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By
Fikre Tolossa, Ph. D.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
IS THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
AND THE KORAN ONE AND THE SAME? (Part 1)

Dr. Fikre Tolossa is an Ethiopian poet-playwright, educator and movie-maker with many published and unpublished books and articles. Four of his books, The Hidden and Untold History of the Jewish People and Ethiopians, Heaven To Eden, Promise Fulfilled and Thank You Life, are under publication. We will notify our readers when they see the light of the day this year. Dr. Fikre Tolossa lives and teaches in California.

I had a debate ten years ago with a Muslim fundamentalist whom I will call Mr. X in order not to reveal his real name. Our debate took place over the inter net while hundreds of people were watching before the event of September 11 which destroyed the twin New York towers and thousands of lives. Since Islam is very active still around the world affecting the lives of millions of people, I believe it is of paramount importance that that we know the fundamental differences and similarities between the Bible and the Koran and the God of the Bible and Koran. It is with this in mind that I am presenting my thesis below.

My Response to Mr. X
First and Foremost, Happy and Prosperous New Year and Millennium to You, Dear Mr. X. Having said that, let me refresh your memory by summarising the questions I posed to you last time and the answers you provided me with kindly.
The questions are mine and the answers are yours:

Q)  Is the God of the Bible and the Koran one and the same God, or are they two different gods?

A)  I have stated that the God of the Bible and the Koran is one God, and all the prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad etc.) prayed to this one and the same God.

Q) Do both books and religions have the same source?

A) My response to this is short: In so far as each of the two books contain “internal consistency” and unity of messages with each one of them and support each others’ claims, I say they must have the same source. However, if they differ or contradict each other, I submit, they do not have the same source at the point of their difference or contradiction…

Q)  Is Mohammed in the same line of prophets as Abraham, Moses and Jesus? Who is really Mohammed?

A)  You replied by providing the life-history of Mohammed and linked him with Ishmael, the son of Abraham whom he begat by Hagar, his maid-servant.)  In other words, you implied that he was in the same line of prophets such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus.

Q) Is God consistent or not with His sayings? In other words, will He say something in one place and contradict or distort the same sayings in another place?

A)  I believe God is consistent in everything He does. Period.

The above are the gist of my questions and your answers.
Before I delve into the discussion, I would like to state right in the beginning, that I am not out to belittle one religion and glorify another. Generally, I love people regardless of their religious affiliations.  I love Muslims and Jews as much I do Christians. I even love atheists, for, once upon a time, I was myself an atheist. It is just my nature to love people, and I can’t help it! However, I also love the truth no less than people.  In this thesis, I will search for the truth with you. To this end, I will attempt to examine the relationship between the Bible and the Koran analytically, trying my best not to be judgmental either way. After I present my thesis distinctly, any person with a sober and analytical mind, can judge whether I have succeeded in my endeavor.  My thesis will examine whether the God of the Bible is also the same God of the Koran. Here, let it be clear to every one that I am neither a scholar of the Bible and the Koran nor do I pretend to be a pious saint. I am an ordinary person like most of us are, and a sinner in the eyes of God. Irrespective of what I am, I intend to share with my readers what I noticed in my life time while flipping through the pages of the Bible and the Koran out of spiritual curiosity.

My reading of the Bible and the Koran has revealed to me that, even though the Koran recognizes both the Old and New Testaments and links itself to them, and despite the fact that it mentions the prophets and the holy ones of both the Old and New Testaments such as Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Mary and Jesus, to mention just a few, the stories it depicts about them are not exactly as that of the Bible, as it should be, if the Koran is the continuation of the Bible in a different historical time and place, and if the author of both the Koran and the Bible is one and the same God. They even contradict each other when it comes to the fundamentals. Furthermore, there is an irreconcilable difference between the two books pertaining the nature of Jesus and the concept of the Trinity, as well as the notion of the first sin and God’s plan of redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I will illustrate this briefly.

Dear Mr. X, your answer to one of my important questions was not only safe, but also wise. When I asked you whether both books and religions have the same source, you said, “in so far as the two books contain internal consistency and unity of messages within each one of them and support each other’s claim, I say they MUST have the same source. However, if they differ or contradict each other, I submit, they do not have the same source at the point of their difference or contradiction. Apart from that, I will be more than happy to address any specific question in this regard.”

You see, Mr. X, right from the outset I will provided you with a major evidence that indicates that there is an acute contradiction between the two books and proves that they don’t have the same God as their source.  Since you are a man of your words, I trust that you will take seriously the following evidence and the other proofs I will present you with.   

Both the Bible and the Koran tell us that Abraham had two sons, Ishmael, his first-born from his Egyptian maid-servant, Hagar, as well as, Isaac, his legitimate son whom he begot late in his life from Sarah, his legitimate wife. The Bible says that God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. (Gen., xxii. 1-18).

 

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