Other Religious Writings

Can They Be from God, Too?

by Bodie Hodge
Featured in Answers Magazine

Other alleged divine writings are not from God because they are not part of the Bible.

The answer seems too simple: other alleged divine writings are not from God because they are not among the 66 books of the Bible and, in fact, they contradict the Bible.

A Presuppositional Approach

This is a “presuppositional” approach, which means to presuppose that God exists and that His Word, the Bible, is the truth. This is the starting point or axiom.

God never tried to prove His existence or prove that His Word is superior to other writings. God simply opens the Bible with a statement of His existence and says His Word is flawless (Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 30:5). The Bible bluntly claims to be the truth (Psalm 119:160), and Christ repeated this claim (John 17:17).

In fact, if God had tried to prove that He existed or that His Word was flawless, then any evidence or proof would be greater than God and His Word. But God knows that nothing is greater than His Word, and therefore He doesn’t stoop to our carnal desires for such proofs.

The Bible also teaches us to have faith that God exists and that having faith pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6). Accordingly, we are on the right track if we start with God’s Word.

So how do we know that other religious writings are not from God?

God Will Not Contradict Himself

In the Bible, we read that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18). This is significant because it means that God’s Word will never have contradictions. Though skeptics have alleged that there are contradictions in the Bible, every such claim has been refuted. This is what we would expect if God’s Word were perfect.

Yet the world is filled with other “religious writings” that claim divine origin or that have been treated as equal to or higher than the Bible on matters of truth or guidelines for living. In other words, these writings are treated as a final authority over the Bible.

Any religious writing that claims divine inspiration or authority equal to the Bible can’t be from God if it has any contradictions: contradictions with the Bible, contradictions within itself, or contradictions with reality.

Examples of Contradictions in Religious Writings

A religious writing can be tested by comparing what it says to the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God will never disagree with Himself because God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). When the Bible was being written and Paul was preaching to the Bereans (Acts 17:11), he commended them for checking his words against the Scriptures that were already written. If someone claims that a book is of divine origin, then we need to be like the Bereans and test it to confirm whether it disagrees with the 66 books of the Bible. Paul’s writings, of course, were Scripture (2 Peter 3:16).

Religious books, such as Islam’s Koran, Mormonism’s Book of Mormon, and Hinduism’s Vedas, contradict the Bible; and so they cannot be Scripture. For example, the Koran in two chapters (Sura 4:171 and 23:91) says God had no son, but the Bible is clear that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (Matthew 26:63–64).

The Book of Mormon says in Moroni 8:8 that children are not sinners, but the Bible teaches that children are sinful, even from birth (Psalm 51:5). Few would dispute that the Vedas and other writings in Hinduism are starkly different from the Bible.

Also, such religious writings contain contradictions within themselves that are unanswerable without gymnastics of logic. In the Koran, one passage says Jesus will be with God in paradise (Sura 3:45) and another states that He will be in hell for being worshiped by Christians (Sura 21:98).

The Book of Mormon, prior to the 1981 change, says that American Indians will turn white when they convert to Mormonism (2 Nephi 30:6). If such writings were truly from God, such discrepancies couldn’t exist.

Since such alleged holy books are not from the perfect God, who are they from? They are from deceived, imperfect mankind. Mankind’s fallible reason is not the absolute authority. God and His Word are. Other books may have tremendous value, such as historical insight; but they are not the infallible Word of God.

The Bible warns that false philosophies will be used to turn people from the Bible (Colossians 2:8). So people need to stand firm on the Bible and not be swayed (1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Thessalonians 2:15).

So there are two options: place our faith in the perfect, all-knowing God who has always been there, or trust in imperfect, fallible mankind and his philosophies. The Bible, God’s Holy Word, is superior to all other alleged holy books. God will never be wrong or contradict Himself. So start with the Bible and build your faith on its teachings so that you please Him.

Quick Comparison

  Bible Islamic Scriptures Mormon Scriptures
View of Origins God created all things in six, 24-hour days, about 6,000 years ago. All creatures, including man, were created after their own kinds. Sin, disease, sickness, and death were not part of this creation. They came as a result of the Fall. The Koran teaches that Allah created all things, but it contradicts itself of the number of days. It also teaches that the first man and woman were created in Paradise but were later banished to earth after the fall into sin. God created man physically after He created the earth. However, we had a pre-earth life, in which we existed as God's “spirit children.”
View of Christ Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, who became man to live a perfect life, to be mankind's substitute on the Cross, and to rise from the dead, defeating death. Allah (God) created Jesus and appointed him to be a messenger to the Jewish people. The Koran does teach that Jesus was sinless but He was not God. Jesus is the spirit-brother to every man, and even Satan. Jesus is one of an endless number of gods and is a being separate from the Heavenly Father
Sin and Salvation Every person has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and His redeeming work on the Cross. Salvation is possible after adherence to the Koran, as well as performing the five pillars of the Islamic faith. But even then, salvation is not guaranteed. Sin was part of God's plan because without it mankind could not progress to become like God, know joy, or have children. Salvation is a combination of faith and works.
Life After Death Mankind will live forever either in heaven or in hell. The only way for us to get to heaven is through faith in Christ. Allah sends both righteous and unrighteous to hell unless they die in a holy war. But if their good works outweigh their bad, they should be admitted into Paradise. Paradise is only guaranteed to those who die in jihad (holy war). Even after death, everyone has an opportunity to respond to the gospel. Heaven has three levels, and those who attain the highest level become gods, ruling and populating their own universe.

Answers Magazine

October – December 2007


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