Does the Qur'an (Koran) contain errors?
Devout Muslims teach that the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, is the inspired word of Allah through the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. As such, they claim there are no errors in the Qur'an.
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Two matters should be discussed in this regard. They include the origin of the Qur'an and the evidence for its claims of perfect inspiration.
First, a look at the origin of the Qur'an reveals that many early copies were in circulation before a final revision by Uthman in the seventh century. Once the final version was completed, all other unauthorized copies were to be destroyed. While Muslim scholars can argue that the Qur'an today resembles the Qur'an of the seventh century, the versions that existed prior to this authorized version are much disputed.
Second, even if this later authorized version were proven to be the same as the original version given to Muhammad, then it should exist without error. However, several researchers have noted a variety of historical and scientific errors that exist in the Qur'an. For example, Surah 65:12 claims there are only seven planets. Just in our solar system there are several more. This does not include many additional planets being discovered beyond our solar system.
In addition, another scientific error can be found in Surah 54:1 that claims the moon was at one point split in two. There is no scientific evidence to support this has ever taken place. The Qur'an also speaks of the seven "atmospheres" of the earth, something that contradicts modern science (Surah 41:12).
Further, the Qur'an includes many self-contradicting statements. Muslim scholars generally respond to this criticism by the concept called abrogation, teaching that the later revelations supersede the earlier revelations. But if the Qur'an is perfectly inspired, then why would later revelations be necessary to "correct" or supersede previous revelation? For example, on three occasions the Qur'an teaches the earth was made in six days (7:54; 10:3; 11:7). In other places, the earth was created in two days (41:9, 12), four days (41:10), and some add the days in Surah 41 to equal a total of eight days. In any arrangement, the totals do not add up.
If the origin of the Qur'an is uncertain and the internal evidence concerning the Qur'an offers inaccurate and self-contradicting statements, how can it be the product of a perfect God? In contrast, Christianity affirms that the Bible is God's inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) that provides God's revelation necessary to know Him and live for Him. Of utmost importance, it reveals how to know God through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who do so receive eternal life and a new relationship with God to empower their lives today.
Have Christians corrupted the Bible?
Are there errors in the Bible?
Should a Muslim read the Bible? Does the Qur'an reject the Bible?
Does the Qur'an replace the Bible?
How do we know which book - The Bible, the Apocrypha, the Qur'an, the Book of Mormon, etc. - is the Word of God?
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