Abu Islam Ahmed Abdallah, owner of the Islamic Enlightenment Publishing House, has printed a version of the Bible that he claims is "forged," prompting Egypt's Coptic Church to consider filing a complaint with the Attorney General against the book, which it considers an "insult to Christianity."
In the book's 65-page introduction, Abdallah wrote that the Bible version had been "written before the Genesis," noting that the reason for its publication was to prove that Christians had themselves forged the books they hold sacred.
It was not uncommon to read in the margins of some Bible versions that certain words were not original and that certain phrases had been added by transcribers, or that certain figures were incorrect, the publisher wrote. This, he added, had prompted some Christian theologians admit that their holy book was not sacred in itself, but rather represented an account of sacred events.
Coptic Bishop Abdel Messih Bassit, for his part, said the Coptic Church was "extremely offended" by the perceived "act of contempt" for Christianity.
“Do Christians have the right to publish manuscripts of the Koran from our own point of view?” he asked. “Can Christians print the Koran and add their comments to it?”
Bassit added that Abdallah did not understand the essence of the Bible, its original Hebrew and Greek versions, or the rules of translation, contending that the publisher had used differences in translations and the evolution of language as a means of discrediting the Bible.
“The translation of this version was written in Levantine Arabic 400 years ago,” Bassit explained. “With the development of language from generation to generation, the meaning of certain words was changed.”