Chapter 15: Contradictory Statements in the Gospels
Since man is liable to forgetfulness and error, his statements are not free of contradictions and thus now and then he says and writes something which contradicts his previous statements.
There are many subjects which he discusses with plausible precision, but after a time he makes suggestions opposing his previous ones.
This failure is limited to mankind as a creature who cannot avoid forgetfulness and it is utterly impossible to attribute such a failure to the creator of the universe, the Almighty God, who is omniscient and omnipotent.
A Book sent by God to guide humanity is, therefore, bound to be entirely free from contradictions and errors. A perfect example of such books is the Holy Qur'an, throughout which a single contradiction and reasoning is not found.
Therefore, we can consider this fact a sign of the heavenliness of this great Book, for, logically speaking, it is impossible for an ordinary man who has not been educated to read and write, but has been busy leading a sweeping movement and facing countless difficulties, to compose such a book without being in association with God.
Unfortunately, Christian religious Scripture, unlike the Qur'an, includes numerous contradictions and we wonder how the Holy Fathers ascribe the so- called Holy Bible to God.
What Are Contradictory Statements?
As we all know, contradictory statements are two propositions on a singe point which disagree with each other and those who speak in the language in which these statements are made cannot justify both of them. If, for example, we say: "Man has traveled to the moon" and then we say:
"Man has not traveled to the moon"; these are two contradictory statements. Wherever you come across such opposing sentences, you should realize that you are faced with contradictions. Now, let us make a brief study of the Four Gospels to see whether or not they contain contradictory statements.
1-The Abuses Made by the Thieve
The Gospel according to Matthew describes the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ as follows: "Then were two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.
If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.... The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth." (Matt. 27:38- 44).
As you see, according to the Gospel of Matthew, the two thieves, being crucified, abused Jesus Christ. The Gospel according to Luke, on the other hand, writes: "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Doth not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." (Luke, 23:39-41).
It is true that Matthew and Luke both want to mention the crucifixion of two thieves with Jesus, but the formers statement, "Both of the thieves abused" is contrary to the latter's statement: "One of the wrong doers abused Jesus, the other rebuked him". So these two statements are considered contradictory.
Recounting Christ's advice to his disciples, Mark writes: "And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats."
(Mark, 6:7-9). Take note that Mark quotes the advice concerning taking a staff and wearing shoes and does not disapprove of taking them. But the Gospel of Matthew frankly forbids this, saying: "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, (saying to them :). Provide neither gold, nor silver,
nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat." (Matt, 10:1-10). It is obvious that the two above statements do not correspond each other.
3-Peter being investigated
Having narrated the story of Peter's escape, the Gospel of Matthew says: When Peter went among the enemies of Christ, he was suspected by them, who asked him three times whether or not he had been with Christ. He persistently denied this.
The Gospel of Matthew states that the first and the second times he was questioned by two maids. But the Gospel of Mark, contrary to Matthew's statement, says that only one maid (not two maids) asked him such a question for the first two times.
Mark writes that "as Peter was beneath in the palace, there came one of the maids of the high priest. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him and said, and thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied saying I know not, neither understands I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch, and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, this is one of them, and he denied it again…"
Moreover, the contradictions between these two Gospels and the Gospel of Luke is even more remarkable, because if these two Gospels are in disagreement with each other on the subject of the investigation made by one or two maids, they correspond in the fact that the investigators have been women not men. But the Gospel of Luke suggests that the second time a man, not a man, has questioned Peter.
(Luke, 22:55-59). It should be born in mind that Peter, as prophesied by Jesus, did not deny Jesus more than three times. So this contradiction cannot be justified by saying that different people posed this question to Peter,
who denied Jesus once in each answer to each person and that at the second time a number of people questioned him and he made a single denial in the presence of all of them, because judging from the statement, after the second question has been made,
that "the maid began to say to them that stood by", we understand no one besides the maid knew the matter, but other people became aware of the fact only after the question was made for the second time. It is true that the three Gospels intend to point out that Peter denied Christ before the cock crew, but they contradict each other in the details.
4-The Time of Mary's Arrival
The Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John specify the rime when Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, came to his grave as follows: "They arrived at dawn, when it was still dark." But unlike these Gospels, the Gospel of Mark says: "Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother and Jacob ... came to the burial place of Jesus Christ at sunrise". It goes without saying that the dawn when it is still dark is perceptibly different from the sunrise when it is already bright and therefore they cannot be the same.
5-How long did Christ remain in the grave.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Christ said that like Jonas, who remained three days and three nights in the Whale's belly, he, too, would remain three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (St Matthew; 12, 40).
Whereas, Mark states that Jesus stayed in the grave for two nights and one day, adding that he was buried on Friday evening, the day before the sabbath, and when Mary Magdalene came to his sepulchre at the rising of the sun on Sunday, she saw that Christ had already risen from the grave. (Mark; 15:42 and 16:1-5).
At this stance, besides the contradiction between the narratives of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark, we are confronted with the attribution of a lie to Jesus Christ, who said that he would stay three days and three nights in the grave!
At any rate, these contradictions and mistakes in the Gospels are enough to convince us that the Christian's present religious literature cannot have drawn its inspirations from divine revelations; otherwise, these differences and contradictions would never have occurred.
Accordingly, the authors of these writings cannot be considered divinely inspired, since they would have been expected to be in agreement in their statements and such misrepresentations would have never occurred, had they been in contact with the Omniscient God. For this valid reason, we affirm that the Christians' existing Bible is (edited) interpolated without any shadow of doubt. It is a fake and far from proving a heavenly book.
Chapter 16: What is The Religion of the Sword?
A malicious charge made against Islam by Christian preachers is that; "Islam has spread by the sword". They also claim that "it was the Muslims' sword which converted African and Asian peoples one by one into Islam."
It is impossible for us in this short treatise to demonstrate the actual reality as clear as possible by referring to historical events and by making a complete study of the sacred verses of the Holy Qur'an and the Bible. But we may briefly point out that the Christian preachers, without having studied the Quranic verses, he made this accusation and have not noticed that in what context Islam orders the Jihad (holy war) and what it means by making it.
In principle, war in Islam is not waged for the purpose of expansionism, conquests and blood shed. It is, however, designed to save oppressed and helpless people who have been denied their legitimate rights and are being burned in the fire of oppression, corruption, paganism, dictatorship and civil deprivations.
God says in the Qur'an: "And how should you not fight for the cause of Allah, and for the helpless old men, women and the children who say: 'Deliver us, Lord, from this city of wrongdoers; send forth to us a guardian from Your presence; send to Us one that will help us'?" (Sura "Women" verses 75).
War in Islam is also waged in order to remove wickedness and establish social justice and general peace. How gloriously are the words of God saying: "And fight against them [the unbelievers] as long as no wickedness will- remain and the religion will be for God . . ." (Sura "Spoils of War", verse 39). It is evident that the Holy Qur'an prescribes a war effort for the sake of God and for the salvation of deprived masses and abolition of malignity's.
Islam is not a forced religion. The Jews and Christians can adhere to their own religions, but they have to observe conditions necessary for mutual peace and coexistence.
In Islamic warfare, poisoning, killing of women, children and old men are forbidden and even cutting down of trees and destroying of buildings are disapproved under Islamic law.
The question is whether or not it is a good deed to fight in order to end wickedness, liberate deprived masses and establish social justice. Is it, then, correct to say that in Islam the sword has been used to impose a certain belief on other people?
The answer to these questions are negative and the Christian preachers who make accusations against Islam should know that the spread of Islam is due to its simplicity, practicability sand comprehensiveness and because of these characteristics it continues to advance without possessing propaganda means and possibilities.
God sent His Messenger, the Prophet of Islam, as an act of benevolence, to the whole people of the world. As He vividly says in the Holy Qur'an: "We sent you only to be a favor to the worlds." Invitation to Islam was not made from the beginning by force and the sword, as claim the holy fathers. On the contrary, it was made by the aid of reasoning, argument, philosophy and preaching.
As God says: "Invite to the path of thy Lord God through philosophy and benevolent preaching." (Sura "The Bee" verse 125). If the Christian preachers had studied the Torah and the whole Bible, they would not have made such irrelevant assertions. In Dueteronomy we read: "Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain" (Deuteronomy, 2:32-34).
Is the murder of women and children a justifiable action? Has this war been waged in favor of humanity and justice? Is such a war policy comparable with the war policy of Islam? Is such cruelty not based on the religion of the sword? There is no doubt that the murder of women and children is inconsistent with the principles of co-existence and humanitarianism.
Such a brief comparison makes it clear that by Jihad for God, Islam does not aim to make bloodbath, revenge and imposition of faith, but, unlike Crusaders who waged wars solely to make conquests and colonize other lands, the Muslims have sought peace, stability and welfare for the deprived people all over the world.
People embraced Islam and continue to do so because Islam fulfills their innermost needs and inherent inclinations. However, with all these freedoms offered to non-Muslim people in different countries and despite the fact that there are currently no propagating organization in Islam, the religion of Islam advances continuously in Asia and Africa, especially at a time when there have been increasing perceptible signs of decline in religious faith in recent years.
Today, it is impossible to claim that the conquerors' swords are paving the way for the spread of Islam. As a matter of fact, in the regions, which were once ruled by Islam and are now governed by non-Islamic rulers, powerful non- Islamic propagating institutions have been operating for long years among Muslim inhabitants. Nevertheless, these institutions shave not been able to detach Islam from the social and individual life of those people.
What miraculous force does underlie this religion? What inherent force of persuasion has been mingled with this religion so that thoughtful and freethinking people embrace it with great enthusiasm?
Those who say: "Islam has advanced by the sword" have no intention except malice and vindictiveness and historical facts and current events disprove such a wicked assertion.