The book The True Furqan, a work first published in Arabic a little over a decade ago, has come up recently in several contexts from being a suspect in anti government plots1 to being proof that Christians corrupted2 the New Testament. The Wikipedia article suggests several supposed motivations for the publishing and hints at some of the controversial receptions. What it doesn't give is any idea what sort of things the book actually contains!

What general theological distinctives are evidenced in the book? In what way does it represent the nature of God? Of humans? What does it say or imply about the nature of the Bible vs. the Qur'an? What Christian tradition would most align with its doctrinal position? Are there any significant ways in which the theology evidenced is distinct from that of orthodox3 Christianity?

1 Here is an English source that gives a general overview of the craze in my local media regarding an alleged government security bulletin linking this book to subversive 'Christian' missionary activities (source, source, source). That such activity is orchestrated by foreign entities as a way to subvert the state is a common allegation and plays into the local penchant for religious conspiracy theories. Part of my purpose in asking this question is to find a way of clearly expressing the relation of this particular work and the ideology behind it to the broader context of historical Christianity.

2 This is an eminently common claim among Muslims. Every new translation of the Bible, every new publication, every new 'brilliant' idea somebody has for missions methodology stirs up another wave of "see they changed this, how can we trust the NT hasn't been completely changed?

3 For the purpose of this question, assume orthodox refers to the mainstream branches of Christianity that would widely be recognized as Chalcedonian.

  • Note: I realize this question may take considerable research to answer well. I am willing to add bounties to reward any really outstanding answers. – Caleb Jan 24 '14 at 15:33
  • So I assume this is "on-topic" because it [the book] is rumored to cover Christian things? I'm not sure it really is on-topic. There exists no real summary online somewhere? Is this akin to asking what theological distinctives are in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code? – fгedsbend Jan 25 '14 at 0:35
  • Reviews on Amazon imply it is Quran imitation. That is something Muslims would be upset about. – fгedsbend Jan 25 '14 at 0:52
  • 2
    @fredsbend On one hand this question is toeing a line, but I don't think being of topic is its Achilles heel. The book it being forwarded by some as a replacement sacred text that eclipses the need for either the New Testament our the Qur'an. For this reason Dan Brown might not be the best parallel, maybe The Perl of Great Price would be closer. Would a question about where that stood in relation the Chalcedonian belief be off-topic? I don't think so. – Caleb Jan 25 '14 at 8:36

This book imitates the Quran, or tries to imitate it, in order to answer the Quran. The translator, Anis Shorrosh is allegedly also the writer. He is an evangelical Christian. The ideology and theology of the book is based on the beliefs and ideas of this man, and his understanding of Christianity.

The main idea of the book is to tell Christianity in a Quranic form, but the book is too arguing and too furious and stressful compared to the eloquency of the Quran. "Al-Furqan" is one of the names of the Quran, meaning the "The Criterion". The book is to change Muslims' minds into Christianity by showing them "The True Criterion". However all this hoax would make people think how desperate Christians are!

The book actually quotes some parts of the Quran, and keeps talking about Satanic verses and how people left "The True Gospel".

They recite this gibberish which is nothing but plagiarized wisdom, pitiful enunciation and mystifying instructions. (40:5)

There are many Islamic concepts and terminology in it. There are hundreds of verses, quoting a verse from the Quran and giving some answer, sometimes actually by distorting them. These verses generally go like this:

You said "..." but you did ..., so you are...

Such a verse:

Furthermore, if it is rumored, "These sayings are his own invention;" he recoils from the criticism and announces, "Bring ten such invented chapters if you have the creative ability." No one brings forth such invented chapters except an imposter who recites what demons concocted. (45:12-13)

And the original:

23.And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed (the Quran) to Our worshiper (Muhammad), then produce a chapter like it, and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides God if you are truthful.
24.And if you do not do it, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones. It has been prepared for disbelievers.
25.And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that for them are gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow.... http://quran.com/2/23-25

Another one with a bigger distortion of the original:

O you who are fabricators of lies from among Our misled worshipers: you announce, "We believe in God and what was given to Jesus and the prophets. We make no differentiation among them. Yet from among those messengers We have preferred some over others." (51:1)

And the original:

Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." http://quran.com/2/136

Following are extracted by me. These are not from the 'quotation verses'. You can compare some of the verses of the Quran and what this guy have in his book, and see what this book is about:

The Quran:

And when it is said to them, "Believe as the people have believed," they say, "Should we believe as the foolish have believed?" Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not. http://quran.com/2/13

The True Furqan:

Whenever it is urged upon the infidels to believe in The True Furqan, which We revealed, just as Our devoted followers have done, they proclaim, "Are we to accept what the inferior infidels have believed?" (4:7)

The Quran:

And when there came to them a Book from Allah confirming that which was with them (with the Jews) - although before they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved (polytheists) - but [then] when there came to them that which they recognized (the Quran), they disbelieved in it; so the curse of Allah will be upon the disbelievers. http://quran.com/2/89

The True Furqan:

At any rate, The True Furqan came to confirm what is with the humankind through The True Gospel. Surprisingly, they hid it behind their backs as if they had no better sense. (11:26)

The Quran:

Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Christians and Jews) know him (Muhammad) as they know their own sons. But indeed, a party of them conceal the truth while they know [it]. The truth is from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. http://quran.com/2/146-147

The True Furqan:

As for those who trusted in The True Gospel, they know it (The Gospel) as they know their own sons. Thus they do not conceal the truth! ... (61:13)

The Quran:

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing. http://quran.com/2/256

The True Furqan:

As for those of Our people who have gone astray, The True Furqan is now disclosed to explain Our Way concerning the difference in True Wisdom, stubble and hay, "No compulsion in religion," We say. Therefore why don't you trust Us and obey? (3:6)

The Quran:

1.Ha, Meem. 2.By the clear Book, 3.Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur'an that you might understand. 4.And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom. 5.Then should We turn the message away, disregarding you, because you are a transgressing people? 6.And how many a prophet We sent among the former peoples, 7.But there would not come to them a prophet except that they used to ridicule him.http://quran.com/43

The True Furqan:

1.O, you who have gone astray from among Our faithful followers: We have inspired it -a True Furqan- in the Arabic tongue clearly miraculous, to distinguish triviality from truth. It will enlighten you concerning the evil which you were practicing. 2. You have counterfeited Our tongue and fabricated deceitfully that We have revealed a message which was never declared and have transacted what We have never asked. You have brazenly misled the people away so that whosoever trusted you was led astray and whosoever believed you ended up losing his way. Yet despair awaits every vile slanderer. (4:1-2)

The Quran:

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
1.Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,
2.Allah , the Eternal Refuge.
3.He neither begets nor is born,
4.Nor is there to Him any equivalent."http://quran.com/112

The True Furqan:

1.In the Name of the Father, the Word, the Holy Spirit, the One and only True God
2.He is Triune in Unity, united in Trinity, indivisible as deity.
3.He is the Father, Who has never given birth like the race of humanity.
4.He is the Word, Who has never been born except through virginity.
5.He is the Spirit, Who has never been separated from the Trinity. (A)

There are endless amount of similarities like the above, therefore we can conclude that, this book is written solely for the purpose of saying "Nay, this one is the true Furqan." to those who believe in "The Furqan". Therefore to answer the question from above,

What does it say or imply about the nature of the Bible vs. the Qur'an?

This book suggests that The Quran is Satanic, and it is all lies, imitation of the Gospel and gibberish.

They recite this gibberish which is nothing but plagiarized wisdom, pitiful enunciation and mystifying instructions. (40:5)

However, because it is written solely for Muslims by an Arab Christian, it starts with,

To the Arab nation specifically and the Muslim world collectively: peace, mercy and blessings from God Almighty!

and keeps using Quranic words and verses. That is a way to deceive people maybe, but it is clearly contradictious.

If we come to the stance of this book on the Bible, it is a hard job. Clearly, it is a book written for Muslims, calling them to so-called "The True Gospel" and telling them whatever came after is counterfeit. Almost every page, the book keeps saying "The True Gospel" is distorted by Muslims.

Additionally, you have alleged that some portions of The True Gospel have been altered. So, you discarded most of it behind your backs. Had you believed Our Divine Revelation, you would not have claimed that is was altered. (8:4)

Since the aim is to convince Muslims that they do not know The True Gospel and they should believe it, and this is done with Quranic words and verses, it is hard to say if the book, itself believes itself about what is said on "The True Gospel" in it. Also the book, because it is busy giving messages to Muslims, every single verse, does not have time to talk about deeper Christian theology. For example, the chapter "The Crucifixion" can be read, which argues with Muslims, that their rejection of crucifixion is baseless, because they do not get what it is actually. So, the book can be attributed to any form of 'orthodox' Christianity, especially Evangelicalism, when the parts on Christian theology is taken. However, as a whole, it does not fit in any form of Christianity, not even the writer's. The idea of the book "The True Furqan", itself, is ridiculous and do not comply with any doctrinal positions of Christianity. As you should have understood until here, it is a tool to be used against Muslims, but destined to fail for obvious reasons.

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