|-- Six --|
|The Bible does not claim to be literal revelation.
The Qur'an claims to be literal revelation.
The Bible does not claim to be literal revelation. A cursory glance at the title pages of the books of the Bible will show that the Bible identifies itself as a work of human authors.
According to the Oxford Companion to the Bible:
"With regard to the Bible, inspiration denotes the doctrine that human authors and editors of canonical scriptures were led or influenced by the Deity, with the result that their writings may be designated in some sense the word of God." (emphasis added) [Metzger, "Inspiration and Inerrancy"]
There are a few places in the Bible where God (Allah) seems to be quoted directly. "And God spake these words saying, I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" (Ex. 20:1-2). Even in these cases, the fact of human authorship is made clear, whether a prophet or other author, who says in his own words what God said. He is quoting God; God is not quoting himself.
According to both the Catholic Encyclopedia and Harper's Bible Dictionary, the scriptures are a "record" of revelation, not revelation itself. [Catholic Encyclopedia, "Bible and Liturgy"; Miller, "revelation"]
The Qur'an claims to be literal revelation. There are several places in the Qur'an where it seems to say that the Qur'an was revealed "letter-by-letter."
"Haa Meem. `Ain Seen Qaaf. Thus Allah, the Mighty, the Knower, inspired you (Muhammad) and those before you." Qur'an, chapter 42, "ash-Shooraa" ("Counsel"), verses 1-3. (Verses 1 and 2 are letters of the Arabic alphabet; 29 chapters of the Qur'an begin with one or more such letters.)
In fact, the Qur'an challenges doubters to write something similar; according to the words of the Qur'an itself, it is not possible for any human being, or group of human beings, to write even a few verses like those of the Qur'an. The Qur'an claims that every word in the Qur'an is revealed directly from the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Not paraphrased. Not "divinely inspired." Literal revelation.
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