (e.g. 4:155–159) say that Allah made it appear to the Jews as if Jesus was crucified—in the meantime, Allah took Jesus up to Heaven.
- While the Bible says that as descendants of Adam, all are born with a sinful nature (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:23), the Muslim view is that man is born innocent.1 The Koran refers to sin as ‘earned’ (4:111, 6:120, 24:11).
- The Koran denies that God is Triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).2 (Muslims do not address God as ‘Father’, believing that no man can be a ‘son’ of God.) ‘… and the Christians call Christ the Son of Allah. … Allah’s curse be on them: How they are deluded away from the Truth!’ (9:30–31).
- While the Bible says that it is by grace that we are saved through faith alone, ‘not by works lest any man should boast’ (Ephesians 2:8–9), the Koran (23:102–103) tells a very different story: ‘Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy, —they will attain salvation: But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide.’
- While the Bible calls Christians to ‘go and make disciples of all nations …’ (Matt. 28:19), this is to be done ‘with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15)—Christians do not use the weapons of the world to preach the Gospel (2 Corinthians 10:3–5). But for Muslims, a very different approach is prescribed in the Koran. E.g. ‘… then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them …’ (9:5). And, ‘… I will instill terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: Smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingertips off them.’ (8:12)
- While the Bible instructs a husband never to be harsh with his wife and to sacrificially love her ‘as Christ loved the church’, and not to deprive one another (1 Corinthians 7:5; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19); the Koran (4:34) says: ‘As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them … .’
- The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). The Koran does not.
- The Bible teaches of a God of love for whom death and suffering were not a part of His original creation; sin caused the world to fall from original perfection. By contrast, and in common with theistic evolutionary corruptions of Bible doctrine, the Koranic view of death and suffering has them as intrinsic to creation, a natural part of the way things are.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the worldview of Islam leads to a radically different understanding of the nature of God, humanity, salvation and the world in general. This must affect not merely the stance of individuals, but entire cultures.