Muhammad's time the Jews were in the habit of numbering even the words and letters of their Holy Books, and this they still do. How then can they be accused of corrupting them?

14. M. Their object in altering the Old Testament, and that of Christians in corrupting the New, was doubtless to strike out all prophecies relating to Muhammad.

C. Why? What did they hope to gain by doing so 1? If such prophecies were to be found in the Bible, why did they not accept Muhammad? By becoming Muhammadans they would have shared in the spoils promised to the Muslims, and given to them when they conquered and plundered Persia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and many other countries. They must have been tempted to insert prophecies of Muhammad rather than to eliminate them. By becoming Muslims they would have escaped from persecution, from slaughter at Muhammad's hands, and from all the suffering which has ever since been the lot of zimmis. Why should they, by striking out such prophecies (if any existed), have doomed themselves and their children to sufferings here and hereafter? But you Muslims answer your own charge against both Jews and Christians by asserting that both in the Old and in the New Testament as they at present exist there are still

1 If they did not eliminate the prophecies relating to Christ, was there not still less reason for their striking out those referring to Muhammad? (Rev. W. A. Rice.)

to be found many clear prophecies of Muhammad's coming. If so many have been left in, why do you accuse us of striking out a few?

15. M. Another reason was to insert passages in support of the false doctrines and evil practices that you had adopted, and to strike out those which were contrary to them.

C. How can that be, when the Taurat and Injil as they exist at present so distinctly forbid many practices and oppose many doctrines held by some Jews and Christians? For instance, the Jews are noted for usury, which is forbidden (Exod. xxii. 25; Lev. xxv. 35-37; cf. Surah IV., An Nisa’, 159). So too, idolatry is forbidden to Christians (Rev. xxi. 8), yet, if any misguided Christians practise and justify it, they do not try to alter the Bible, which so severely condemns idolaters.

16. M. Let me hear your other proofs.

C. The Jews and Christians could not have altered their Scriptures in or after Muhammad's time, even had they all been seized with madness and desired to do so. For they were already spread over a large part of the world, and could not meet together to agree upon corrupting the Bible. Had they altered it without collusion, their alterations would have differed from one another and been readily detected. Both Christians and Jews were then to be found in every part of Europe, in India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Armenia, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and throughout