ministry, A.D. 610-632 were the identical Scriptures now in the hands of Jews
and Christians. But, for the benefit of the honest and enquiring Mussulman, the
following points may be briefly indicated for his further investigation.
There are now extant Manuscripts of an earlier date than the era
above-mentioned, and open to the most scrupulous examination of any enquirer.
There are Versions of the Old and New Testaments, translated before the
period in question. The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament was executed
prior to the Christian era. There are still remains of the Octapla of Origen,
drawn up four centuries before Mahomet, in which the various versions of the Old
Testament were compared in parallel columns. Of the New Testament there are
the Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian versions, made long anterior to Mahomet, by a reference
to which the Mussulman investigator will be able to satisfy himself that there
have been no alterations in the original text since the time of his Prophet.
Lastly, there are quotations from the sacred Scriptures, and
innumerable references to them, contained in the Jewish and Christian
writers of ages far earlier than Mahomet. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Clemens,
Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Eusebius, Chrysostom, Gregory, Basil, Ambrose,
Jerome, Augustine, and many others may be with this view readily consulted by
any Mahometan, if he will only take the trouble to learn the Greek and Latin
tongues. This species of coincident proof is the strongest that can be imagined.