'He gave me the Book and made me a prophet.' – Was the Gospel (Injîl) Written Down?| Sheikh `Isâm b. `Abd al-Muhsin al-Humaydân|
He said: "I am a servant of Allah. He gave me the Book and made me a prophet." [Sûrah Maryam: 30]
These are among the miraculous words spoken by Jesus (peace be upon him) in the cradle, exonerating his mother of infidelity. The baby Jesus (peace be upon him) announces to the people that he is a prophet and that he is the recipient of a scripture from Allah.
The Book that was revealed to Jesus (peace be upon him) is referred to in the Qur'ân as the Injîl. The word "injîl" is not of Arabic origin. It comes from the Greek word "evangelion". This is a compound word in Greek which means "glad tiding". In English translations of the Qur'ân, the word Gospel is often used to refer to the same scripture.
The Qur'ân, of course, was revealed in Arabic, and the word "injîl is Arabic to the extent that it is the Arabization of the Greek word that had been in use by Arabic speakers for centuries before the Qur'ân was revealed. This is discussed by the scholar al-Jawâlîkî in his book al-Mu`arrab (Arabized Words).
Indeed, a number of words in the Qur'ân have etymological origins that are not Arabic, but those words had been Arabized and incorporated into the Arabic language long before the Qur'ân was revealed. These words are considered Arabic words due to their usage in Arabic discourse.
Allah calls the revelation He sent down to Jesus the Injîlin twelve places in the Qur'ân. For instance, we read in the Qur'ân:
He has revealed to you (O Muhammad) the Book with truth, verifying that which is before it, and He revealed the Torah and the Injîl aforetime, a guidance for the people, and He sent the criterion. [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 3]
She (Mary) said: "My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to I me, and man has not touched me?" He said: "Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is. And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Torah and the Injîl." [Sûrah Âl `Imrân: 47-48]
And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him: We sent him the Injîl: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Torah that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. [Sûrah al-Mâ'idah: 46]
The Qur'ân also refers to what He sent to Jesus as being a "Book":
The Jews say: "The Christians have naught (to stand) upon; and the Christians say: "The Jews have naught (To stand) upon." yet both are readers of the Book. [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 113]
Therefore, the Qur'ân makes it clear that Allah revealed a Book to Jesus – a book called the Injîl – just like He revealed the Torah beforehand and later revealed the Qur'ân to Muhammad (peace be upon him).
However, the Qur'ân does not tell us whether the Book sent to Jesus (peace be upon him) was ever written down during his lifetime. This leaves us with two possibilities. One is that it was not written down by the followers of Jesus during Jesus's lifetime, possibility due to fear of reprisals from the Jews or others. However, it is still a book revealed by Allah. The other possibility is that it was written down during Jesus's lifetime, but that it was subsequently lost.
The New Testament in the Bible is not the Injîl in the form that was revealed to Jesus. No one claims that it is the scripture revealed to Jesus verbatim, not even the Christians. In fact, the New Testament clearly states that it is the writings of others which relate the teachings of Jesus. The New Testament contains the gospel according to Matthew, the gospel according to Mark, the gospel according to Luke, and the Gospel according to John. Each of these gospels is a distinct book, with vastly different wordings and contents. Likewise, the New Testament contains letters of Paul: Paul's letters to Rome (Romans) and Paul's letters to the church in Corinth (Corinthians).
And Allah knows best.