Jesus is a prophet in Islam but the Bible is said to be either corrupted or superseded by the Quran.
In that case is it forbidden to read the Bible; or if can read it how should it be interpreted?
I think it's okay to read these books. As long as you understand Islam and want to know how and why certain things are rendered obsolete. It's not about reading a book, but interpreting it in your mind. Some people who have little knowledge of Islam might not grasp the concept behind certain parts of these books, which may in turn put them in doubt.
First of all ,Quran Torah and Gospel have much similarities in common than they have peculiarities and as muslims we have to believe in this books.
In Surat "A'li Imrān"(3:3) and (3:4), we read :
نزل عليك الكتاب بالحق مصدقا لما بين يديه وأنزل التوراة والإنجيل من قبل هدى للناس وأنزل الفرقان إن الذين كفروا بآيات الله لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ ذُو انتِقَامٍ
Also Quran says :
The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (2:285)
So,on the one hand, we should believe in Bible.
On the other hand,it turns out that There is a problem for muslims when they try to read the Bible;indeed,the Bible was falsified or at least not well "maintained"... When reading books such as the new Testament or other similar books you don't know what is true and what is false (i mean what was falsified and what is kept as it was). If one muslim that is not aware of such fact,it can be misled or even worse,dismayed in his belief.
That is the reason why The Hadith explicitly prohibits reading such books :
عن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله تعالى عنه: أن عمر بن الخطاب -رضي الله تعالى عنه- أتى النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- بكتاب أصابه من بعض أهل الكتب، فقرأه النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فغضب فقال: أمتهوكون فيها يا ابن الخطاب، والذي نفسي بيده لقد جئتكم بها بيضاء نقية لا تسألوهم عن شيء فيخبروكم بحق فتكذِّبوا به، أو بباطل فتصدقوا به، والذي نفسي بيده، لو أن موسى -صلى الله عليه وسلم- كان حيا ما وسعه إلا أن يتبعني أخرجه الإمام أحمد في المسند.
Even more, if these books were not falsified they are nonetheless obsolete as superseded by the Quran.
ما فرطنا في الكتاب من شيء
We have not neglected in the Register a thing. (6:38)
But if one muslim that is aware and well-acquainted read carefully this book he will gain faith in God.
Either way ,it turns out that we need to read such books for an important reason : to disprove and refutate the arguments advanced by the enemies of Islam by using arguments drawn from their own books (by "enemies" i mean those who hates Islam ) !
Didn't hear about "Ahmed deedat" ? this guy is an expert in how to use Bible to make Islam spread more and more !
So we can read these books but we have to be careful .
My understanding of the Qu'ran is that Isa was a loyal Practitioner of the Torah; as any good Jew should be. The notification to Mary Mother of Isa similar/same in Bible. Quotes from Jesus (Isa) in the Gospels (Injeel) don't seem to contradict the teachings in Islam. Though some controversy, The 'prior' was confirmed... Wasn't it said, 'Tell them (Jews) you believe as they do'? Helping Christians and Jews better understand both their Scriptures and what Islam believes is good; no?? For, in the end, aren't all to be united (when the Messiah returns)? To that end, didn't Our Lord Allah create differences among us for (all) our benefit? Will He not judge all in accordance to the best of belief? Did He not say Christians,Jews,Muslims doing righteous deeds and believing will get their rewards?
I dont think it would be wrong but still if you are a muslim you should keep the quran higher than the bible well because jews and Christians follow the same god and all of these religions are based of the hebrews and all talk about the prophets but if you are a muslim you should keep the quran the highest