John vii. 16; viii. 28; xii. 49, 50; xiv. 10, 24). We Christians do not believe that the Law and the Gospel were written down in heaven ages before the creation of the world and then brought down piecemeal to the prophets and dictated to them word for word. Such a doctrine might perhaps be described as contrary to Reason, but you Muslims at any rate could not bring such an argument against us without condemning yourselves. It is true that the Bible does contain a great deal of history, because our faith rests upon historical facts, not upon fancies and assertions. But the history of the Israelites and the narratives given us of the lives of prophets and apostles are capable of being proved true, and have been so proved wherever means exist of testing them. We do not find in the Bible statements like some in the Qur'an, e.g. that Haman was Pharaoh's wazir (cf. Surahs XXVIII., Al Qisas, 5; XXIX., Al 'Ankabut, 38; XL., Al Mu’min, 25, 38), and that the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, was sister of Aaron (Surah XIX., Maryam, 29) and daughter of 'Imran (Amram) (Surah III., Al 'Imran, 31, &c.), and hence identical with Miriam the sister of Moses and Aaron1. God teaches by the history contained in the Bible the reason for the coming of Christ

1 In a note Sale refers to the Muhammadan attempt to answer this charge brought against the Qur'an. All they can say is that the Virgin Mary had a brother called Aaron, &c. &c. But this is only assertion, without a particle of proof.

and the manner in which His way was prepared. There is good reason, therefore, why so large a portion of the Bible should consist of history, telling us of God's dealings with mankind, and revealing to us God's view of human history. In this way we learn to judge our own conduct, and perceive that "Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" (Prov. xiv. 34). The Epistles that bear the names of certain apostles were written by them under Divine guidance (John xiv. 26), and hence, as "all1 Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. iii. 16), the Qur'an is justified in giving the Bible the title of the "Word of God," and so are we. In our view of Inspiration, God did not use merely the apostles' or prophets' mouths or hands, but made use of their whole being, the wisdom which He had bestowed on them, their minds and hearts and souls and spirits as well as their bodies, to convey His message to men. When we find, therefore, a human element in Scripture, this by no means disproves its inspiration, since we do not hold an illogical view of inspiration like that held by some, as for example the Hindus and the Sikhs. Nor do we hold the Muhammadan view of Inspiration, which seems to us to be illogical too. If you consider all these facts I think you will perceive that in accepting the Bible as the Word of God we

1 πασα γραφη θεοπνευστος και ωφελιμος προς διδασκαλιαν. As is well known, this verse is differently rendered by some.