Introduction to this Site

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 “Christians and Muslims have been kept apart for over 1,300 years, because they were taught that irreconcilable differences exist between their religious beliefs. This has resulted in mutual distrust, persecution, and even wars. I was motivated to read the Qur’an by the events of September 11th, 2001.

I wanted to know the teachings in the Qur’an that could convince Muslims to be willing to sacrifice their lives, in order to kill persons who did not appear to be associated with Islam or their conflict.

My Christian tradition was the source of some anxiety, since I had been taught that “the Koran” was full of evil, and could cause the reader to be led astray. Even the name “Koran” sounded and appeared ominous. After convincing myself that my only motive for reading the book was to investigate its contents, I commenced reading with some trepidation.

I was surprised to find that the Qur’an seemed so familiar, and after reading several different translations, I began to wonder whether Muslims who followed the Qur’an, were part of the community of believers, otherwise called the elect of God. This book is an examination of that thesis.

The claim is admittedly shocking for some Christians, and had I heard of such an assertion by anyone before I read the Qur’an, I would have dismissed the claim and would have decided not to devote any effort investigating any evidence that the claimant might have provided. It is for this reason that I shall present what I understand the Qur’an teaches at this point in this book, in the hope that the reader will want to accompany me on this investigative journey.

What does the Qur’an Teach

The Qur’an appears to teach that Muslims must believe that Jesus:

  • was born of the virgin Mary;
  • taught the Gospel;
  • performed many miracles, including raising the dead;
  • was crucified;
  • was raised by God; and
  • is the Messiah.

The Qur’an also appears to teach that Muslims must:

  • believe in one God who is identified as the only Creator, and the God of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Job, Elisha, David, and the Old Testament Prophets;
  • repent and believe in order to receive God’s forgiveness by grace;
  • develop and cultivate a personal relationship with the God of Abraham;
  • believe the Bible, and copy and distribute it to all nations of the earth without compensation;
  • receive guidance from the Holy Spirit;
  • resist the temptations from Satan; and
  • avoid the condemnation of hell.

I realize that many readers, including Muslims, will not readily believe that the Qur’an actually teaches all of this; however, if you will read further, then we can examine the evidence together, and you can decide for yourself what the Qur’an teaches. If we reach similar conclusions, then perhaps our investigations can lead to some reconciliation between these brothers who have been unnecessarily kept apart for far too long.” Brothers Kept Apart (Preface), 2009

Brothers Kept Apart

Most Muslim teachers have never read the Bible, yet they continue to criticize their understanding of Christian tradition.  Similarly, most Christian teachers have never read the Qur’an, yet they continue to criticize their understanding of Islamic tradition.  Thus both leaders continue to mislead more than half of the world’s population, who are either Christian or Muslim, about what the other believes.

Since Christians believe that God’s revelation is contained in the Bible, and Muslims believe that God’s revelation is contained in the Qur’an, then a scientific comparative analysis of both books can determine whether a common author is likely.

Brothers Kept Apart is perhaps the first comparative analysis of the Bible and the Qur’an, which assumes that both of the books are entirely correct.  The study provides compelling evidence to show that there is harmony between the principal teachings of the Bible and the Qur’an, without compromising any of the teachings, or damaging the integrity of any of these verses in either book.  However, the study found disharmony between Christian and Islamic religious traditions.  The book also exposes the barriers erected by Christian and Islamic religious traditions, which have kept Christian and Muslim brothers apart for the past 1,300 years.

Walter Phillips has studied the Bible and early civilizations for the past thirty years, and the Qur’an for the past seven.  He has spent the past twenty years investigating evidence and designing solutions to problems.  With four university degrees, several professional affiliations, and 30 years of research, Walter Phillips presents his findings in a remarkably conversational style.  Part of the book can be read on-line at Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.  It can also be purchased as an e-book  for $6 from iUniverse.com.

Once you have read the book, you are welcome to return here to discuss any aspect of it with the Author.

 “In my opinion, the most important lesson from studying history is: never be afraid to re-examine the evidence in order to learn or verify the truth. We should never be afraid to critically examine claims of truth, for truth should be able to withstand rigorous scrutiny.”  Walter Phillips  BSc, BEng, MASc, MURP, CEng, MIStructE, MIHT, MCSCE, MBAPE

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17 responses to “Introduction to this Site

  1. Sir. I have listened to many Muslim-Christian debates, and they never discussed a lot of the information in your book. They debate to show who is wrong, but your aproach is to show that they are both right – incredible. Have you heard of any Muslim-Christian debates that used your “reconciliation” approach?

    Jeremy

    Hi Jeremy:

    As late as 1254 AD, there was a debate between William of Rubruck and Muslims at the court of the Mongol ruler, Khubilai Khan. At the debate, the Muslims reportedly noted that they agreed with the Christian position. Rubruck’s account follows and is linked at the end.

    The next day (25th May 1254) (the Chan) sent his secretaries to me, who said: “Our lord sends us to you to say that you are here Christians, Saracens [Muslims] and Tuins [Buddhists]. And each of you says that his doctrine is the best, and his writings–that is, books–the truest. So he wishes that you shall all meet together, and make a comparison, each one writing down his precepts, so that he himself may be able to know the truth.” …

    We were assembled then on Pentecost eve (30th May 1254) at our oratory, and Mangu Chan sent three secretaries who were to be umpires, one a Christian, one a Saracen, and one a Tuin; and it was published aloud: “This is the order of Mangu, and let no one dare say that the commandment of God differs from it. And he orders that no one shall dare wrangle or insult any other, or make any noise by which this business shall be interfered with, on penalty of his head.” Then all were silent. And there was a great concourse of people there; for each side had called thither the most learned of its people, and many others had also assembled.

    … the Nestorians of the country said to me that it sufficed, for they wanted to talk. I gave in to them, but when they wanted to argue with the Saracens, they [the Saracens] answered them: “We concede your religion is true, and that everything is true that is in the Gospel: so we do not want to argue any point with you.” And they confessed that in all their prayers they besought God to grant them to die as Christians die. (William of Rubruck’s Account of the Mongols, Section 18)

  2. JESUS lived without sin, so that as by one mans sin, the sons of man were doomed; by one mans obedience all could be saved because of GOD’S mercy, not by any act of self righteousness of men. JESUS the son of GOD said no one would come before the the father by any other name. no fair debate over the holy bible versus koran has ever been lost by christains. GOD dosnt put a knife to the neck of the unbelever. compair the scripture. there is only one truth.

    Hi Rich:

    As you have noted, there is only one Truth. If God’s revelation is truly contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, then there should be harmony between the Bible and the Qur’an.

    Since there is not harmony between Christianity and Islamic tradition, but there is between the Bible and the Qur’an, then who or what is Keeping these Brothers Apart?

  3. Hey Walter, I read the book and it was great. They are discussing it over at Amazon.com. Do you mind discussing it over there or will you only discuss it here?

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/christianity/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx77WQHU8YS50Z&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx3EV4E6C0X9T8I&displayType=tagsDetail

    Hi Mark:

    I am willing to discuss it anywhere. I will visit the link.

    Regards,
    Walter

  4. I just finished your book and found it hard not to reach the same horrifying conclusion that Muslims and Christians have been misled to believe that they are adversaries

    My question had to do with your Preface statements about the September 11 attacks. Did you find the answer?

    Hi Alex:

    Thank you for your query. Although I have briefly discussed the question of Holy Martyrs in the Frequently Asked Questions chapter, I have included a more detailed analysis in the sequel to Brothers Kept Apart. The sequel examines the previous and current attempts to solve the religious Israel-Arab problems with political solutions.

    After 60 years of this ineffective approach, a religious solution which must be acceptable to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious leaders, has been proposed.

  5. The one singularly glaring problem with this comparison between Islam and Christianity is this:

    Islam teaches that Jesus is a prophet, in the same sense as Abraham and/or Muhammed, while Christianity teaches that Jesus is God Incarnate.

    Muslims DO NOT believe that Jesus is God Incarnate, and therefore CAN NOT be part of the community of believers.

    Two different religions, two different Gods. Tragic, but true.

    Dear Lawrence,

    Obviously you have not yet read Brothers Kept Apart, otherwise you could not have posted such a comment. Please read it and then let us discuss the evidence provided in the book with which you disagree. If at that time you wish to retract this comment (which I am certain that you will), then I would happily oblige.

    Regards,
    Walter

  6. Enjoyed the read

    one thing i should point out though, that the Quran teaches that Jesus was lifted to God, and that a look alike was crucified.

    Dear Mo5lim:

    Actually, this is what Islamic tradition teaches. The Qur’an’s teaching is consistent with the Biblical and historical accounts. I look forward to discussing this with you after you have examined the evidence provided in the book.

    Best regards,
    Walter

  7. Hi Walter,

    I regret to say that I haven’t read this book yet, as I just learned about it today, so my comments relate only to the summary provided above.

    “believe the Bible, and copy and distribute it to all nations of the earth without compensation;”

    You have it partially correct. Muslims believe in the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel were perfect at one point in time, but the followers failed to keep the teachings authentic in writing, so Muslims place accounts of the Bible into 3 categories: 1. Passages that do not conflict with the Qur’an Muslims accept, 2. Passages that conflict with the Qur’an Muslims consider to be corrupted, and 3. Passages that neither agree or conflict with the Qur’an we can neither fully reject or fully accept, so we remain neutral.

    “receive guidance from the Holy Spirit;”

    Muslims do not believe in the Holy Spirit like Christians do (i.e. it is not part of a trinity). The word for Holy Spirit is ‘ruh al-qudus’ in Arabic and scholarly consensus believes it to be a reference to the Angel Gabriel. It can also be considered Divine Inspiration, but it is not guidance. You can read my blog post that deconstructs the meaning of ‘ruh al-qudus’ here: http://e5pre55odr1nk5.blogspot.com/2008/04/ruh-al-qudus-sorry-to-ruin-your-quoting.html. Muslims also do not believe in ‘ruh al-qudus’ to be something like in the trinity because the trinity is rejected in the Qur’an:

    “O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your religious beliefs, and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ Jesus, son of Mary, was but God’s Apostle – [the fulfilment of] His promise which He had conveyed unto Mary – and a soul created by Him. Believe, then, in God and His apostles, and do not say, “[God is] a trinity”. Desist [from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.” 4:171

    “Jesus was crucified;”

    Jesus (PBUH) was not killed or crucified according to the Qur’an:

    “…and their boast, “Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!” However, they did not slay him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had been] so; and, verily, those who hold conflict­ing views thereon are indeed confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere con­jecture. For, of a certainty, they did not slay him: ” 4:157

    I like the idea of your book. There is much in common between all of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, & Islam), and this must be a starting point for dialogue so we do not pin the label of “other” to someone.

    Peace,
    Kay

    P.s. I am a former Christian (of 18 years), revert to Islam, so I have read most of the Bible and all of the Qur’an.

    Dear Kay:

    You have simply provided the typical Islamic religious traditional responses, which are clearly in conflict with Christian religious tradition. Muslims should believe what is explicitly stated in the Qur’an.

    I will not comment on what you have written, since the specific issues that you have raised are already resolved in the book, with sufficient evidence to show harmony between the Bible and the Qur’an. After you have had an opportunity to review the evidence, then you are welcome to return and discuss your interpretation of it. Should you wish to delete this post at that time, I would happily oblige.

    Regards,
    Walter

  8. What is the religious solution or do we have to buy the book for that too? It’s great line to say to comments to read your book and come back to the forum. You must have had a lifetime in marketing.
    Surely you would share your findings free on line and also sell hard copies of your book as many writers do
    Are book sales your retirement fund?!

    Dear Leigh:

    My response to each of your concerns follows.

    1. After reading Brothers Kept Apart in its entirety, the religious solution may be obvious.

    2. This site is set up for the expressed purpose of discussing the evidence provided in the book that shows harmony between the principal teachings of the Bible and the Qur’an. There have been 7 years of pre-publication discussions on this study without any conditions. For efficient post-publication discussions, I have only one condition – read the book first, not purchase it, but read it.

    3. I am not, nor have I had any formal training, in the marketing field. While the book may be purchased, even as an economical e-book, I would much prefer that you read it. The requisite applications have already been approved so that you may borrow it from your local library free of cost. If you or anyone else experiences any challenges obtaining the book from their local library, then please inform me and I would happily dispatch a copy to them.

    4. I am not eligible for retirement benefits for another 20 years. Book sales were and are not included in my retirement plans.

    Regards,
    Walter

  9. Jefferson Boyle

    Dear Mr Phillips, Congratulations on a brilliant piece of original research. But how did you arrive at those interpretations which reasonably reconcile the two religious books. What made you decide to identify Hagar’s declaration as the source of the word for Allah? I have never read anyone else make many of the arguments that you have. I am also interested in your proposed solution to the Middle East conflict.

    Dear Mr Boyle:

    Thank you for your encouraging words.

    I cannot say for certain how I arrived at the interpretations, or why I chose Hagar’s declaration as the possible and likely source of the word for Allah. I can say that writing the book was analogous to completing a jigsaw puzzle with no final pattern to guide me. Therefore, I had to rely on how precisely each piece fit the adjacent pieces without forcing them into place or bruising the interfaces, rather than on whether it fit into a predetermined religious traditional pattern.

    I will open another web-site where we can discuss resolving the Middle East conflict.

    Regards,
    Walter

  10. Congratulations on your book, sir. But, I have one question:
    I have went through the Quran and found no section that says Muslims have to distibute the Bible, although I know they believe in the “long ago” scripture, and that the present-day scripture has been reformed.
    Could you please tell me which Quran you were using and the section of “distribute the Bible”?
    Graciously,
    Serenity

    Dear Serenity:

    In 4:136, Muslims are instructed to believe the Books sent before, and not to deny them. Verses 3:84 and 6:84-89 identify those books, which are those contained in the Bible. Verse 6:90 then gives the instruction. You can use any generally accepted translation; I mainly used Yusuf Ali’s.

    Those were they who received God’s guidance: Copy the guidance they received; Say: “No reward for this do I ask of you: This is no less than a message for the nations.” (6:90)

    I am aware of the Islamic traditional argument about corrupted Biblical manuscripts; however, this teaching not only damages verses in the Qur’an, but conflicts with the verified historical record. Further detailed evidence is provided in the book.

    Regards,
    Walter

  11. You’ve done a good job of exposing and stripping the man-made religious traditions from Islam and Christianity. All that’s left is harmony.

    But I’m not as optimistic as you. The Christian and Islamic leaders will never abandon their man-made traditions, any more than the Jews were willing to do when confronted by none other than Jesus.

    Dear Rudy:

    Regrettably, the historical evidence supports your assertion. Jesus’ harshest words were for religious leaders who embraced man-made traditions that negated God’s laws.

    Religious leaders tend to want to remain in positions of power. Their unwillingness to consider alternative interpretations of the evidence has generally led to the development of new sects.

    Regards,
    Walter

  12. Hi again Walter,

    I wanted to let you know that I bought your book and am almost done reading it. I will have a complete review up on my blog probably next week, inshallah. I am enjoying the read, but I still don’t agree with one of your theses. Please read my comment over at my blog, as it is too long to write it in full here: http://e5pre55odr1nk5.blogspot.com/2009/03/noble-quran-most-complete-of-divine.html

    Peace,
    Kay

    Hi Kay:

    If we are down to one then we must be making progress. I will respond to your post over at your blog.

    Regards,
    Walter

  13. I have read the book or better to say studied it and find it quite illuminating and scholorly.
    There are certainly many a truth in both the books that can direct one to coexist without strife and with interpretational differences. I think the problem lies in the so called organisational heads that have either narrow outlook or preconceived notion of what is right with their religion and what is absolutly wrong in other religion.
    Do you plan to study and publish about the various traditional differences more in detail?

  14. Hi,
    Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.
    Thanks
    Jinny

    Hi Jinny:

    You are welcome.

    Regards,
    Walter

  15. Lodewijk Langeweg

    Dear Walter,
    I just finished reading your inspiring book.
    I have posted a lot on the other threads, and not to take op more space I will make this my last one.

    Considering that “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3) everything we see was made through Him.
    This means that the Scripture and the words of God in it were made through Him also.
    And recognizing that God’s Son is the life, -“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”- (John 14:6) not experiencing God’s Son is not experiencing life. It is therefore experiencing death. No matter how much it might seem life to us.

    Keeping these things in mind, listen to hear as who’s voice the following words of the Son of God sound in your head while you read them:

    “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” (John 25:5)

    Remember that “obey” comes from the , Latin ob “to” + audire “listen, hear”.

    So please listen carefully again and hear as who’s voice these words of God sound in you now:

    “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.” (Deut. 30:14)

    Just listen while you read to hear as who’s voice these words of God sound in your mind now:

    “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:18)

    “He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.” (Isaiah 42:2)

    Hear as who’s voice the following thoughts of God sound in you:

    “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you will hear His voice: ‘Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,'” (Heb. 3:6-8)

    God has blessed you with Himself.

    Hi Lodewijk:

    Thank-you for reading. Thank you also for your admonition. As humans, we are prone to error, especially without God’s guidance.

    To attempt an honest examination of the evidence, I tried to be as conscientious looking for evidence that did not support my biased views as those that did. I allowed the book to receive 7 years of pre-publication review, because we humans tend to be less critical of our own work that someone else’s.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  16. Lodewijk Langeweg

    PS:
    On the Amazon Islam forum I found a very “Christian” like sounding statement made by an Imam:

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/islam/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg1?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2YU5IAI2FCUZJ&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx3ULL50SJ9T80S&displayType=tagsDetail

    I also posted some info on Brothers Kept Apart there on the second page.

    And here I found out about the book:

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/islam/forum/ref=cm_cd_ef_tft_tp?%5Fencoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2YU5IAI2FCUZJ&cdThread=Tx2UUZJ5RMYN5BZ&displayType=tagsDetail

    Thank you Lodewijk.

    Regards,
    Walter

  17. Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

    Hi Andrew:

    You are welcome.

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