Bible

Quenching hunger

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God is moving among Muslims

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

Quenching hunger

We were inspired by another Mahabba group and are hoping to put on a discussion with some mosques inviting believers and Muslims.

At the event, the Qur’an is read then discussed, then the Bible is read and discussed.

We are hoping this will provide a chance for Muslims to ask questions and open up the word.  

I have spoken to two mosque leaders about it: one was keen, one is speaking to their imam about it.

The one that is keen also seems very spiritually hungry and a couple of us have done some one-to-one Bible study with him and have given him scriptures.

We are praying that he will come to know Jesus and lead his congregation to follow him.

Please pray that the practical details all get sorted and that many come to know Jesus.

 

Your turn

Have you been touched by this story? If so, you can play your part.

  • Share the amazing news of God moving among Muslim with your friends via e-mail or social media, using the links below
     
  • Support Mahabba in its work to equip everyday Christians to build relationships and share Jesus with Muslims

Peace

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Peace

This is a real-life story of recent events from one of the local Mahabba groups in the Network. Names and details have been deliberately removed to protect the identity of those involved, but praise God - he is working in the lives of Muslims to reveal Jesus!

My peace I give you

It is not every day you get to walk along the main road with the chief imam of the town’s most prestigious mosque, but that was my privilege.

We had a great talk.

Along with all the general things, we talked about similarities and differences between our respective faiths.

I discovered he owned a Bible.

At one point we got talking about how proper respect should be shown to the prophets.

When Muslims speak of Jesus they have to say,

Peace be upon him

I told him I could never say that.

How can I wish peace on him? He is the one who promises peace to us. I would rather say, ‘May his peace be upon us’

I took out my wallet and drew out a printed scripture text,

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid
— John 14:27

It is one of the texts I always have with me because this issue comes up.

Two weeks later he accepted my invitation to have lunch at the church café.

For him it was unanticipated view of church and church people.

Again we talked about lots of things.

At one point we got on to the disobedience of the Prophet Jonah.

The imam talked about all the prophets asking forgiveness.

I pointed out that one never needed to, Jesus Christ who never sinned.

He did not argue. Islam does not disagree. 

We are building a friendship. We will see where God takes it. There are more opportunities in round here than meet the eye.

 

Your turn

Have you been touched by this story? If so, you can play your part.

  • Share the amazing news of God moving among Muslim with your friends via e-mail or social media, using the links below
     
  • Support Mahabba in its work to equip everyday Christians to build relationships and share Jesus with Muslims

Is giving Bibles to Muslim refugees a good way to evangelise?

Is giving Bibles to Muslim refugees a good way to evangelise?

Alice asked us about the merits of distributing Bibles to Muslim refugees:

I have heard that giving bibles to Muslim refugees is a good way to evangelise. Do you think so?
 

OUR RESPONSE

Thanks to the help of some specialists on The City (have you joined yet?), we can relay the following advice.


Be appropriate

I would never give a whole Bible to a Muslim I didn’t know. I might give a New Testament in an appropriate language, but I would certainly give a gospel – probably Luke, because it starts with the birth narrative. Everyone loves a story. The gospels are brilliant stories, so different from the Qur’an. If you give a gospel to a Muslim he will probably read it cover to cover in one sitting, then there is so much to discuss.

The Gospel of Luke alone is the most powerful tool to use for a Muslim mind to digest.

Muslims are led to believe that Bible has been corrupted. So, if you give Bibles to Muslim refugees the first time you meet them, they may take it from you but chances are they are not going to read it. I think it’s very important to make friends first, get them thirsty, and then offer the Bible.

It’s all about putting time and effort into developing close friendships. The question is, do believers have the passion to do this, or do they just simply give a Bible and hope for the best?

 

Be specific

God can speak through his word! But even better would be someone engaging with them and the bible.

At least give a suggested list of bits to read (Creation to Christ perhaps) and questions to think about when reading.

Best of all, a recommendation of somewhere to go with questions.

 

Be discrete

Giving out Bibles to all like sweets is probably not a good idea.

It is certainly helpful to have them available and visible so that they can be picked up should someone be curious or interested.

We have a range of Bibles out on a shelf in our community cafe and sometimes one or two disappear. We pray they are being read. 

When someone asks for a Bible an offer to read it with them may be seen as awelcome invitation.

 

Be relevant

Ensure that the Bible is in the appropriate languages. If not, then they need to be - it is a must, if someone is to be able to read the word and understand it.

 

Related FAQs

What is the Best Arabic translation of the bible for refugees?

Image: Mr Cup / Fabien Barral, Unsplash

What is the best Arabic translation of the bible for refugees?

Jay asked us about recommended Bible translations in Arabic the other day:

Can you recommend a good Arabic translation of the Bible for a refugee?

Dear Mahabba,

I know the YouVersion Holy Bible app is very good in terms of its range of other languages available. Could you give me some pointers on which of the Arabic translations would be best to use with which Arabic speakers when sharing with Muslims I meet? E.g., for Iraqis and especially Syrians. P.S. it was good to see that there is now a Dari audio version!

 

Our response

Thanks to the help of some specialists on The City, we an relay the following advice.


Sharif Arabic Bible (SAB)

For Arabic speakers of Muslim background the Sharif Arabic Bible comes recommended.

The Sharif is written using Muslim vocabulary, e.g. isa, not yasua, and so is good as it is more accessible to Muslim seekers.

Conversely, it is not popular with Middle Eastern Christians because of its use of majority Arabic not Christian Arabic.

Incidentally, it also has a good (but maybe not widely known) reputation, being a set textbook for the Christianity subject in one or two Islamic universities.


Van Dyke translation

The van Dyke translation is written in 19th century vocabulary, but is considered to be the best by the long-established Christian Arab community in the Middle East (similar to the love of white British church-goers for the 1662 prayer book and KJV).


Kitab al Hayah (NAV)

The al Hayah translation is written in clear, modern Arabic, similar to the Good News Bible. You can buy a hard copy on Amazon etc. with parallel English/Arabic text (the English is the NIV). This is advantageous if you want to do a one-on-one Bible study, reading along with your Arabic-literate friend.


Audio in local Arabic dialects

Look out for audio materials in local Arabic dialects such as from Global Recordings - with over 100 in Arabic alone.

Some of the recordings were made decades ago for the old 78 rpm records, so quality may be poor! As such, have a little listen before you pass it on to your friends.

http://globalrecordings.net/en/search/language?search=arabic&filter=contains#fndtn-panel2

If you’re looking for languages other than Arabic, or audio-visual etc, start here: http://globalrecordings.net/en/resources


See also

Chapter Two Books https://www.chaptertwobooks.org.uk/foreign.html (use the pull-down menu on the right-hand side to select the language)

No Frontiers https://nofrontiers.org  (N.B. the website is currently unavailable 25/04/17 because of a rebuild, but check back).

Don't forget to try Word of Life http://www.word-of-life.org, which has lots of foreign language resources, including Arabic.


Check out other FAQs from Mahabba

You might find the following helpful in relation to asylum seekers and refugees:

Do you have any info on new Testaments and Gospels in other languages suitable for refugees and asylum seekers?

Bibles for refugees

What English translation of the Qur'an and introduction do you recommend?

What English translation of the Qur'an and introduction do you recommend?

John asked about a good English translation of the Qur'an and a helpful introduction or commentary: 

Can you recommend a good translation of the Qur'an and introduction?

Dear Mahabba,

“What English language translation of the Qur’an would Muslims considered the most reliable? Would that be the best version for a novice like me to read? What English language introduction to Islam and the Qur’an would you recommend? I would like to understand how to bridge from the Qur’an to the Bible. And an introduction that is not too simple.”

OUR RESPONSE

The easiest to come by is most probably Yusuf Ali which also contains the Arabic script but the translation is archaic.
 
AJ Arberry tries to give a sense of the rhyme and rhythm in English and is a sensitive translation (available on subscription to Oxford Islamic Studies online).
 
There is a Qur’an website on the Internet that contains several translations with which to compare whenever available quran.com.
 
Neal Robinson’s Discovering the Qur`an (2004) is a sympathetic introduction to the Qur’an by a non-Muslim while Muhammad Abdel Haleem’s Understanding the Qur`an: Themes and Style (2001) is a Muslim’s introduction to the Qur’an.
 
It will be difficult to find one source that both introduces Islam as well as bridging Qur’an to Bible.
 
I’ve always found P.K. Hitti’s History of the Arabs (10th repr. 1991) a comprehensive overview of Islamic history that has a scholarly take on Islam before relations were so extremely polarised as now.
 
Kenneth Cragg’s The Weight in the Word – Prophethood: Biblical and Quranic (1999) compares and contrasts Muhammad with biblical prophets and, broadly stated, shows how the Qur’an applies biblical ideas for its own purposes.
 
See how you get on with these for the moment – there is so much out there to choose from!
 
Do let me know how you get on and whether you can get hold of resources.


SINCE YOU'RE HERE...

... we have recently reached a total of 40 local Mahabba prayer groups in the UK - awesome news!

With your help, though, we would like to continue to sow, plant and support Mahabba groups.

Our work involves a small team of regional reps and central hub personnel investing in local coordinators and groups, as well as spreading the word.

To continue this vital mission to Muslims, we need to increase our regular monthly income.

Our initial target is to raise up 100 individual regular donors, giving an average of £10 to £15 per month.

Could you be one of the 100?

What are the best websites for Muslims seeking Jesus?

Image: Chen Yichun,  Unsplash

Image: Chen Yichun, Unsplash

What are the best websites for Muslims seeking Jesus?

Chris approached us, wanting to know about the best websites for Muslims who are seeking Jesus.

What are the best websites for Muslims seeking Jesus?

Dear Mahabba,

The internet is a great place to share faith with Muslims, wherever they are and with anonymity, which some may need.

Can you suggest where to direct Muslim friends so that they can explore the Christian faith further, view a testimony or an FAQ to address their burning question?

I would be interested in finding the best sites that offer any or all of the following:

  • Testimonies
  • Most ‘frequently asked questions’ addressed
  • A presentation of the Christian faith in a Muslim friendly style
  • Resources in different languages such as an online Bible
  • Ideally, it would be great to find this all on one site!

Thanks!

Chris

 

Our response

Hi Chris,

We asked our online community on The City, and had a good response with suggestions for you. Here we go!

 

Websites

www.bible.com

  • A simple, versatile online and smartphone Bible (also known as YouVersion)
  • Features more translations – including ones that are easier for Muslims to understand like the Urdu Geo Version and Sharif Arabic Bible
  • Worth using its tools to hyperlink every Bible verse you quote in an e-mail, post on social media or a website

www.al-kitab.org

  • An online Muslim-friendly English Bible

www.biblegateway.com - CAUTION. SEE NOTE BELOW

  • Although Bible Gateway has a wide selection of translations, it is probably best for Christian use alone
  • Some of its adverts, which are pro-Israel or Zionist, could be viewed negatively by Muslims and be a distraction
  • Use with plenty of caution, or else we recommend other Bible sites
  • Thank you to Duncan for the cautionary note in the comments

 

    Presentation of Christian faith to Muslims

      info.al-kitab.org

      • Al-Kitab Scripture Research Institute offers Muslim-friendly English Bible correspondence studies

      www.word.org.uk

      • A basic correspondence course for Muslims
      • One former Muslims commented on the word.org resource:
      I found it helpful to send to a Muslim friend who quoted from the Qur’an 19:36-37 that refers to God not needing a son. Rather than argue the point it was great to lovingly direct her to a resource where she can find out for herself
       

      Frequently asked questions

      www.answering-islam.org

      • 'My favourite site', according to Sam!

      www.unchangingword.com

      • A very good website with many articles and video clips giving apologetic lectures on the key subjects that Muslims often discuss
      • The website has most articles and some of the video clips in English, Bengali, Urdu, Indonesian and Mandarin Chinese
       

      Testimonies

      www.muslimjourneytohope.com

      • For testimonies this is hard to beat!

      haveyouseenthemaninwhite.com

      • An interesting approach - 'the man in white'
       

      Other

      A comment from Fred (a former Muslim) on the online approach:

      A very good approach

       

      How to answer key questions from Muslims

      Image: Emily Morter,  Unsplash

      Image: Emily Morter, Unsplash

      How to answer key questions from Muslims

      Denise has been building relationships with Muslims, and sent in the following question, wanting to know how she can bring her faith into conversations with grace and truth.

      How can I get equipped to ask - and answer - the right questions when talking to Muslims?

      Dear Mahabba,

      I have a good Muslim friend, and we have been talking about faith and building friendship for several years. I was recently invited to the mosque open day, and spoke to the imam and my friends for two hours.

      However, although I came away feeling much more informed, I felt ill-equipped to ask the right questions - especially to do with the fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity.

      These included, the sonship and divinity of Jesus;  the Trinity; reliability of the Qur'an and Bible; and more besides!

      Can you help or point me in the right direction? I would really appreciate it!

      Many thanks,

      Denise

       

      Our response

      Hi Denise,

      Thanks again for your message, and great to hear that you are building relationships and have been able to visit your local mosque successfully.

      In terms of your questions, there are a handful of suggestions:

      1. Connect with someone at your local Mahabba group
         
      2. Browse the helpful articles on Christianity Explained website
         
      3. Join The City and enquire of others there
         
      4. Connect with Applied Biblical Christianity (ABC)
       

      Local Mahabba group

      There are individuals in local Mahabba groups who are doing exactly the same things as you and working through the same challenges. A local group is an excellent place to get support from others with more experience.

       

      Christianity Explained website

      There are many websites available with articles and resources on how to answer common questions and points raised by Muslims. Check out the articles on explaining Christianity to Muslims and various hot topics.

       

      Join The City

      You can also apply to join The City, the Mahabba online community area, where you can pick the brains of lots of other Christians who are engaged in the same issues as you. This is good if there is no local group near you, and there is a wider pool of people to ask.

       

      Connect with ABC

      Acts of kindness definitely help to build new relationships, but what do you do when the Qur'an says:

      Jesus did not die on the cross, neither was he the Son of God, the third person of the Trinity, or God

      'How to share the Gospel with Muslims' is a useful document from ABC which can help lead to opportunities to share the Gospel, as well as answering the usual questions.

      Also available from ABC as a PowerPoint for teaching in small groups or churches. [N.B. scroll to bottom of downloads page.]

      I hope that helps!

      Let me know if you need any further help,

      Simon