Keeping aside the oral tradition of the Qur’an of which the Bible does not have in Greek , let alone in Aramaic ( the language which Jesus spoke); how does the textual integrity of the surviving manuscripts of each respective book compare?
Just considering the first hundred years of each respective calendar (the Islamic Calendar vs the Christian Calendar), we find that within the early first century the Muslims can boast a 91.7 % completion rate . As for the Christians they do not have a Biblical fragment until the second century, and even then it is the size of a credit card. Moreover just based on manuscripts, it would take more than 300 years to get a complete Bible.
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. [Quran 9:29]
New International Version (NIV)
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
As Muslims we have the Qur’an verbatim from the Prophet(saw), he recited in Arabic and we recite in Arabic. word for word, letter for letter, dot for dot.
But can the same be said about Christianity? Basically we have a text which was originally supposed to be in Aramaic ( a sister language to Arabic) being written in Koine Greek (dead language which only a few know) translated into Latin and then FINALLY translated again into English, where it finds its common usage today.
Is it possible something could have been lost in translation?
James Watson (the very one who discovered the structure of DNA along with Francis Cricks), had the following to say about the relation between race and intelligence:
Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”. He said there was a natural desire that all human beings should be equal but “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
“There is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so.”
Radiocarbon dating of Qur’anic manuscripts is a well-known practice and undertaken by many museums, universities and institutions alike. However, the same can not be said of Biblical manuscripts/papyri. Why this discrepancy ?
Some may claim that Paleography (the study of ancient writing systems to date historical manuscripts) is just the same as Radio-Carbon dating. From the onset, it should be obvious that a subjective science like Paleography can in no way stand up to rigorous, tested and proven science which Radiocarbon dating provides. Below is a discussion regarding the pitfalls of using paleography:
P52 vs Birmingham Manuscript (Comparing the Earliest Biblical Manuscript to the Earliest Qur’anic Manuscript )
P52: 125-175 CE (Dated using paleography and NOT radiocarbon dating) . This is the oldest, no manuscript is seen from the lifetime of Jesus or even the first century.
Birmingham: Between c. 568 and 645 using Radiocarbon dating( A more accurate method to date than paleography) . This could very well mean during the time of the Prophet, if not the early first century following his death.
P52: Credit Card Sized (measuring only 3.5 by 2.5 inches (8.9 by 6 cm) at its widest; and conserved). The oldest manuscript is nothing but a scrap of paper.
Birmingham: folio size (343mm by 258mm at the widest point) and are written on both sides . One two-page leaf contains verses 17–31 of Surah 18 (Al-Kahf) while the other leaf the final eight verses 91–98 of Surah 19 (Maryam) and the first 40 verses of Surah 20 (Ta-Ha), all in their present day sequence and conforming to the standard text.