through the prophet Jesus. Of course, this idea of the Gospel
as a book given to Jesus is fundamentally different from the
Christian idea of the Gospel as a message, not as a single
book — a message about Jesus Christ, not delivered to Him.
Muslims believe that what Christians and Jews call their
Sacred Scriptures are not the originals. When Muslims assert
that they believe in the Torah and the Gospel, they are
actually declaring their belief in books that they consider to
have been eradicated from the earth. (It is important to
remember, though, as a matter of historical fact, that neither
the Torah nor the Gospel existed as single ‘‘books’’ in the
first place. In fact, the New Testament as we know it was not
definitively collected and established by the Church until the
fourth century.) According to Islamic belief, the ‘‘original’’
and ‘‘uncorrupted’’ Torah and Gospel foretold the coming
of Muhammad as the final prophet. Muslims do not believe
that any copies of this ‘‘true Bible’’ exist today.
Muslims believe that ancient Jewish and Christian
scholars long ago conspired to collect every copy of their
Sacred Scriptures. They believe that the scholars then altered
the ancient Scriptures, deleting the name of Muhammad and
the prophecies indicating that Allah would send the final
prophet. Muslims also believe that doctrines like the Trinity
and the death of Jesus on the cross are blasphemous
fabrications that were added to the Bible by devious men.
This adulteration of Holy Scripture, Muslims claim, served
the purposes of the Jews and Christians who wanted to
reject Muhammad and keep their own positions secure.
They believe that Jews and Christians cared so little for God
that they changed the Word of Allah and lost the covenant