How did the Quran avoid changes
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17-06-2012, 05:09 AM
How did the Quran avoid changes
We all know that the bible is full of mistakes caused by copying the original and copying the copy and making a copy of that then translating it and copying it more. It's clear that's the case, but muslims are always on about how the quran didn't change over time and has always stay true to the original message, keeping the original message of the quran is quite a big deal for muslims but how did they avoid copy errors and things getting lost in translation? Or does the quran have the same problem as the bible?

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17-06-2012, 05:43 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
This would be an interesting question to directly ask a Muslim. The few I have spoke to seem to claim that there is only a few denominations. I am not sure how true or accurate that is though.
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17-06-2012, 06:07 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
This is what wikipedia has to say at the moment:
"According to traditional Islamic scholarship, all of the Qur'an was written down by Muhammad's companions while he was alive (during AD 610-632), but it was primarily an orally related document. The written compilation of the whole Qur'an in its definite form as we have it now was not completed until many years after the death of Muhammad.[10]F.E. Peters states, "Few have failed to be convinced that what is in our copy of the Quran is, in fact, what Muhammad taught, and is expressed in his own words... To sum this up: the Quran is convincingly the words of Muhammad, perhaps even dictated by him after their recitation".[6] Peters argues that "The search for variants in the partial versions extant before the Caliph Uthman’s alleged recension in the 640s (what can be called the 'sources' behind our text) has not yielded any differences of great significance." .[6]
Patricia Crone and Michael Cook challenge the traditional account of how the Qur'an was compiled writing that "there is no hard evidence for the existence of the Koran in any form before the last decade of the seventh century." They also question the accuracy of some the Qur'an's historical accounts.[11] It is generally acknowledged that the work of Crone and Cook was a fresh approach in its reconstruction of early Islamic history, but their alternative account of early Islam has been almost universally rejected.[12] Van Ess has dismissed it stating that "a refutation is perhaps unnecessary since the authors make no effort to prove it in detail...Where they are only giving a new interpretation of well-known facts, this is not decisive. But where the accepted facts are consciously put upside down, their approach is disastrous."[13] R. B. Serjeant states: "Hagarism [the thesis of Crone and Cook]…is not only bitterly anti-Islamic in tone, but anti-Arabian. Its superficial fancies are so ridiculous that at first one wonders if it is just a ‘leg pull’, pure ’spoof’."[14]
Gerd R. Puin's initial study of ancient Qur'an manuscripts found in Yemen led him to conclude that the Qur'an is a "cocktail of texts", some of which may have been existent a hundred years before Muhammad. He later stated that "these Yemeni Qur'anic fragments do not differ from those found in museums and libraries elsewhere, with the exception of details that do not touch the Qur'an itself, but are rather differences in the way words are spelled." Puin has stated that he believes the Qur'an was an evolving text rather than simply the Word of God as revealed in its entirety to the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century A.D[11][15][16] Karl-Heinz Ohlig comes to the conclusion that the person of Muhammed was not central to early Islam at all, and that at this very early stage Islam was in fact an Arabic Christian sect (likely Ebionite, Arian and/or Nestorian, based on the recorded Ebionite faith of Khadija, Muhammad's first wife, and the Arianism and/or Nestorianism of her cousin,[dubiousdiscuss] the monk Bahira, recorded by John of Damascus in the early 8th century) which had objections to the concept of thetrinity, and that the later hadith and biographies are in large part legends, instrumental in severing Islam from its Christian roots and building a full-blown new religion.[17][page needed] John Wansbrough believes that the Qu’ran is a redaction in part of other sacred scriptures, in particular the Judaeo-Christian scriptures.[18][19]Prof. Herbert Berg writes that "Despite John Wansbrough's very cautious and careful inclusion of qualifications such as "conjectural," and "tentative and emphatically provisional", his work is condemned by some. Some of negative reaction is undoubtedly due to its radicalness...Wansbrough's work has been embraced wholeheartedly by few and has been employed in a piecemeal fashion by many. Many praise his insights and methods, if not all of his conclusions."[20]
There is considerable academic debate over the real chronology of the chapters of the Qur'an.[21] Carole Hillenbrand holds that there are several remaining tasks for the Orientalist Qur'anic scholars: Few Qur'anic scholars have worked on the epigraphy of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem whose foundation inscription dates to 72/692 and the antique Qur'an recently discovered in the Yemen, theSana'a manuscripts. The Carbon-14 tests applied to this Qur'an date it to 645-690 AD with 95 percent accuracy. Their real age may be a good deal younger, since C-14 estimates the year of the death of an organism, and the process from that to the final writing on the parchment involves an unknown amount of time, and parchments were also re-used often.[21] Paleography has dated the San'a manuscripts to 690-750 AD."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Muhammad

It's a more recent document prepared in a different era to the Bible, so there is reason to accept a lack of textual variants when compared to older texts. Its origins seem a little murky in terms of who exactly wrote them and where the words come from to my sceptical brain. The other interesting thing I have heard in the past is that Arabic itself was evolving rapidly at the time this text was written. I have heard that some of the punctuation that exists in modern versions does not exist in the earliest versions and that without those extra little dots multiple very different readings can be extracted. This can result in the difference between reading "72 white-eyed virgins" and "72 white grapes":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Syro-Ar...e_Qur%27an

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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17-06-2012, 06:21 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
Also, they just didn't see it necessary to get rid of stoning people to death and such. The old practices live on....

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17-06-2012, 06:26 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
(17-06-2012 05:09 AM)Crusher Wrote:  muslims are always on about how the quran didn't change over time and
has always stay true to the original message, keeping the original
message of the quran is quite a big deal for muslims but how did they
avoid copy errors and things getting lost in translation?

Like everything in religions that is wishful thinking. Plain bullshit.
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17-06-2012, 07:38 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
I think the original aramaic language in which it was written (or is it arabic?) hasnt changed as much as latin and thus direct translation is mostly direct.Most of the original Bible books were written in Latin which still is a hard language to decode ergo the simplest messages being misconstrued during translation
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17-06-2012, 08:12 AM (This post was last modified: 17-06-2012 08:16 AM by Vosur.)
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
(17-06-2012 07:38 AM)Sirchrisnificent Wrote:  I think the original aramaic language in which it was written (or is it arabic?) hasnt changed as much as latin and thus direct translation is mostly direct.Most of the original Bible books were written in Latin which still is a hard language to decode ergo the simplest messages being misconstrued during translation
What? The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the New Testament in Greek. Neither of them were written in Latin.

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17-06-2012, 08:34 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
Have you ever cracked open a Q'uran... like a real wood and pulp, actual held-in-your-hands Q'uran? It contains an English translation, but the original Arabic is next to the English.

But scholars say that the original Arabic is very ambiguous. It has been cleaned up since then with dots and dashes to differentiate characters that can be read in more than one way, but changes to the Q'uran -- even in just making it easier to read -- has encountered a lot of resistance.

I think the bigger problem than verses being "lost in translation" is abrogation. It's similar to the Christians replacing Jewish rituals and commandments with newer rituals and commandments, except in the Q'uran it's ongoing and constant. Whenever something seems barbaric or outdated, a religious leader can say that Allah told them that it is no longer to be understood in the way that it always was. The Mormon Church has a similar doctrine, one that allowed them to discriminate against blacks for decades and then to stop.

This problem -- abrogation -- could cause someone to read the Q'uran and get a different theology than other modern Muslims. I've also argued that the same could be true of Christianity. If a tribal culture got its hands on just the Old Testament today and put their witch doctor to death in accordance with Old Testament commands, would other Christians call this sinful? Do they have a right to condemn people who follow the Old Testament? You shouldn't have to own a copy of the New Testament as well to know what God wants. If God wanted His word changed, then He should have made actual changes to it.

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17-06-2012, 08:46 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
It was written in an early form of arabic, but see my link above. At least one academic believes it was actually written in something of a hybrid between several languages used in the area. It's also I think the earliest know Arabic book, and was written at a time of significant oral and written change to the language.

As far as I know none of the Bible was written in Latin. I have heard of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek books though Smile All of these languages are as far as I understand it very well understood, and I suspect Latin would be even easier to understand given that it forms a basis of modern languages such as English.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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17-06-2012, 09:52 AM
RE: How did the Quran avoid changes
Im sorry,i know it wasnt originally written in Latin but around the 3rd century when Latin was made official,all books were translated to Latin(the vulgate i think it was called) and after its death,centuries later,most of the messages were lost in translation of the old Latin text,beides most of the original hebrew and greek scripts of the septuagint books,Mark,John,Luke,Mathew and psalms were lost.
Sorry for the confusion

@Hafnof,i beg to differ the first texts written in hebrew of most books especially in the old testament like the book of Esther,Ecclestiastes,Jeremiah and Maccabees took years to translate and the translation is still not accurate as noted in the king James' versions.Psalms is to this day not complete in translation
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