The Islam Debate

Josh McDowell and John Gilchrist vs. Ahmed Deedat

© 1983  Josh McDowell and John Gilchrist

Here's Life Publishers, San Bernardino, California All Rights Reserved

Campus Crusade for Christ Book

[Image]

1. Islam Relations Christianity. 2. Christianity and other religions Islam. 3. Islam Controversial literature. 4. Apologetics.
LC Class: BP172 .M39 1983 ~~ Dewey: 297/.1972 19 ~~ OCLC: 10162367 ~~ LCCN 83070193 ~~ 199p.

The Islam Debate is presently held by 75 libraries including Texas A & M University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . 9

   Why The Debate . . . . . . . . . . 9

   Why This Book . . . . . . . . . . 11

CHAPTER ONE: Historical Background of Islam . . . . . . . . . . 13

   History . . . . . . . . . . 14

      Muhammad . . . . . . . . . . 14

      The Call . . . . . . . . . . 15

      The Hijrah . . . . . . . . . . 17

      After Muhammad's Death . . . . . . . . . . 18

   Islamic Teachings . . . . . . . . . . 19

      Faith and Duty . . . . . . . . . . 19

      Qur'an . . . . . . . . . . 19

      Six Articles of Faith . . . . . . . . . . 25

     Five Pillars of Faith . . . . . . . . . . 26

   Cultural Expression . . . . . . . . . . 28

      Language and the Arts . . . . . . . . . . 29

      The Family . . . . . . . . . . 29

   Contemporary Influence . . . . . . . . . . 30

CHAPTER TWO: Teachings of Islam . . . . . . . . . . 33

   A Comparative Study of the Textual History of the Qur'an and the Bible . . . . . . . . . .  33

   Considering the Bible . . . . . . . . . .  33

      Variant Readings in the Qur'an and the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 35

      The "Multiple" Bible Versions . . . . . . . . . . 35

      The Apocrypha . . . . . . . . . . 40

      The "Grave Defects" . . . . . . . . . . 41

      Fifty Thousand Errors? . . . . . . . . . . 42

     "Allah" in the Bible? . . . . . . . . . . 45

      Alleged Contradictions in the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 46

      Parallel Passages in the Qur'an and the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 46

   Considering the Qur'an . . . . . . . . . . 50

   Evidence for the Reliability of the New Testament. . . . . . . . . . 53

      A True Picture . . . . . . . . . . 74

   Is Muhammad Foretold in the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 75

      Old Testament References . . . . . . . . . . 76

      New Testament References . . . . . . . . . . 83

   The Gospel of Barnabas . . . . . . . . . . 90

      Who Was Barnabas . . . . . . . . . . 91

      Historical Background . . . . . . . . . . 91

      Examination of the Gospel . . . . . . . . . . 94

         Was Barnabas Really Its Author? . . . . . . . . . . 94

         Evidence of Its Medieval Origin . . . . . . . . . . 99

         Who Actually Composed This Forgery? . . . . . . . . . . 102

   The Crucifixion and the Resurrection in the Qur'an and the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 103

      The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Bible . . . . . . . . . . 103

      The Denial of the Crucifixion in the Qur'an . . . . . . . . . . 105

      The Muslim Theory of Substitution . . . . . . . . . . 106

      "Hazrat Isa Is Dead!" — A Modern Alternative . . . . . . . . . . 108

      The Islamic Swoon and Its Ahmadiya Origin . . . . . . . . . . 111

      Ahmed Deedat's "Was Christ Crucified? . . . . . . . . . . 115

      What Was the Sign of Jonah? . . . . . . . . . . 125

      Muslim Confusion About the Crucifixion . . . . . . . . . . 127

      Evidence in the Bible for the Crucifixion and Resurrection . . . . . . . . . . 128

      The Resurrection . . . . . . . . . . 131

   Islamic Sects/Divisions . . . . . . . . . . 132

      Shi'ites . . . . . . . . . . 133

      Sunnis . . . . . . . . . . 134

      Sufis . . . . . . . . . . 137

      Ahmadiya . . . . . . . . . . 138

      Kharijites, Mu'tazilites, Wahhabis . . . . . . . . . . 139

CHAPTER THREE: Transcript of the Debate . . . . . . . . . . 143

   Opening Arguments . . . . . . . . . . 143

      Ahmed Deedat . . . . . . . . . . 143

      Josh McDowell . . . . . . . . . . 157

   Rebuttals . . . . . . . . . . 172

        Ahmed Deedat . . . . . . . . . . 172

      Josh McDowell . . . . . . . . . . 174

   Closing Statements . . . . . . . . . . 177

      Ahmed Deedat . . . . . . . . . . 177

      Josh McDowell . . . . . . . . . . 178

CONCLUSION: Islam and Christianity . . . . . . . . . . 181

   God . . . . . . . . . . 181

   The Bible . . . . . . . . . . 182

   Jesus Christ . . . . . . . . . . 184

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . 187

GLOSSARY . . . . . . . . . . 197

INTRODUCTION

WHY THE DEBATE?

In an age which is increasingly relativistic and syncretistic, one might ask — why debate about Islam? Why not "bury the hatchet" in a spirit of mutual trust and respect?

   Christians believe firmly in respecting members of other faiths but believe equally firmly that the salvation of the world remains vested in the work of Jesus Christ who died for the sins of men at the cross of Calvary.

   The Qur'an affirms various things revealed about Jesus Christ in the Bible, but it denies His divinity, crucifixion and resurrection. In so doing it has negated the heart of the gospel, that is, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the apostle Paul said: ". . . and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless, you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17 NASB). The Qur'an, in denying these all-important events in the life of Jesus, enters strongly into debate with Christianity.

   Islam is committed to challenging the claims of Christianity. In many situations what is looked at is a false Christianity. What is needed is not an abandonment of the contest, but for discussion to be greatly increased in a spirit of amicability, love and mutual understanding.

   Such a debate took a place between Josh McDowell and Ahmed Deedat, President of the Islamic Propagation Centre in Durban, South Africa,

Page 10

during August 1981. The subject struck at the roots of the dilemma between Islam and Christianity: "Was Christ crucified?" It was conducted in a spirit of warmth and tolerance without either speaker being expected to dilute his message or refrain from debating the issues head-on. Even though it was one of the wettest periods in the history of Durban, a large crowd of about 6,000 filled the outdoor tennis stadium. Both Muslim and Christian participated spiritedly in the occasion. The text of the debate is recorded at the end of this book and the open, frank, but charitable manner in which the speakers gave account of themselves is clear for all to see.

   The debate was initiated from the Muslim side. Ahmed Deedat, a well-known Muslim public speaker in South Africa, had read Josh McDowell's book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, and during 1980 wrote to him, challenging him to come to South Africa to debate the issues regarding the Christian and Muslim views on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This Muslim leader had held similar debates in South Africa with other Christians, including one with the co-author of this book, John Gilchrist, before a similar crowd six years earlier.

   Josh accepted the challenge, seeing it as an opportunity to clarify to thousands of Muslims the essence and heart of the gospel — the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ — and to clarify the many issues that divide Muslims and Christians over the person of Jesus Christ. Before the debate was ended, many, many Muslims were to hear, perhaps for the first time, a clear proclamation of the gospel of God.

   "You be the judge!" the posters advertising the symposium boldly claimed. Such a debate as this could not produce a "winner" in one sense of the word, as the issues under discussion had divided many nations for long ages and it was hardly likely that one side would be so successful in presenting its case that all adherents of the other would summarily abandon their heritage and change their religion.

   The great advantage of a dialogue such as this is that the adherents of both religions gained an excellent opportunity to hear both points of view. An atmosphere was created where each individual could examine the claims of another religion freely while evaluating those claims against the arguments for his own position.

   As Christians, we believe that the case for the biblical gospel is the right one, and it is our firm conviction that the arguments set forth by

Page 11

Mr. McDowell, though limited by time, were convincing proof that our case is a sound one. In this book the entire debate is reproduced without bias. Accordingly, all readers, whether Christian or Muslim, are free to judge for themselves.

   We are convinced that the debate furthered the cause of the Christian gospel among the Muslims of South Africa. With such a conviction, we have published this book. It is our firm persuasion that it will do much to further the ministry of the gospel to Muslims throughout the whole world.

      Josh McDowell                                      John Gilchrist, Esquire

  Julian, California                                             South Africa      

December 1982                                                    December 1982

WHY THIS BOOK?

   The debate has stirred a great deal of interest, in both the United States and South Africa, in the differences between Islam and Christianity. Therefore, we have not only published the text of the debate in this book, but we have also included significant background material on many of the issues that surfaced during the debate. For example, an entire chapter deals with the issue of the Christian New Testament not being a reliable historical document today about the life and claims of Christ. Accusations about Christian misinterpretations of various biblical passages concerning the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ are treated in more detail in this book than time allowed for during the debate. Various Islamic issues raised against Christians and their Bible were not directly addressed in the debate, and a Christian response is given here.

   Most Christians are unaware of arguments usually used by Muslim apologists against Christianity, and, when confronted by them, are often caught off guard. How many Christians have ever heard of the Gospel of Barnabas? How many would know how to deal with confident Muslim claims that the Gospel of Barnabas is the only reliable record of the life of Jesus Christ? Now knowing that this so-called gospel is a forgery of a much later age, the average Christian may find himself ill-equipped to give an adequate Christian response when challenged on this point.

   How many Christians could refute the bold claims made by Muslims regarding certain biblical texts which allegedly foretell the coming of   

Page 12

Muhammad? Muslims who raise such issues are usually well prepared with their arguments. How many Christians could give an equally confident Christian response?

   The above issues might seem obscure to most Christians, but they form an integral part of the Muslim polemic against Christianity.

   The purpose of publishing this material is threefold.

   (1) To help Muslims and Christians alike to better understand the similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity.

   (2) To help Christians better to relate to Muslims as a result of a greater knowledge of the Christian/Islam conflict through understanding some of the answers to Islamic accusations against the Christian Bible, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

   (3) To encourage a bolder Christian witness and expression of love to Muslims. One result of the preparation and research that went into preparing for the debate and for this book is a greater respect for Islam. It is profound faith that has the capacity to totally captivate a person's mind, will and emotions.

   I have greatly benefited personally from my involvement and dialogue with many Muslims. This has enhanced my love for those of the Islamic persuasion and given me a greater desire to share Christ's love and gospel with them.

Josh McDowell helps you understand every key difference between the Muslim and Christian faiths. If you are ready to love and share your faith with those of the Islamic persuasion in a new way, you are ready for The Islam Debate.

Begin reading now at Chapter One

The debate itself can also be found online from Josh McDowell by clicking here

The entire book can be found as a scanned 80 MB PDF by clicking here


The Islam Debate is hosted online by ccel.us

christian books online books