Should Muslims Read the Bible?

Many Muslims have said that “Ok, we agree  the Bible has not been canceled but I  have no need to read it because the  Quran is the last revealed book and  therefore it is going to supersede all  previous holy books.” This is the  sentiment of many Muslims who say this  but haven’t thought through the  consequences of such an attitude and  statement. Because the Quran again  teaches the opposite of that attitude. In  fact in Surah 2:136, it  says “Say we believe in this revelation  given to us and the one given to Ibrahim, Ismail, Isaac and Jacob and the  tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus  and to all of the prophets and we make no difference between one  and another of them.” They’re all put on  the same equal footing so therefore to  say the Quran is to be preferred,  while understandable, is really something  that goes against the teaching of this  verse. 

Also we are told in Surah 2:285 that we need to  confess to say that we believe not only  in God but also in his books (plural) that are  given. To believe something,  you must be aware of what it is, you must  understand what it says. Therefore to say  “I will not read the previous revelations”  is to say “I’m not interested in what is  in the word of Allah or his guidance or  his mercy or his particular will for my  life.” If we are to set aside the Bible  and the holy books that comprise the  Bible, for it is comprised of many books  which Allah gave unto mankind, then why  would we have a warning  in the Quran in Surah 40:70-72  that those who do such a thing, who  reject the previous books of Allah are  in danger of hell fire. This warning  would not make sense if indeed God’s  process of revelation meant that  whatever he gave before is to be thrown  out. 

It is thought by many people that  the scriptures that were given had a regional or even an ethnic  purpose. They were meant just for a  certain people, that they were meant for  a certain nation or region. I grew up  believing that Jesus was sent only for  the people of Israel but as I began to  study the Quran and Injeel, I realized  that this was really an imaginary  concept that fit neither books. Surah 3:3-4 “It is He Who sent down to thee in truth the Book confirming what went before it; and He sent down Law (Of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this as a guide to mankind”, not just the Jews are the Christians. Otherwise, it would not have said “to  mankind (Arabic “An-nas”)”. Therefore, to assume that  because supposedly the previous books  were meant for a particular group that  does not concern Muslims today is  patently false.

Surah 3:3 – the word used is “musaddiqun” meaning “to confirm” that which had come previously. What is  there to confirm if something is to be  canceled out and thrown away? What happens in a court of law  when one witness comes and says a word  that confirms a fact or a statement made  by a previous individual? He gives  validity to this witness and  establishes the truthfulness of the  previous speaker. That’s the word that is used in the  Quran speaking of the Torah, speaking of  the Injeel in the same footing with the Quran. It says that the Quran  confirms these therefore we must not  assume that these books have been done  away.