Difference between the Bible and the Quran

Updated on March 27, 2017

How can you make a comparison between the defining documents of the largest monotheistic religions in the world? You know from the very start they will differ in concepts, so what else is there to compare? How about the fact that these are more than just books and religious documents – they are institutions. Here are some differences between the Bible and the Quran.

Descriptions

Bible

The Bible is a collection of texts sacred to the Jewish and Christian religions. They are said to have been written under Divine influence; therefore, they contain the word of God. The word Bible is Greek and it stands for books (biblia).

The Bible is made up of the Old and New Testament. The content of the Old Testament coincides with the Holy Book of the Jewish people. The New Testament picks up where the Old Testament leaves off, at the promise of a Messiah. The New Testament presents the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In the Bible, God is presented as the one God, while the New Testament reveals that He is three in one – the Holy Trinity: God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

There are estimated sales of 5 billion copies, making the Bible the best-selling book of all time. It has influenced Western European thinkers ever since it started being mass produced and printed. Its translation also led to the spread and better understanding of the Gospels.

The initial texts of the Old Testament were in Hebrew and Aramaic and were translated into Greek, then Latin. The Western Church took to the Latin translation and the Eastern Church took to the Greek one. This division also led to different text interpretations and different versions of the same text.

Quran
A copy of the Quran

The Quran is the central Muslim religious text. It is said to be the finest piece of Arabic literature. It is divided into chapters (surah) and each chapter is divided into verses. The word “Quran” translates into “recitation.”

Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God, Allah, directly revealed to Muhammad, His prophet, by the angel Gabriel. There is a standard version of the text as the Quran is said to be inimitable – a testimony to the fact that it really is the word of Allah in the text.

During prayer, the Quran is recited in Arabic. Every prayer begins with the first surah of the Quran, which is the testament of faith and a renewal of the belief that Allah will guide the believer on the right path and will bless him/her.

The Muslim God is depicted as one, without parents, children or equals. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent.

Bible vs Quran

So what is the difference between the Bible and the Quran?

The Bible is the fundamental religious text of Christians, whereas the Quran is the fundamental religious text of Muslims. The Bible was written under the influence of Divine inspiration, whereas the Quran represent the exact word of Allah, revealed to Muhammad, and written by his disciples.

The Bible is made out of books and it contains stories. These stories speak of the creation of the World, of the pains of the Jewish people, the promise of the Messiah, His arrival, and His teachings. The verses of the Quran speak of the lives of ancient prophets, of the difference between right and wrong, of charity, morality, and prayer.

The Bible has been translated from Hebrew and Aramaic into Greek and Latin. It was later on translated into other languages, with the invention of the printing press. These early translations and the adoption of Greek versus Latin versions by the Western and Eastern Churches have led to different interpretations and differences in texts. The Quran, on the other hand, is said to be inimitable and written in one standard version in Arabic.

The word “Bible” means “books” in Greek, while the word “Quran” means “recitation.” The Bible is the best-selling book of all time with almost 9 billion copies sold worldwide. The Quran, on the other hand, is thought to be the finest work of classical Arabic literature.

Comparison Chart

BibleQuran
Is the fundamental religious text of ChristiansIs the fundamental religious text of Muslims
Means “books” in GreekMeans “recitation” in Arabic
Was written under the influence of Divine inspirationIs the exact word of Allah, revealed to Muhammad, and written down by his disciples
Tells the story of God and His people; contains teachingsIs written in verse and consists of a code of conduct for Muslims in the form of stories about the early prophets and other great historical events
Sold over 9 billion copies worldwide, making it the best-selling book of all timeIs the finest example of classical Arabic literature
Exists in different versions, resulting from different translations and interpretationsIs inimitable; there is one standard version of it, written in Arabic