79. M. YOU claim that the Bible as it now exists is the Word of God. Yet when we examine it we find that it is made up of books which bear certain men's names, as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Letters of St. Paul, and so on. Again, it contains the history of the Israelites, tales about the Prophets and Apostles, and even a letter from Judas the traitor. How can we accept such a book as having come down from heaven? Which of the four Gospels is the one which descended on Jesus, the Son of Mary? Is not your doctrine that this Bible of yours is a Divine Revelation (تنزيل tanzil1) contrary both to Reason and to the Qur'an?

C. This whole objection, like very many others, arises from a misunderstanding. The Epistle of Jude was not written by the traitor Judas, who was dead long before it was written. If you read the very first verse of the Epistle, you will see that it is from the hand of Judas the "brother

1 The word properly means something "sent down."

of James," and this apostle is thus described in Luke vi. 16, and Acts i. 13 1. Again, how can it be contrary to the Qur'an to speak of the Bible as the Word of God, when the Qur'an itself (Surah II., Al Baqarah, 70) gives it that very title? We have proved that the Bible which we now have is the same as that which the Jews and Christians had in Muhammad's day, and surely you do not accuse him of giving you as from God teaching contrary to reason. The Gospels are not strictly called those of St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, but in Greek the title is "the Gospel according to (κατα ) Matthew," &c. The word Gospel means "good news," in Arabic البشارة [Injil انجيل being a mere corruption of ευαγγελιον ], that is to say, the good news of God's love towards mankind as shown by His offering us salvation through Jesus Christ. Four men were directed and inspired by God to relate to us, each in his own words, under Divine inspiration and guidance, the sayings and doings of Christ, so that we might not depend upon merely one single man's evidence regarding such an important matter. There is only one "Gospel," as there is only one Christ, but the one Gospel is transmitted to us in four separate ways, so to speak, though delivered to us by Christ 2 Himself, who claimed that His teaching was from God

1 The other view, that the writer of the Epistle of St. Jude is the one mentioned in Matt. xiii. 55, is more commonly held. But the result is the same, i.e., he was not Iscariot.
2 Vide note to § 37.