Six Startling Contrasts Between the Bible and the Quran
I recently wrote about some of the "Startling Similarities (and Contrasts) Between the Bible and the Quran." Here are six more important differences between the holy books of the world's two largest religions:
1. Conversion Stories
As I have been reading the Bible for the past 40 years, I've noticed that its message first and foremost is the story of God extending grace to rescue fallen mankind. There are many stories of ordinary people and "great" prophets, all struggling in their faith. There are also several conversion stories. For example, in the Old Testament, Manasseh is a diabolically murderous king of Judah (2 Kings 21), but later we find out in 2 Chronicles 33:11-20 that while he was in prison he truly repented and turned his life over to God. It is a wonderful "underreported" conversion story in the Bible! We have similar stories like that in the Bible: the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), the woman at the well (John 4), and of course, the conversion of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
But in my reading of the Quran, I've personally seen nothing like this at all (maybe I've missed something; I will continue to read through this book embraced by over one billion people). I've seen no stories of reprobates experiencing the transforming grace of God. No stories of God reaching out in mercy and forgiving someone in their wretchedness and lifting them up to a new life as you see all through the four Gospels and Acts. And in the Quran all the prophets are perfect. They never struggle with their faith, they never doubt God or let Him down (as they often do in the Bible). In the Bible, David, Peter, Moses, and Elijah are all portrayed as the redeemed sinners that they are—warts, doubts, failings, and all.