If you’ve ever tried to talk with Muslims about your faith, you’ll find it doesn’t take long before you run into the objection that our Scriptures have been corrupted and are therefore unreliable. But what happens when you have Arabic speakers who were born in Israel where you can see ancient Biblical texts like the Dead Sea Scrolls with your own eyes? In the land in which they were written? Arabs who can read the Hebrew documents fluently, because they grew up speaking Hebrew? This is the unique and privileged position of Israeli Arab believers.
Hadil explains, “Reading the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew is a privilege, because some of the Muslim’s claims regarding the corruption of the Bible has to do with the wrong meanings of the words in the Hebrew Bible due to inaccurate translations. That’s when our Hebrew language helps – we tell them the exact meaning in the original language, and if it’s hard for us to understand (since it’s ancient Hebrew, not modern) we can check in Hebrew resources and find the accurate meanings and the true history behind the scriptures and the meanings.”
ISRAELI ARABS SHARE THE TRUTH Our Arabic outreach team is able to communicate with Muslims all around the Arab world thanks to the common language. They share the truth about the Bible, about Jesus, and debunk Muslim myths about non-existent changes in the texts by explaining what they can see in Hebrew. Carlos Damianos, who heads up the team, gives us this update: “On January 9, 2020, we started uploading a series of eight videos entitled, ‘The invention of the myth of Biblical corruption’. We uploaded a video every two weeks to our pages on Facebook and also on YouTube, showing the faithfulness of the God of Israel throughout history, despite all the challenges that His people faced. God preserved His word written in the Hebrew Bible for the purpose of salvation; a salvation anticipated in the many promises concerning the coming Messiah.”
They were able to show how reliable the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures are, and that we can prove they have remained unchanged since long before Islam ever came into being. Why then is the accusation made by Muslims that the Bible has been corrupted? Carlos continues, “We also spoke about the ancient serpent – a satanic spiritual entity that God revealed from the beginning of the Torah (Genesis 3) who does everything in His power to resist the plan of salvation and cause people to stumble. One of the schemes Satan has come up with has been to spread the lie that the Jews deliberately perverted and corrupted the Word of God. Therefore, according to this myth, God cursed the people of Israel. This gives Muslims a mandate to reject the ‘People of the Book’ including Christians who see the Hebrew Bible as the basis for the New Testament.”
THE VIDEOS HAVE PROVED EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE, AND HAVE HAD A LOT OF RESPONSE In March, when the government enforced a complete lockdown, the number of visitors to our page actually increased by more than 500%. In less than two months, the Coronavirus caused a huge spike in traffic to our videos without the need for paid advertising. Here is a screenshot of some of the statistics from our page in that period – and most of our visitors are Muslims!
During the lockdown, far from being stopped, the team continued to work via zoom calls, picking up the pace as the internet traffic increased. They were able to make excellent progress on the website and social media pages… and even completed two projects they had planned to do in the future! “Thanks to God, so far we have over 43,000 followers and we pray with hope that God will bring the gospel to their hearts,” says Carlos. “As soon as the Ministry of Health allowed a gradual easing of restrictions, we shot two videos I had written during the lockdown, and uploaded them to our pages.
The first was a video related to the ‘The Sacrifice of Redemption’ (aimed at the relevant holiday for Muslims in July). The second was called ‘Jesus: More than just a Prophet’, in which I contrast how the prophets would present their message saying ‘Thus says the Lord… ‘, but Jesus addresses people directly, in His own name and authority: ‘But I say unto you…’
TESTIMONIES FLOODING IN A married couple were exposed to the gospel through our “Eternal Moments” page and wrote privately to our team with questions about Jesus being the Savior and the Son of God – rather than just a prophet as Islam represents him. Since the beginning of the year they have been having some great conversations and intensive correspondence, in which they were able to teach and encourage the husband in particular. During this time, he shared that his wife was in her eighth month of pregnancy, and that after watching all our videos (especially the videos about how the Scriptures had not been distorted!) and listening to his conversations, God had been strengthening her faith. She had received confidence that the Lord Jesus was there with her, even though she struggled with the fear that Allah might curse or even abort the baby because of her interest in Jesus.
Thanks to God, her fears were unfounded and the baby was born healthy and well, not cursed but blessed to be born into a household that knew the grace of God. They have now both made the decision to accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. There have been many other great testimonies from other Muslims too: “God opened my heart and gave me courage to contact you.” “The videos I’ve watched have opened my eyes and my mind to many things. Honestly I know nothing about Jesus. But I was very moved by the words. I’m a Muslim.” “I’m ready to leave my home and my wife and my children and my work and my father and my brothers and sisters and all those around me, in order to reach the right path.” Carlos also received a message from a Christian TV channel in Arabic, wanting to share his videos with Muslims all over the world!