International lecturing opportunity
Recently I was invited to present a lecture to over 100 Christians living in various countries via zoom. Many of these countries have empowered Islam by enshrining it within their constitutions. The invitation to speak came from Daniel Scot, and my lecture was just one of a series of lectures that he and others were delivering to form an Islamic Apologetics subject in a course run by Oral Roberts University in the US.
Using the Quran as a foundation
The lecture started by showing teachings from the Qur’an (aka Quran, Koran) about the Torah and the Gospels. Chapter 19 of my book, Echoes of Jesus: Does the New Testament Reflect What He Said (2019, 2nd edition) devotes several pages to this very important aspect of Islam. Here are some excerpts from pages 387 to 391 (I have deleted the footnotes):
Surprisingly, deciding to trust in the New Testament would not change some of the beliefs in Jesus that a follower of Islam should already acknowledge, as the Quran contains some teachings that are in agreement with the New Testament. For example:
- Jesus was born from a virgin called Mary.9
- Jesus healed people that were born blind and others that had leprosy.10
- Jesus brought the dead back to life.11
- Jesus is called ‘His [Allah’s] Word’.12
- Jesus is a sign from Allah for all people.13
What I found even more surprising than these similarities is the claim that the Quran itself teaches that the Gospels are a revelation from the God who created the universe. In order to verify this startling conclusion, I embarked on the following study of the relevant verses found in the Quran. Because the Quran was originally written in Arabic, and as various English translations differ to each other, I have made use of at least two English translations of each Quranic verse and have used only those that have been listed in a pro-Islamic website as being generally accepted translations. These verses sometimes contain words enclosed in curved brackets (parentheses) that represent the translator’s additions….
Moreover, the truth found in the Gospels and the Torah is of such a profound nature that the Quran instructs that Christians and Jews should obey the Gospels and the Torah that they had in their possession:
Say: ‘O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs —unless you [truly] observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!’ Yet all that has been bestowed from on high upon thee [O Prophet] by thy Sustainer is bound to make many of them yet more stubborn in their overweening arrogance and in their denial of the truth. But sorrow not over people who deny the truth. (Sura 5:68, Muhammad Asad)
Say, ‘Oh people of the book! You are not at all rightly guided unless you put into practice the Torah, the Gospel, and other revelations sent to you by your Lord.’ (Oh Muhammad, SAW) the fact is, what your Lord has revealed to you has rather increased the (attitude of) rebellion and disbelief in most of them. Do not grieve or feel sorry for the unbelieving nation. (Sura 5:68, Munir Munshey)
You can read these verses by clicking www.islamawakened.com/ and then selecting ‘The Qur’an’ link for an index to suras in the Quran. Sura is a word used to denote a chapter in the Quran.
Building on the foundation
These and other similar statements from the Qur’an indicate that Muhammad – the founder of Islam – regarded the existing Torah and the Gospels as having divine authority. Therefore, if our copies of these books can be shown to be the same as those which existed during his life, then it is not reasonable for Muslims to dismiss them on the allegation that the copying has been faulty. Getting back to my lecture, from this foundation it was logical to help the students see the accuracy of the copying of these Old Testament and New Testament books over the centuries.
Urdu language interpretation with Daniel Scot
The students were all Urdu speakers, and Daniel Scot generously acted as the Urdu language interpreter. This was a big task as the Question & Answer segment alone ran for over an hour and a half! The lengthy time of interaction reflected the enthusiasm of the students, and I enjoyed my time with them immensely.
Pastor Scot is an author and world-famous scholar on Islam. Share the Gospel with Muslims is just one of his many books. Daniel addressed the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva in 2007. He and his wife Mariat are very experienced lecturers and have a deep, sacrificial, and practical love for those with a Muslim background. It is wonderful to count them as friends, but even more awesome to watch their love for others in action.
About 70 million people speak Urdu as their preferred/first language, and another 100 million people speak it as their second language. Urdu is the national language of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. In India, a 2016 ruling listed Urdu as one of 22 scheduled languages that have been given official government endorsement.
I have now been invited to deliver three more lectures over the next couple of months. What an honour! Please thank God for this privilege, and pray for the presenters and especially the students. It was dangerous for many of them to be listening. What a great privilege we have given the freedoms we enjoy in Australia.
To discover more about how our Gospels came to be written – and how accurately they have been copied – buy Echoes of Jesus today. It is enjoyable to read whether or not you have a life linked to Jesus Christ. Available at Koorong, Amazon, and other bookshops:
Buy Share the Gospel with Muslims from: firstname.lastname@example.org
In His Wake,
P.S The entrance drive to Oral Roberts University contains these 18 m (60 foot) high bronze hands sculptured by Leonard McMurray; what a statement! The inscription from Luke 2:52 reads: ‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.’