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The Witness of a Jewish Scholar Converted to Islam

A Jewish scholar embraced Islam in the period of Sultan Bayazid of Turkey
131 He was given the Islamic name Abdu’s-Salam. He wrote a booklet named
Risalatu’l-Hidayah (The Book of Guidance) repudiating the Jews. In the third
section of this book he said:
The most celebrated of all the commentaries on the Pentateuch (Torah) is
the one known as the Talmud, which was written in the period of Ptolemy
who reigned some time after the period of Nebuchadnezzar. This
commentary contains the following story. It happened that once Ptolemy
asked some Jewish scholars to bring the Pentateuch into his presence. The
scholars were frightened, because the king disbelieved in some of its
injunctions. Seventy scholars gathered together, and what they did was
change those things that he did not believe in. Now when they admit to
having done this, how can one trust a single verse of such a book?
In the presence of the statement of the Catholic scholar who said that the
heretics of the East changed the translation which was in vogue in the churches
of the East and the West and was followed by the Catholic churches up to as
late as 1500, as is pointed out by Horne, the Catholics cannot save themselves
from the accusation of the Protestants that they, the Catholics, have changed the
Latin translation which was in vogue in their Church. Do the Catholics have any
way to refute this claim?

Observation No. 20

The Rees Encyclopaedia, under the entry of ‘Bible’ in vol. 4, contains this
Presenting the arguments in favour of those versions of the Old
Testament that were written from 1000 to 1400, he said that all the versions
written in the seventh and the eighth centuries had been destroyed by the
order of the Jewish Council because they were contrary to their own
versions. In view of this event Watson also said that the versions which were
compiled six hundred years ago are not available and the versions written
seven hundred or eight hundred years ago, do not exist al all.
This admission coming from Dr. Kennicott, the most trusted author in
respect of the books of the Old Testament, should be noted. We are quite sure of
the fact that the extirpation of the early versions under the orders of the Jewish
Council must have happened two years after the appearance of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad. This implies that even at the time of the appearance of the Holy
Prophet their sacred books were in a condition, and the environment such, to
allow distortions and alterations to be made in them. In fact it was always
possible prior to the invention of the printing press. Even after the appearance of
printing machines, they made alterations in the text of their books, for we have
shown earlier in this chapter that Luther’s translation was changed by his

Observation No. 21

Horsley said in his commentary (vol. 3, page 282) in his introduction to the
book of Joshua:
It is quite definite and beyond all doubt that the sacred text has been
distorted. It is evident from the incompatibilities found in various versions.
Only one out of many contradicting statements can be true. It is almost
certain that sometimes the worst kind of descriptions have been included in
the printed text. I could not find any argument to support the claim that the
distortions found in the single book of Joshua exceed the distortions found in
all the books of the Old Testament.
He also said on page 275 of the same volume:

It is absolutely true that the copies of the Hebrew version possessed by
the people after the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar, or even a little before it,
were more defective than the ones that appeared after the correction of Ezra.

Observation No. 22

Watson said on page 283 of volume 3 of his book:
Origen complained about these differences and tried to attribute them to
various causes like the negligence of the copiers, and the carelessness and
ill-intention of the scribes.

Observation No. 23

Adam Clarke, in the introduction to the first volume of his commentary,
There were innumerable versions of the Latin translation before Jerome
some of which contained serious distortions and had passages alarmingly
contradictory with each other, as Jerome had been proclaiming.

Observation No. 24

Ward admitted on pages 17 and 18 of his book printed in 1841:
Dr. Humphrey has pointed out on page l78 of his book that the whims of
the Jews have so much distorted the books of the Old Testament that it is
easily noticed by readers. He added that the predictions concerning Christ
were totally eliminated by the Jews.

Observation No. 25

Philip Guadagnolo, a priest, wrote a book named Khaylat in refutation of the
book written by Ahmad Sharif son of Zain’ul-‘Abidin Isfahani printed in 1649.
He observed in part 6:
Great distortion is found in the Chaldean version, particularly in the book
of Solomon Rabbi Aquila, known as Onqelos, who copied the whole of the
Pentateuch. Similarly the Rabbi son of Uziel copied the Book of Joshua, the
Book of Judges, the Books of Kings, the Book of Isaiah and those of other
Prophets. And Rabbi Joseph, the blind, copied the Psalms and the Books of
Job, Ruth, Esther and Solomon. All these copiers distorted the text of these be laid at the door of the Jews, though we do not believe those false

Observation No. 26

Horne said on page 68 of volume 1 of his book:
We must acknowledge that there are verses Present in the Pentateuch
which are later additions.
Further on page 445 of volume 2 he observed:
There is a lesser number of distorted places in the Hebrew version.
This number is nine as we have already pointed out

Observation No. 27

A petition was submitted to King James I complaining that the psalms
included in the book of prayer were incompatible with those found in the
Hebrew version. They are different from the Hebrew version in having
additions, omissions and alterations in not less than two hundred places.

Observation No. 28

Carlyle remarked:
The English translators have distorted the sense, obscured the truth,
misguided the ignorant and confused the simple text of the books. They
prefer darkness to light and falsehood to the truth.

Observation No. 29

Broughton, one of the members of the Church council, suggested that there
should be a new translation. According to him, the current translation was full
of errors. He declared before the Church that the famous English translator had
distorted the text in as many as eight thousand four hundred and eighty places,
that he was responsible for making people convert to other faiths, and that he
deserved eternal Punishment in the fires of Hell.

*****Observations nos. 27, 28 and 29 have been borrowed from Ward’s book
which contains many more such statements.



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