Biblical Consummation versus Islamic Abrogation

A Comparative Look at Two Different Interpretive Approaches

Part 1 [Part 2]

Sam Shamoun

Some Muslims, in order to justify the Quranic doctrine of abrogation, claim that the Holy Bible teaches something similar. They assert that the Holy Bible contains many instructions and practices which have been abrogated, annulled, by later commandments, i.e. Sabbath observance, dietary restrictions etc.

Here are several examples of Muslims who uses this line of reasoning:

Muslims think that they can justify the Quranic problem of abrogation if they can prove that the Holy Bible also contains abrogation.

To begin with, appealing to the Holy Bible does absolutely nothing to support the doctrine of Islamic abrogation for several reasons. First, if abrogation is a logical and/or theological problem then appealing to the Holy Bible doesn’t resolve the dilemma. It would only prove that both the Holy Bible and the Quran are wrong and cannot, therefore, be revelations from God.

Second, the assertion that the Bible containing abrogation provides validation for the Quran also teaching it presupposes that the Bible functions as a criterion determining truth and falsehood. This assumes that the Holy Bible is a trustworthy document which can be used to demonstrate whether the Quran is correct. But if this is the case then the Bible can also serve to falsify the Quran, which it definitely does since the two books are diametrically opposed to each other when it comes to the essentials of faith, i.e. God, Christ, salvation etc. Does this mean that the Muslims who use this approach will reject the Quran for contradicting God’s true Word?

Third, the Bible does not teach abrogation since the Quran defines abrogation as blotting out, as abolishing, previous instructions:

God blots out, and He establishes whatsoever He will; and with Him is the Essence of the Book. S. 13:39 Arberry

God shall abolish and shall confirm [what he pleaseth]. With him is the original of the book. Sale

The Holy Bible, on the other hand, doesn’t blot out or abolish previous revelations but fulfills and consummates them, just as the Lord Jesus taught:

Do not think that I have come to ABOLISH the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to ABOLISH them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Matthew 5:17-18

The Lord Jesus doesn’t abolish the Hebrew Bible, but perfectly fulfills it in his life and teachings. What the Lord Jesus was basically telling the people is that the Hebrew Bible was specifically revealed in such a way so as to find its true meaning and completion in the Messiah’s work and interpretation of it.

For a more thorough and complete exegesis of this passage we highly recommend James Arlandson’s superb article, How Jesus Christ fulfills the Old Testament.

It is a great supplement that helps put things in a clear perspective.

Other passages basically reiterate the above point, indicating that the Hebrew Bible had a specific fulfillment in the Messiah, and that once it was fulfilled, believers were then required to apply the Messiah’s exegesis and completion of it. Basically, believers are required to follow the Law and the Prophets as defined/explained/articulated by the Lord Jesus and his inspired spokespersons:

"The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the Gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void." Luke 16:16-17

Notice that the progress from the Law and the Prophets toward the new era occurred after John had been sent to announce the Messiah’s advent. The Law and the Prophets are now subsumed and consummated in the Gospel of God’s kingdom as proclaimed in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of the King himself, the Lord Jesus.

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes." Romans 10:1-4

Christ is the focal point of the Law, the very One who consummates the Law as he brings it to its completion and fulfillment.

"Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith." Galatians 3:24

The Law was designed to lead us to Christ, its true fulfillment.

It is clear from the foregoing that the view of the NT writers is that the Hebrew Scriptures were deliberately designed by God to foreshadow Christ and his Church. The OT Scriptures contained shadows, types, analogies, and copies of spiritual realities that awaited the coming of Christ. OT peoples, places, events and things were deliberately designed to be copies of a far greater spiritual reality, with Christ manifesting that reality through his fulfillment of it. The NT Scriptures are basically the record of how Christ unveiled the spiritual reality underlying the OT revelation:

"Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day." Zechariah 3:8-9

"He said to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. ... He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:25-27, 44-45

"Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come." Romans 5:14

"They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, ‘See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.’" Hebrews 8:5

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.’ And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." Hebrews 9:1-24

"For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near." Hebrews 10:1

Thus, the NT revelation of the Lord Jesus does not abolish, destroy, or annul the Hebrew Scriptures. It fulfills and completes what these Scriptures were pointing to.

What we are basically saying is that the Hebrew Bible was a shadow of the reality that is Christ. It was never intended to continue in the form in which it was initially revealed, but in the manner by which the Messiah would complete it.

Here we provide several examples of how Christ consummated specific practices in order to bring out their true spiritual meaning. We attempt to show how and in what way the Hebrew Scriptures serve as a shadow of a greater reality.


Old Testament Precedence

God commanded Abraham to have all the male members of his household circumcised on the eighth day:

"And God said to Abraham, ‘As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.’" Genesis 17:9-14

The Hebrew Bible provides a hint as to why God prescribed this practice:

"So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer." Deuteronomy 10:16

"Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

"Circumcise yourselves to the LORD And remove the foreskins of your heart, Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Or else My wrath will go forth like fire And burn with none to quench it, Because of the evil of your deeds." Jeremiah 4:4

From the foregoing we see that physical circumcision was a sign, a symbol, of a greater need, of a greater reality. Physical circumcision reminded the Israelites of their need for spiritual circumcision, that they needed their evil hearts and minds to be cut off. God was basically showing his people that they needed a new heart and a new spirit since their evil nature wasn’t allowing them to walk in covenant faithfulness:

"Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live." Ezekiel 18:30-32

Consummation in the New Testament

The New Testament speaks of true believers as being those who have experienced this spiritual circumcision which was already spoken of in the OT:

"So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God." Romans 2:26-29

According to the NT, Christ’s death and resurrection inaugurated this new creation, this spiritual circumcision:

"In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses," Colossians 2:11-13

It is through our union with the Lord Jesus that we experience this new birth or creation, where our old sinful nature is cut off and a new one is given in its place:

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Romans 6:3-6

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Since it is directly the result of Christ’s death and resurrection that believers experience this spiritual reality, the command to circumcise on the eighth day becomes all the more astonishing. According to the Scriptures, the Lord Jesus rose on the first day of the week which is the day after the Sabbath:

"When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’ And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back--it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. HE HAS RISEN; HE IS NOT HERE. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." Mark 16:1-6

What this means is that Jesus was raised on the eighth day, the very day in which the male Israelites had to be circumcised! Thus, this shows us how this specific OT commandment was deliberately designed to point to Christ’s death and bodily resurrection on the eighth day, since that was to be the inauguration of the first day of a new creation.

Therefore, since the reality has come to then try and return back to the shadow of these things would be futile:

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love." Galatians 5:1-6

"For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation." Galatians 6:15

Sabbath Observance

Old Testament Precedence

God had commanded the Israelites to observe a Sabbath day, to make the seventh day one of rest where they abstained from labor. This command made it even into the Ten Commandments, as the fourth one (cf. Exod 20:8). God based this model of rest on the fact that he too had stopped his work of creation on the seventh day since it had been completed:

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." Genesis 2:1-3

"You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’" Exodus 31:13-17

Consummation in the New Testament

Israel’s Sabbath observance, which was modeled after God’s own Sabbath, was intended to point to a greater spiritual rest. Just as God had rested from his work of creation and entered into an eternal Sabbath, a day which continues for all eternity, believers are to rest from trying to merit their righteousness through observing the Law and trust in Christ’s perfect righteousness. Once a believer truly trusts in the Lord Jesus he enters into God’s own Sabbath whereby he no longer has to merit his justification since he has been given the promise of eternal life:

"Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For the Gospel came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, ‘As I swore in my wrath, "They shall not enter my rest,"’ although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.’ And again in this passage he said, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the Gospel failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, ‘Today,’ saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’ For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever HAS ENTERED GOD'S REST has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience." Hebrews 4:1-11

Again, since the reality has come:

"Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." Colossians 2:16-17

As Christ himself taught:

"And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.’" Mark 2:27-28

Why would anyone want to return to the copy or shadow of things?

Dietary Laws

Old Testament Precedence

God told Moses that the dietary laws were given in order to distinguish Israel from the nations:

"For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground. For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law about beast and bird and every living creature that moves through the waters and every creature that swarms on the ground, to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean and between the living creature that may be eaten and the living creature that may not be eaten." Leviticus 11:44-47

"You are therefore to make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean bird and the clean; and you shall not make yourselves detestable by animal or by bird or by anything that creeps on the ground, which I have separated for you as unclean. Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine." Leviticus 20:25-26

"For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. You shall not eat any abomination. These are the animals you may eat: …" Deuteronomy 14:1-4a

These restrictions were intended to convey a spiritual truth, that Israel was distinct from the Gentiles by virtue of being God’s covenant people. The Gentiles were unclean due to their paganism and immorality, whereas God made Israel clean by setting them apart from the other nations and gave them commands to live by:

"For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him?" Deuteronomy 4:7

"For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, driving out before you nations greater and mightier than yourselves, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time." Deuteronomy 4:32-40

Consummation in the New Testament

The Apostle Peter, one of the Lord Jesus’ closest disciples, had some very interesting visions regarding clean versus unclean animals which helps provide further illumination on the purpose behind the dietary laws:

"The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ This happened THREE TIMES, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven. Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, THREE MEN are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.’ And Peter went down to the men and said, ‘I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?’ And they said, ‘Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.’ So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am a man.’ And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, ‘You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, BUT GOD HAS SHOWN ME THAT I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY PERSON COMMON OR UNCLEAN. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.’ And Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, "Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea." So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.’ So Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’" Acts 10:9-29, 34-35

Peter’s vision where he was told three times to eat unclean animals that had been made clean by God was in reference to the three Gentile men whom the Holy Spirit had sent to the Apostle. In other words, the unclean animals represented the Gentiles whom God was now going to make clean through faith in the Lord Jesus, thereby destroying any distinction between them and Israel:

"Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called ‘the uncircumcision’ by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." Ephesians 2:11-22

What this basically means is that the dietary distinctions were shadows that pointed to a greater reality; this reality being that God had left the Gentiles unclean for a while. That is why, as we have already shown, God instructed Israel to abstain from certain things in order to show them the distinction being made between them and the other nations.

But now that the Messiah had come God was no longer going to keep the Gentiles in their uncleanness. He would now purify them along with Israel through belief and repentance in the name of the Lord Jesus:

"And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.’" Acts 15:7-11

It is little wonder that now that the spiritual reality has come, now that the archetype has arrived, the shadow and copy are no longer binding in their original form and all foods are now declared clean:

"And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, ‘Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’" Mark 7:16-23

"One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him." Romans 14:2-3

"Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5

Once again, does anyone really want to return to the shadow of things now that the reality has come?


The foregoing examples should make it abundantly clear that the Holy Bible has nothing remotely similar to Islamic abrogation. Its teaching on fulfillment is deeply profound and spiritually rich, and shows what a masterpiece God’s true Word really is, unlike the Quran’s confused teaching of abrogation. Trying to therefore compare the Holy Bible’s teaching on fulfillment/consummation with the Quran’s doctrine of abrogation is like comparing day and night, heaven and earth, apples and oranges. It just doesn’t work.

James Arlandson’s article, Promise and fulfillment in the Bible (in contrast to quranic abrogation), covers similar ground and is highly recommended as supplementary reading.

Important Note: In order to better understand the responsibility given to Jewish believers in Jesus to maintain and uphold specific aspects of the Law of Moses, in contrast to their Gentile brethren, we recommend the following articles:

Continue with Part 2.

Articles by Sam Shamoun
Answering Islam Home Page