Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Comparing the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Bible



The previous columns in this series have been discussing the various merits and demerits of the Koran and the Book of Mormon. In this final installment in the series, we will discuss the Bible's inspiration.

Several commenters pointed out that I was taking it as a given that the Bible was the touchstone to which these other books must conform. I have been at pains to point out that it isn’t me saying that. Muslims and Mormons themselves claim to believe the Bible is inspired. They claim that their books are additions to, not replacements of, the Bible. Still, it is true that I do have a prejudice in favor of the Bible. I admit to believing the Bible is the only inspired word of God.

Why do I believe the Bible, and the Bible alone, is from God? Frankly, since I’ve been studying it all my life, it would take me longer than the space available in this column to answer that, but let me just hit some of the highlights.


 "Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of dark mud, and he found near it a people." (Sura 18:86) Granted, more recent translations of the Koran have changed it to, 'as if in a spring'. But what it says is "IN a spring".

The Book of Mormon speaks of diseases “to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.” (Alma 46:40) It was a common belief in Joseph Smith's day that some diseases were caused by the climate. Malaria, for example, was believed to be caused by the humid air of a swamp, (mal = bad, aria = air) rather than being transmitted by the mosquitoes that lived in the swamp.
Alma 18:9 states that “the king had commanded his servants . . . that they should prepare his horses and chariots, and conduct him forth to the land of Nephi.” Before the arrival of Europeans in America the natives had no domestic animals remotely like horses. They had no concept of people riding animals. And they had no wheels!
Bible writers were not swayed by the non-scientific beliefs of their time. While it is certainly no science book, what it says conforms with proven scientific fact. For example, it describes the earth as round (Isaiah 40:22) when most thought it was flat; and hanging unsupported in space (Job 26:7) when most of the human race believed the earth rested on the back of a huge mythical elephant.


The Koran incites prejudice against Jews, Christians, and even ‘ignorant Arabs’: “The Arabs of the desert are the worst in Unbelief and hypocrisy, and most fitted to be in ignorance.” (Koran 9:97)

The Book of Mormon incites prejudice, stating that dark skin is a curse and white skin is a blessing: “And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites.” (3 Nephi 2:15; see also 1 Nephi 13:15)

The Bible is entirely without prejudice: “God shows no partiality. In every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:35)

God’s justice:

The Koran says the wicked will burn in Hell.

The Book of Mormon says the wicked will burn in Hell.

The Bible does not teach a burning Hell. It says the wicked will cease to exist. (1 Samuel 2:9; Job 3:17; Psalm 37:9,10, 34, 38; Psalm 104:35; Proverbs 2:22)

Jesus’ sacrificial death:

The Koran says Adam repented and God forgave him. Hence no one inherited sin, and there is no need for a ransom.

The Book of Mormon also says Adam repented and God forgave him. I agree with the logic of the Koran: If we didn’t inherit sin from Adam, why do we need Jesus’ sacrifice? 
Nevertheless, the Book of Mormon still speaks much of the ransom, and calls on all to believe in Jesus.

The Bible says: “Through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed on to all men inasmuch as all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)


For me, the most powerful reason for believing the Bible is its wisdom. People who have lived – knowingly or unknowingly – by Bible precepts have had better lives than those who have not. Some of those precepts are:
  •  Treat others as you would wish them to treat you. (Matthew 7:12)
  •  Happy are they who are aware they have a spiritual need. (Matthew 5:3)
  •  A man who loves silver will never get enough silver. (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
  •  Do not offer to remove the speck from your brother’s eye when you have a plank in your own. (Matthew 7:3)
  •  A tranquil spirit makes for a healthy body, but jealousy is like bone cancer.(Proverbs 14:30)
  •  Man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness. (James 1:20)
  •  There is more happiness in giving than in receiving. (Acts 20:35)
Take a minute to ponder that last one. Look around at your neighbors. Many of them seem to be living by the principle that there is more happiness in getting. “When I get that car… when I get that house… when I get that girl, then I’ll be happy.” Left to their own devices, some folks could go through their entire lifetime without ever discovering the truth that there is more happiness in giving. That’s because this is God’s thinking, not human thinking.

For me, this is a “Wow!” point. The wisdom of the Bible is the best proof of its inspiration. 'Every scripture inspired by God is beneficial.' (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you believe the Koran is inspired, if you believe that the Book of Mormon is inspired, I have one challenge for you:

Show me a “Wow!” point from either of those works. To qualify as a “Wow!” it must be a principle that is true, profound, beneficial, and something most humans don’t seem to be following, something they would never think of on their own.

Oh, and one more thing: It needs to be a principle that was not already covered in the Bible. I'll wait.

Because, Koran believer, Book of Mormon believer, it is your contention that God had more to say after the Bible was finished. And it’s my contention that He did not.
Feel free to leave a polite comment. Read the next part of the discussion here.
Bill K. Underwood is the author of several novels and one non-fiction self-help book, all available at Amazon.com. You can help support this site by purchasing a book.


  1. Brilliant rebuttal!

  2. 2 Timothy 3:16
    The proven method of Truth

  3. Well said, my friend.

  4. >The Book of Mormon speaks of diseases “to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.” (Alma 46:40)

    Actually, Alma 46:40 says:

    >40 And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate

    In other words, during the warmer parts of the year there were more fevers, which is a fact, especially before the development of modern medicine.

    Man, coming out the gate that wrong and these obviously and easily disproven is a terrible look.

    1. So, you disagree with how many understand Alma 46:40. Nevertheless, Smith's writing implies that the frequent fevers were because of the "nature of the climate" - a common belief in Smith's day. Show me a passage where a Bible writer fell victim to the beliefs of his day. Isaiah knew the earth was a sphere when most of his contemporaries believed it was flat. Moses account of Job's conversations shows he knew the earth was suspended on nothing in space, when most of his contemporaries believed it was supported on something or someone.
      Far more importantly, however, you failed to respond to my challenge: Show me a Wow! point, something in the Book of Mormon, that is not a repeat of wisdom already found in the Bible, that makes me say "Wow!" Something life-changing, some new information that shapes how I live going forward. The Bible is full of such wisdom. The Book of Mormon has none that isn't copied from the Bible.