PRESUMPTUOUS CHRISTIANS Whether Catholic, Protestant or a "Cultist," of the thousand -and - one - sects - and - denominations-of-Christianity, never will you find a missionary who will not, prima facie, presuppose that his potential convert accepts his "Holy Bible" as the book of final authority on every religious opinion? The only answer the prospective proselyte has is to quote verses from the Bible which are contradictory to the missionary's or debate their interpretations. THE DOGGED QUESTION When the Muslim proves his point from the Christian's own Holy Scripture, and when the professional priest, parson or predikant cannot refute the arguments — the inevitable Christian evasion is — "DO YOU ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS GOD'S WORD? On the face of it, the question seems to be an easy one, but a simple "Yes" or "No" cannot be given as an answer. You see, one has first to explain one's position. But the Christian will not give one the opportunity. He gets impatient. "Answer — 'Yes or No!' " he insists. The Jews did the same to Jesus two thousand years ago, except that surprisingly he was not strait-jacketed, as is the fashion today! The reader will readily agree that things are not always either BLACK or WHITE. Between these two extremes there are various shades of GREY. If you say "Yes" to his question, then it would mean that you are prepared to swallow everything HOOK, LINE and SINKER, from Genesis to Revelation from his Bible. If you respond with a "No" he quickly unhooks himself from the facts you have presented, and rallies support from his co-religionists in the audience with; "You see, this man does not believe in the Bible! What right has he to expound his case from our Book?" With this hydra-like somersault he rests content that he has safely evaded the issue. What is the Muslim to do? He has to explain his position vis-a-vis the Bible, as he ought to do. THREE GRADES OF EVIDENCE We Muslims have no hesitation in acknowledging that in the Bible, there are three different kinds of witnessing recognizable without any need of specialized training. These are: 1. You will be able to recognize in the Bible what may be described as "The Word of God." 2. You will also be able to discern what can be described as the "Words of a Prophet of God." 3. And you will most readily observe that the bulk of the Bible is the records of eye witnessess or ear witnesses, or people writing from hearsay. As such they are the "Words of a Historian" You do not have to hunt for examples of these different types of evidences in the Bible. The following quotations will make the position crystal clear: The FIRST Type: (a) I will raise them up a prophet . . . and I will put my words in ... and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18) (b) I even, I am the Lord, and beside me there is no saviour." (Isaiah 43:11) (c) "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the end of the earth: for I am God, and there is non else." (Isaiah 45:22) Note the first person pronoun singular (highlighted in green) in the above references, and without any difficulty you will agree that the statements seem to have the sound of being GOD'S WORD. The SECOND Type: (a) "Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani? . . ." (Matthew 27:46) (b) "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord:" (Mark 12:29) (c) "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is God." (Mark 10:18). Even a child will be able to affirm that: Jesus "cried" Jesus "answered" and Jesus "said" are the words of the one to whom they are attributed, i.e. the WORDS OF A PROPHET OF GOD. The THIRD Type: "And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he, (JESUS) came, if haply he (JESUS) might find anything thereon: and when he (JESUS) came to it, (Jesus) found nothing but leaves . . ." (Mark 11:13) The bulk of the Bible is a witnessing of this THIRD kind. These are the words of a third person. Note the underlined pronouns. They are not the Words of God or of His prophet, but the WORDS OF A HISTORIAN. For the Muslim it is quite easy to distinguish the above types of evidence, because he also has them in his own faith. But of the followers of the different religions, he is the most fortunate in this that his various records are contained in separate Books! ONE: The first kind — THE WORD OF GOD — is found in a Book called The Holy Qur’ân. TWO: The second kind — THE WORDS OF THE PROPHET OF GOD, (Muhummed, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) are recorded in the Books of Tradition called The Hadeeth. THREE: Evidence of the third kind abounds in different volume of Islamic history, written by some of high integrity and learning, and others of lesser trustworthiness, but the Muslim advisedly keeps his Books in separate volumes! The Muslim keeps the above three types of evidence Jealously apart, in their proper gradations of authority. He never equates them. On the other hand, the "Holy Bible" contains a motley type of literature, which composes the embarrassing kind, the sordid, and the obscene — all under the same cover — A Christian is forced to concede equal spiritual import and authority to all, and is thus unfortunate in this regard.