A Non-Muslim asked me these questions which I would like you to answer them:
1-How can the Bible and the Koran be from the same author when they clearly contradict each other? Why would God say forgive your enemies in one book and in the other say kill all Christians and Jews in the other.
2-Why would He say Jerusalem is Mine and in the other not mention it, but say Mohammed is his prophet and Christ is lower than Mohammed and in the Bible Jesus is the eternal Son of God, in the Koran it says God has no son?
The differences that your friend has observed are, in fact, because of the differences in the circumstances of the addressees of these verses. If seen in the correct perspective, one can easily see that there is absolutely no contradiction in the two directives.
However, before I explain the verses that you have referred to, I would like you to keep in mind some important aspects of the teachings of the prophets of God.
Firstly, in God’s revelations, there is a significant difference in the directives given to individuals when compared to those that are given to a collectivity (political state). An individual striving to call others to the path of the Almighty is encouraged not to retaliate and to softly persevere even in face of the most inciting and oppressive circumstances. In contrast, a collectivity can be directed to strike back with all its might to crush all injustice and oppression of its enemies.
Secondly, God’s revelations never direct the believers to use force against another people or to implement punishments on its own criminals except where the believers are living as an organized political state.
Thirdly, because during the life of Jesus (pbuh) – in contrast to the life of Moses (pbuh) or that of Muhammad (pbuh) – the believers did not reach the stage of an organized political state, therefore none of the directives given to Moses (pbuh) or to Muhammad (pbuh) that related to the collectivity were ever given to Jesus (pbuh) or his followers.
Keeping in mind the foregoing points relating to the teachings of the prophets of God, let us now turn to the specific points that you find to be inconsistent in the Qur’an, when compared with the Bible.
The Gospel of Matthew says:
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5: 44)
Under a similar situation as the one in which Jesus (pbuh) delivered his teachings, the Qur’an says:
وَلَا تَسْتَوِي الْحَسَنَةُ وَلَا السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ (فصلت 41: 34)
Good and evil ways are not equal [in their results]. Respond [to hatred] in the most fitting of manners; You shall then see that the one between whom and you is enmity will become a dear friend.
I am sure any one can see the similarity between the two directives given under similar circumstances.
As for the directives in the Qur’an regarding fighting the enemies, there cannot be any corresponding directives in the Gospels, on the grounds that Jesus (pbuh) did not form a political state of his followers. However, one can easily find similar directives in the Old Testament, which were given to Moses (pbuh) and the later prophets after the organization of the Israelites under a political rule. The Easton’s Bible Dictionary, under the title of ‘War’ writes:
The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead.
In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace.
All these wars authorized by God, whether under Moses (pbuh), the later prophets of the Israelites or under Muhammad (pbuh) were all wars of God, not undertaken for the satisfaction of any personal hate of the believers.
You further write:
Why would He say Jerusalem is Mine and in the other not mention it?
Immediately after the stability of the state of Medinah, the Prophet wrote letters to the rulers of all of those areas which were promised to the descendents of Abraham (pbuh). Later on, the whole area, including Jerusalem, constituting the Promised Land was conquered and brought under the rule of the Banu Ishmael – the descendents of Abraham (pbuh).
… but say Mohammed is his prophet and Christ is lower than Mohammed…
The Qur’an at no instance makes such a comparison between any of God’s prophets. The idea that according to the Qur’an Jesus (pbuh) is lower than Muhammad (pbuh), does not have any basis.
… and in the Bible Jesus is the eternal Son of God, in the Koran it says God has no son?
The Qur’an holds that, literally speaking, God is clear of all such needs and imperfections for which He would require, want or even desire a son. In view of this fact, the verses of the Bible which refer to any man as a son of God, should be interpreted as figurative and not literal. Thus, when God says to the prophet David (pbuh):
Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (Psalms 2: 7)
Or when it is used for the pious descendents of Seth:
That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. (Genesis 6: 2)
Or for the angels:
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1: 6)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38: 7)
Or when it is used for the pious people:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8: 14)
All these verses are interpreted as metaphorical and figurative speech. This is further substantiated by the following verse where Jesus (pbuh) is himself is reported to have said:
I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20: 17)
Here Jesus (pbuh) has clearly made no distinction between himself and others as far as God’s being their father (as well as their God) is concerned.
However, with reference to Adam (pbuh), in the verse:
Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (Luke 3: 38)
The word has been used merely to denote that Adam (pbuh) was not born of any human parents, but was in fact born as a direct creation of God.
I hope this will answer your questions.