The Abiding Word

Chapter 6: The Abiding Word

There are Muslim friends who acknowledge that the Torah, the Psalms, the Injil and the books of the prophets were given by God. However some say that these books which are all found in the Bible are now "mansukh" abrogated or cancelled [1]. They claim that Muhammad's message, the Qur'an, has replaced them all including the Gospel of Jesus, and that Muhammad's message will not be replaced until the day of judgement. It is important to know that there is not a single verse in the Qur'an to support this.

Does the Bible say that the Law or the Torah was replaced by the Psalms? The truth is quite the opposite. David says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple" [2] Thus the Zabur (Psalms) plainly confirms the Torah.

Did Jesus claim that the earlier revelations were abrogated? We find Him saying, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them." [3]

Is it possible for the Injil to be abrogated? Jesus says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away." [4] No wonder the New Testament clearly reminds us, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands for ever." [5]

So there is no replacement of one message by another. Rather there is a building upon what has gone before, deepening it and making the will of God clearer.

Testimony of the Qur'an

There is no indication in the Qur'an that it has annulled the Bible. The only two places where the verb "nasakha" (to annul) is used, refer to certain verses of the Qur'an and not to the Bible. [6] In fact we find verses in the Qur'an which confirm the earlier Scripture - the Bible, and which ask Jews and Christians to abide by what is revealed in it [7]. How admirable of the Qur'an to tell us to abide by what we read in the Bible. The words of Jesus will never pass away. Jesus spoke truth to humanity in His day and, because humanity is still the same, that truth applies even today.

Animal sacrifices

Some may ask: "Why don't Christians offer any sacrifices to God, keep the Sabbath rest, or circumcise their children according to God's commandments in the Torah?"

The Old Testament tells us that when Adam and Eve sinned and were asked to leave God's presence, He commanded that sacrifices should be offered when people wanted to be accepted by Him. We see that Abraham, Moses, David and many others offered such sacrifices. These were pictures of the one final sacrifice to be offered by the promised Saviour, Jesus. Details concerning His coming are prophesied in many of the earlier parts of the Bible. We will study these further in a later chapter.

In the Psalms, David prophesied, "... burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require ... Here I am, I have come ... I desire to do Your will..." [8] In the New Testament we see that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by offering Himself up, as a sacrifice, for us.[9]

Payments on account are only needed until the whole bill is settled and paid for. Likewise, these animal sacrifices were only needed until the sacrifice of Jesus had been offered. He has suffered once for all to bring us near to God.[10] Thus, when we believe in Jesus, God expects from us a faith which leads to a life of praise and good behaviour. [11]

The Sabbath & ceremonial laws

The Sabbath was appointed as a day of rest for man in remembrance of the fact that God completed the work of creation in six days. After believing in Jesus a Christian becomes a new creature or a new creation. So for him there is another day to remember, the day upon which this was made possible. This is the first day of the week, the day on which Jesus was raised. Thus it is on this day that Christians rest and rejoice, gathering to worship and praise God.

Circumcision was the sign of the covenant God made with Abraham. Moses made its spiritual meaning clearer when he said: "The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live." [12] Centuries later, God said through the prophet Jeremiah, "The time is coming... when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel... It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers... This is the covenant that I will make ... I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts..." [13] This new covenant is recorded in the New Testament. This inner circumcision of the heart is the experience of every true Christian.

Outward forms of worship may be altered but God alone is to be worshipped. One prophet may die and another may come but God's words can never be treated as annulled. We see that the fullness of God's truth was not revealed to mankind all at once but, as the Bible puts it, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son" [14]. Jesus came to complete God's mission once and for all. This message of God is not abrogated; it is everlasting.

Let us look at some eternal truths which Jesus taught us. Open your Bible at the New Testament and find the first of the accounts of the life of Jesus, called Matthew's Gospel. Turn to chapter 5 and begin reading at verse 1. These verses show the way to true happiness or blessing. They have been called "The Beatitudes" for this reason.

Jesus teaches that heaven does not await the proud or arrogant, but those who humbly confess that they are poor in spirit and need God to teach them (verse 3). God reaches out, not to those who claim to know everything and delight in their own goodness, but to those who mourn their own inadequacies and weep for their own shortcomings (verse 4). It is the meek, or humble, who will inherit God's favour, not the proud and boastful (verse 5). Jesus says that a merciful heart receives mercy from God (verse 7). Purity begins in the heart and when a man's heart is pure he shall see God (verse 8).

It is not through hatred, anger and violence that we are seen as the children of God, but through making peace with ourselves, with those around us and with God. There is much more of this wonderful teaching. Surely this shows that the Injil is eternal, because it reveals eternal truth.




  1. Tafsir Baidawi, on Qur'an 9:29
  2. Psalms 19:7
  3. Matthew 5:17
  4. Matthew 24:35
  5. 1 Peter 1:24-25
  6. Qur'an 2:106; 22:51; cf. 16:101
  7. Qur'an 5:44-48
  8. Psalm 40:6-8
  9. Hebrews 10:6-10
  10. 1 Peter 3:18
  11. Hebrews 13:15-16
  12. Deuteronomy 30:6
  13. Jeremiah 31:31-33
  14. Hebrews 1:1-2