Were the books that were sent before the Quran (the Torah, the Psalms and the Gospel) distorted and changed?
None of the divine books that had been revealed before the Qur’an and that are present today are the original copies that Allah revealed to His prophets. The original copies of those books had been lost in the course of time and had been rewritten by people. For this reason, some superstitions and wrong beliefs had been added to them.
For example, it is among the historical facts that, the Torah, could not be protected by Jews, who had a captivity life along the centuries, and who also had fallen into idolatry by losing their faith after Hazrat Moses (peace be upon him); and the copy that is present today had been written by some clergymen long after Hazrat Moses; yet, it was accepted as a book of religion again as if it was the original copy of the Torah. It is apparent that a book which appeared after such a long and complex era cannot be the original copy that had been revealed to Hazrat Moses. Therefore, the present copy includes some accusations and slanders that do not befit prophets and judgments that are contrary to the spirit of the religion of oneness (tawhid).
The Psalms (Zabur),which had been revealed to Hazrath Davud (peace be upon him), underwent the same process as the Torah.
As for the Gospel,Hazrat Eesa (Jesus) (peace be upon him) had not dictated the verses that had been revealed to him because he became a prophet when he was 30 years old, and his task of prophethood ended when he was 33. During that short period of time, he tried to guide the people by wandering from one village to another and from one city to another. And during his last days, he was constantly being followed by Roman rulers because of the provocations of the Jews. Under those circumstances, he could find neither enough time to dictate the Gospel, nor a possibility for it. Thus, the Gospels which are present today are called by their writers’ names (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and they look like siyar (a book in which the lives of prophets are told) books which include sermons and talks that Hazrat Eesa had given his apostles. Besides, those who had written them were not the first believers who were the apostles of Hazrat Eesa, but they were those who had seen the apostles and listened from them to the divine words that had been revealed to Hazrat Eesa.
There are some differences in terms of content and narration in the present Gospels.As a matter of fact, those Gospels had been accepted by a clerical council, consisting of one thousand people, which had gathered in Iznik (Nicaea) in 325 B.C. That council had searched hundreds of Bibles, and with the agreement of 318 members, they accepted the 4 Gospels in which it is claimed that Hazrat Eesa has the aspect of godhead. And they annihilated others by burning them.
As it is seen, the principle that Hazrat Eesa was the son of God (God forbid) was accepted by a council decision years after Hazrat Eesa died. Some Christian churches did not even obey that decision. So, from this point of view, it is not possible to say that the present 4 Gospels are in accordance with the original Gospel which was revealed to Hazrat Eesa.
The divine books which are divine verses are far away from any kind of contradiction and controversy.And the books which had been given to the messengers who had been sent are the words of God. The fact that the original Gospel had been distorted is understood clearly from the contradictions and different information given in the 4 Gospels.
The aim of the Gospel of Matthewis about the life, death and resurrection of Hazrat Eesa. Mark’s Gospel is the shortest one and he mentions about the interests that people had shown to Hazrat Eesa and mentions a lot about his life. And Luke sets forward his aim clearly at the beginning that he will narrate the life of Eesa (peace be upon him) truly and comprehensively. The fact that Luke expresses that he wrote his book addressing Theophilus (Luke: 1/3) shows that this book does not belong to Hazrat Eesa. And John says that he has written that Gospel himself by stating, “You will attain life with his name.” (20/30-31).
The divine revelation is nothing but the remark, word and the declaration of Allah.It includes the laws, commands and the prohibitions that God arranged for the prophets and their communities. It informs about previous prophets and the hereafter.
As it is seen, those Gospels mentioned above were written after Hazrat Eesa died and they are about his life. The divine copies were mixed, and the original Gospel that had been revealed to Hazrat Eesa was distorted. When it is searched and when one thinks with good sense, that truth can be seen clearly.
The Quran states as follows that the Gospel was distorted:
There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues; (as they read) so that you would think it is a part of the Book but it is no part of the Book; and they say "That is from Allah" but it is not from Allah: it is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it! (Aal-i Imran, 3/78)
We can list some distortions and contradictions that are present in the four Gospels as follows:
1. According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the prophethood of Jesus lasted one year but according to John, it lasted more than two years.
2. According to Matthew, the number of the generations that passed between David and Jesus is twenty-six but according to Luke, it is forty.
3. In some parts of the Gospels, Jesus is described as a deity and in some places as a human being. There is an obvious contradiction between them
4. According to Christianity, when Jesus was about to be crucified, he begged God: "O God! O God! Why did you leave me?" If this word belongs to Jesus who is God, it means he cannot protect himself though he is God. If this word belongs to Jesus who is a prophet, it means he does not know God well. For, a prophet would never say, "O God! Why did you leave me?" According to our belief, Jesus was not crucified; he did not beg God like that, either.
5. Matthew says the there were forty people in the pedigree of Jesus up to Abraham but Luke says fifty-five people.
6. In Gospels, phrases like "son of God", "son of Joseph", "son of David" and "son of Adam" are often used. There is an obvious contradiction among them.
7. In the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel is attributed to God but in the Epistle to the Romans, it is attributed to Jesus.
8. In the Gospel of Luke, God is mentioned as the savior in a place and Jesus is mentioned as the savior in another place.
9. There is contradictory information whether God can be seen or not in the Gospels.
10.These Gospels can be attributed neither to God nor to Jesus. We understand that the Gospel cannot be attributed to God because its original form was not maintained, it was not written down, there is not a common text that is agreed on, etc. We understand that it cannot be attributed to Jesus because he did not dictate the Gospel, those who listened to him or those who listened to those listeners wrote the Gospels and there are incoherency, mistakes and contradictions in them. Another reason why those Gospels cannot be the Gospel of Jesus is that the crucifixion of Jesus is mentioned in the texts of the Gospel. That the crucifixion is mentioned in the Gospel shows that these Gospels were written afterwards.
Since the contradictions and incoherency mentioned above cannot exist in a book attributed to God and since a prophet cannot deify himself and cannot humanize God, it becomes apparent that the holy book of Christians was written afterwards by humans and that it was distorted.
Consequently, the different Gospel texts that Christians have today are not the original revelations sent down by Allah. For, Jesus neither wrote nor dictated anything during his prophethood. After he was raised to the sky, some of his students wrote what they heard from him and their students wrote what they heard from the students of Jesus based on their own methods. Thus, hundreds of Gospels - it is no exaggeration - emerged. The council of Nicaea, which convened to settle the problem, examined three hundred and twenty-five Gospels and declared four of them to be sound and the rest to be fake. However, the arguments did not end. For instance, the Gospel of Barnabas and Ebionites were included among the fake Gospels. However, it was written in those Gospels that Jesus is not God, that it was not Jesus who was crucified, that he was a slave and messenger of Allah, that another prophet would come after him and that Allah was one.
The Gospels that are present today are far from guiding the members of Christianity. It is remarkable that both in the past and present, most of the members of the other religions that embraced Islam are Christians. Christians have difficulty in accepting the creed of trinity, the creed that God consists of God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They cannot explain it rationally. For, the creed of the oneness of Allah was not even discussed by any of the prophets sent since the time of Adam; the doctrine of three gods, which emerged through a terrible deviation, cannot convince people.
Today the only source that will meet all of the religious needs of man in the world along with his worldly, otherworldly and spiritual needs is the Quran. For, Allah sent the religion of Islam to make it superior to all religions and to spread His light all over the world. The road map of this religion is determined by the Quran.