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Various Emails on Biblical Reliability
The emailers' comments are in black and enclosed in greater than and lesser than signs; my comments are in red.
>Subject: What's real?
What's the difference between the Bible, the Koran, or the Book of Mormon? How do you know which one is real?
Thank you for your email. Entire books have been written on the questions you ask, so I cannot go into too much detail in an email. But in a nutshell, all three books claim to be inspired by God. But that is where the similarity ends.
The Bible is actually a collection of 66 books that were written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), on three different continents (Africa, Europe, and Asia), over a period of 1500 years (1400 BC-100 AD), by over 40 different authors. But despite this diversity, it is consistent in all of its major teachings.
The Bible also contains much history, much of which has been verified by archeological research to be accurate. It also contains many prophecies that have been literally fulfilled. And in many other ways, there are reasons to be able to trust the Bible.
The Koran, OTOH, was written in Arabic, in the 600's AD. Muhammad claims the angel Gabriel revealed the contents to him. He, being illiterate himself, recited the revelations to his followers, and they wrote them down. There is no history or prophecies to speak of. So there really is no way to verify it.
The Book of Mormon was written by Joseph Smith in the early 1800s. He claims he translated them from some ancient golden plates that an angel directed him to. The angel then conveniently took the plates back to heaven, so they are no longer available.
The BoM is mainly the supposed history of the earliest inhabitants of the Americas. However, there is NO archeological evidence supporting this claim. Mormons will claim there is, but as I document on my site, trustworthy organizations like the Smithsonian Institute and National Geographic both say there is no such evidence.
As I said, much more could be said on these matters. I would suggest you check out the sections on the Bible, apologetics, Mormonism, and Islam on my site for further details.
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