Why is the Bible more reliable than the Koran?
Sometimes I talk to skeptics and the issue of the Bible comes up, and there's reference made to evidences, reasons, or rationales as to why we should take the Bible seriously. The skeptic has kind of flippantly said, “Well all the other books have all their reasons too.” Now, I don't believe for a moment that the person who makes this claim has actually read these other books and seen all the reasons for their revelation. Partly I believe that because I know the vast differences between the Bible and other revelations. But the question is an important one that needs to be addressed so let me give you a hint as to how to address it.
There are two different categories here. One is historical reliability. I make the claim that the Bible is historically reliable. The Gospels, for example, tell us about Jesus and some will say, “What? Isn’t the Quran historically reliable?” Well if it is, it doesn’t serve the same purpose as the historical reliability of the Gospels, and here's the reason why: There are no miracles by Mohammed that are recorded in the Quran. Muhammad worked no miracles. The miracle of Mohammed is the Quran.
In the New Testament, all kinds miracles worked by Jesus verify his claims. So the difference between the historical record of the Quran and the historical record of the Gospels is that the historical record of the Gospels is a record of supernatural events performed by Jesus of Nazareth to verify his claims. If that testimony is historically sound, that puts the New Testament in a completely different category than any other religious book.
This brings me to the second point. That is, most religious books are summations of the teachings of the religious leader, with no attempt to try to demonstrate that the teachings themselves are true. They take it to be so, and they are offered to the public or to the reader as such, and this is a leap of faith.
The New Testament though, is completely different. John ends his Gospel in chapter 20 by saying, “There are many other signs and wonders attesting miracles that Jesus has performed not written in this book, but these things I've written in order that you might believe that Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God and in believing, have life in his name.” What’s John’s point? He says I've written the story of Jesus’ life giving all these evidences to demonstrate that his claims were true, and if you believe and trust in that, that's going to make a difference.
So the Bible is unique from all other religious books in providing us reasons to take it seriously by giving us evidences. These evidences are tied to history. So we can in a certain sense test their validity. All religious books make spiritual claims, but the Bible is unique in giving us reasons to believe that the spiritual claims are actually true. So given the question, why would we believe that the Bible is more reliable than the Quran? The answer is, it's the only book that gives us the ability to test it in any way because it's the only book that gives us reasons. The Quran doesn't give reasons, other religious books don’t give reasons, they just give the teachings. Take it or leave it. Jesus, however worked miracles, and if the history of the New Testament is accurate then we're dealing with a miracle working, messiah claiming, man from Nazareth.
It seems like the miracles are evidence for the claims. At least that's the way it has been taken historically. You know people can reject that if they want, but what are they left with, other religious books? At least here there are grounds for putting our trust in the claims of Christ.
The history is just one way to test the New Testament and the rest of the Bible as being true. There are numbers of different ways to do that, showing that the claims it makes about reality actually fit the way the world really is. This again is unique and one of the reasons that I am compelled to take the scripture seriously. I can see things about the world; the nature the world, the order of the world, the design of the world, the nature of human beings. All these things resonate with my deepest intuitions and with my daily experience with myself and with the way the world actually is. This is evidence.
The other books offer virtually nothing like that, so the Bible is in a class by itself. That's why the Bible is more reliable than any other book, because it has reasons.