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236. M. In John x. 8 Christ calls all the preceding prophets "thieves and robbers." How can the verse which represents Him as doing so be from God, or be anything but an interpolation?

C. He does not do so. Again and again He speaks of Moses and the other prophets as divinely commissioned. The persons to whom He refers in this verse are probably the Theudas and the Judas of Galilee mentioned in Acts v. 36, 37, who were deceivers of the people, falsely claiming to be the Messiah1. [Another explanation is that Christ spoke of the Pharisees, as they "came before" Him, claiming to be the "door of the sheep," mediators between God and man. But they had stolen the "key of knowledge" (Luke xi. 52), and had "shut the kingdom of Heaven against men" (Matt. xxiii. 13).]

237. M. The present Gospels contain no directions

1 The Bishop of Lahore refers to Bishop Westcott's note, which makes Christ's words condemn every one who came before Christ with the claim to be ο ερχομενος . This was not the case with any of the true prophets.

(as the Law and the Qur'an do) regarding fasting, almsgiving, the times and modes of worship, the correct way to slaughter animals, &c. This shows that they have been tampered with by interested persons.

C. The objection shows a failure to understand the spirit of the Gospels and the "perfect law of liberty" which Christ gave. He did give what directions He deemed needful about almsgiving, fasting, prayer, &c. (John iv. 24; Matt. vi. 1-23, &c.).

238. M. Christians themselves admit that the Bible did not "descend" word for word and letter for letter as did the Qur'an, which is a transcript of the "Mother of the Book" preserved in Heaven (Surah XLIII., Az Zukhruf, 3). It is therefore worthless as compared with the Qur'an.

C. We know the origin of the Qur'an, that it was composed by Muhammad 1 [whose prophetic claims are devoid of proof]. We know the sources from which he drew his teaching, and know that they are unreliable 2. No book has come down from Heaven in the way you imagine, yet we have proof of the inspiration of the Bible in the fulfilment

1 Care must be taken not to hurt a Muslim's feelings when saying this, for he fancies that the Qur'an is of Divine authorship.
2 Vide the Yanabi'u'l Islam, and also my Original Sources of the Qur'an. It may be well to point out the Redaction which the Qur'an underwent under the Khalifah 'Uthman. (Vide Mishkatu'l Masabih, pp. 185, 186.)

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