“Unlike the Qur’ān , the Bible and all other scriptures read like human-made stories— ‘in the beginning, etc'”
Actually, most religions’ scriptures don’t read like stories—they resemble esoteric utterances more than human stories.
We know that God is the Greatest Communicator. So when God uses human language to communicate His Will for humankind, we should only expect it would resemble not a mystic’s esoteric, disjointed utterances but a complete, systematic presentation of His Plan with an introduction, unfolding revelation, and conclusion – the way any rational communication is done. This is exactly what we find in the Bible. If a human textbook or essay changed topic every 2-5 sentences in an arbitrary, disjointed manner the way some religious texts do, educated rational people would disregard it as lousy communication.
God is above and beyond human language, but when revealing his complete will to mankind he is the Supreme clear communicator. If his Word were jolting, disjointed and incoherent, jumping from topic to topic at random, humans would have to make other clearer books to explain his inadequately unclear Word (nauzubillah!) to common folk. But God in his wisdom made his Heavenly Books completely sufficient for explaining God’s overall workings throughout history, together with every law, teaching and doctrine we need to know.
But God is a clear communicator; He is the Supreme Communicator, a master of coherent, rational, lucid communication. It is truly a miracle that the Heavenly Scriptures, recorded over a 2,000 year span through almost 40 different prophets, can have such a clear unity, with an introduction (Genesis 1-11), unfolding plot, and conclusion. It is a complete presentation of all humans need to know about God’s will, leaving nothing out – it needs no additional explanatory hadith, textbook or any other human bida’ . A remote jungle tribesman who only had the Bible in his mother-tongue would have everything he needs to understand God’s Truth.
Maurice Bucaille has alleged that the Gospel is like the Song of Roland , “which relates a real event in a fictitious light.”1 The contention is that the Gospels were intended as creative writing not as history. Noted Oxford expert C.S. Lewis, who was a lifelong scholar of romantic literature unlike Bucaille, testified as follows:
I distrust the [New Testament] critics. They seem to me to lack literary judgment, to be imperceptive about the very quality of the texts they are reading . . . if he tells me that something in the Gospel is legend or romance, I want to know how many legends and romances he has read . . . I have been reading poems, romances, vision-literature, legends, myths all my life. I know what they are like. I know that not one of them is like this [the Gospels].2
According to many reputed historians, the Hebrew Scriptures are the first genuine historical writing in human history, for they do not glorify their ancestors but include their faults as well. The apostles followed in this tradition:
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)
…Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:3-4)
- Maurice Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur’ān and Science, (American Trust Publications: Indianapolis, 1979), p viii.
- C. S. Lewis, Christian Reflections (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967), 154-155.