[3-4] He has sent down to you the Book, which has brought the Truth and confirms the Scriptures which preceded it. Before this, He sent down the Torah and the Gospel for the guidance of mankind,2 and He has sent down the Criterion (of right and wrong). Now there shall be a severe punishment for those who reject the Commandments of Allah: for Allah is Almighty, Avenger of wickedness.
2There exists a common misconception about the Torah (Taurat) and the Gospel (Injil) for the people generally take the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) for the Torah, and the Gospels (the first four books of the New Testament) for the Injil. The misconception creates doubts about Revelation itself and a question arises, "Are these books really the Word of God? And does the Holy Qur'an really confirm all their contents"? As a matter of fact, the Torah, which the Qur'an confirms, is not the Pentateuch but is contained in it, and the Injil is not "the four Gospels" but is widen these books.
The Taurat consists of those commandments and injunctions which were given to Prophet Moses (Allah's peace be upon him) during his Prophethood, which lasted for about forty years. Of these were the Ten commandments which were inscribed on stone tablets and delivered to Moses on Mount Tur: as regards the remaining Commandments and injunctions he himself had put down in writing. Then he handed one copy of the Torah to each of the twelve tribes of Israel for guidance. One copy was entrusted to the Levites for safe custody, which along with the stone tablets, was deposited in the Ark.
That Taurat remained quite sate and sound as an entire book up to the first destruction of Jerusalem. But, by and by, the Israelites grew so indifferent to and negligent and unmindful of it that when the Temple of Solomon was under repair during the reign of Joshiah, Hilkiah. the high Priest came across it by chance but did not know that it was the Torah; he thought it was only a Law book and passed it on to the Royal Scribe as a curio. The latter presented it to king Joshiah who tore his clothes and ordered Hilkiah and others to consult the Eternal about the terms of the book. (2 Kings, 22: 8-13). Such was the condition of the Israelites when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, and they lost for ever even the very few copies of the Torah which had long lain neglected in some forgotten niches.
The Old Testament was compiled by Ezra, when the Israelites returned home to Jerusalem after their captivity in Babylon and built the Temple anew. Ezra gathered together some prominent men of his community, and with their help compiled the whole history of Israel which now comprises the first 17 books of the Bible. Of these Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronorny tell the life history of Prophet Moses and include those verses of the real Taurat which became available to Ezra and his assistants, who incorporated them in those books at appropriate places in the chronological order of their revelation. Thus it is obvious that the Pentateuch as a whole is not the Taurat but includes it. The real Taurat comprises those verses which are scattered all over the life story of Prophet Moses, and it is not difficult even today to locate and recognize them. Such portions where the author says, "God said to Moses," or Moses said, The Lord your God says," the Taurat begins, and where the narrative of the life story is resumed, there that part of the Taurat ends. At those places the author of the Bible has inserted certain things by way of explanation or commentary, and it is here that the ordinary reader fails to distinguish the real Taurat from the commentary. However, those who have an insight into the nature of Divine Scriptures, can distinguish, to some degree of exactness, the explanatory. notes from the revealed verses.
According to the Qur'an, only such scattered portions in the Pentateuch are the Taurat and it confirms them alone. And this can be testified by putting together these verses and comparing them with the Qur'an. Here and there one might come across a minor difference in their details, but one cannot find even the slightest difference between the fundamental teachings of the two. Even today one can see clearly that both the Scriptures have come from the same source.
Likewise, the Injil is the name of those inspired discourses and sayings which Jesus (Allah's peace be upon him) uttered as a prophet during the last couple of years of his life. We have no means now of ascertaining whether these pious utterances were recorded and compiled during the lifetime of Jesus. In the introduction to his translation of the Bible, Moffat says, "Jesus wrote nothing and for a time his immediate disciples felt no impulse to write any account of him. The data of the historical Jesus, therefore is based on the vivid recollections and traditions of the primitive Palestinian disciples. How soon their materials took written shape we cannot tell, but at least one written record of them was probably in existence by about A.D.50." Anyhow, when, long after his recall, the stories of Jesus were compiled in the shape of tour Gospels, (the period of the composition of Mark, the tirst to be composed was 65-75 A.D.), some of his written or inspired sayings were also inserted at appropriate places in the historical sketches. Thus it is obvious that the first tour Gospels are not the Injil, the discourses and sayings of Jesus, but they contain it. We have no means of recognizing thetas from the works of the authors except this: Wherever the authors say "Jesus said so or taught so and so," there the Injil begins and where they resume the narration, there it ends. According to the Qur'an, only such portions are the Injil and these alone are condensed by it. If these portions are compiled together and compared with the Qur'an, one will tied no serious difference between the two, and, if somewhere a trivial difference appears, it can be removed very easily with unbiased thinking.