Startling Similarities (and Contrasts) Between the Bible and the Quran
I have been a pastor for the past 28 years. I am a conservative evangelical who believes all the basic tenets of Christianity: the Trinity, virgin birth and sinless humanity of Jesus Christ, the vicarious death and physical resurrection of Christ, the future judgments of the saved and the lost, salvation by grace, and so forth. I have personally talked to and shared my faith with hundreds of Muslims, both here in America and overseas. In almost all my conversations with my Muslim friends, the conversations and debates have been polite and respectful. I have also read the entire Quran all the way through twice, in two different English translations (I cannot read Arabic, unfortunately).
One translation I used is the Yusuf Ali translation that I bought at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. many years ago. The other is by N.J. Dawood and is published by Penguin Classics. I realize that reading the Quran twice does not make me an expert, nor do I pretend to be an expert. And I fully intend to read the Quran many more times to get a better understanding of the faith embraced by over one billion people. However, here are some of my observations about the striking similarities and contrasts between the Bible and the Quran:
Obviously both books claim divine origin, speaking of the one true God who exhibits similar qualities. The Bible was composed by at least 40 authors over a period of about 1400 years, being completed at the end of the first century. The Quran has one human author (Muhammed), and is actually a Medieval book. It was recorded almost 600 years after the New Testament was completed. Both books teach that this one true God is eternal, holy, just, merciful, and forgiving.
These books also share similar stories of creation, the fall of man, a universal flood, and the triumphs of great people of faith: the prophets, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Mary, and Jesus are all revered in both texts.