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Notes from “The Challenge of Bible Translation”

Title: The Challenge of Bible Translation Volume:
Author(s): Glen G. Scorgie, Mark L. Strauss, Steven M. Voth, Kenneth L. Barker, D. A. Carson, Charles H. Cosgrove, Kent Eaton, R. T. France, Andreas J. Kostenberger, Douglas J. Moo, Moises Silva, James D. Smith III, John H. Stek, Ronald Veenker, Larry L. Walker, Bruce K. Waltke, Walter W. Wessel, Herbert M. Wolf

-“. In all, we have over 5,000 Greek manuscripts of the NT, though the majority of these are later and of lesser value”

-” a large quantity of manuscripts means a large range of variants, since no two manuscripts are exactly alike.”
-“In medieval England, Latin was the language of literate people. Direct access to the Bible was restricted in practice to the clergy and monastic orders, and their Bible was the Latin Vulgate.”



Refuting John Wansbrough on Qur’anic Manuscripts from the 1st Century AH / 7th Century BCE …”simply do not exist”

“…the manuscripts for the Qur’an within the century in which it was purported to have been compiled, the seventh century, simply do not exist”

The Sectarian Milieu: Content and Composition Of Islamic Salvation History (Oxford, 1978)

The deceased “doctor” , has made an interesting claim. Perhaps he did not have access to or was not aware of the numerous Qur’anic Manuscripts that come from within the FIRST CENTURY AH or Seventh Century CE.

I will endeavour to make a list of some of the manuscripts available. To make the task even more rigorous,  I will restrict myself to manuscripts which have been radiocarbon-dated and are from Western Universities/Institutions . Let us begin:



94% of Biblical Manuscripts come from the 9th century and Onwards


94% of our surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament date from after the ninth Christian century.   That is 800 years (years!) after the so-called originals.

HUNTING FOR THE WORD OF GOD: The Quest for the Original Text of the New Testament and the Qur’an in Light of Textual and Historical Criticism

Almost a century ago, scholars were debating the authenticity of some passages of the New Testament. After a revolutionary renaissance in the field of biblical textual criticism, however, they began to doubt the genuineness of the entire text.

No longer are we able to claim the authenticity of even one passage from the New Testament. The whole Christian edifice is now in danger. Conversely, today the authenticity of the Qur’ānic text is also being challenged by questioning the Islamic version of the preservation of the Muslim holy book, and the preservation of the canonical readings of the original text.

In the last decade, some missionaries started using the recent discovery of Qur’ānic manuscripts in Sana’a (Yemen) to claim that there had been an early corruption of the text.

This book aims at taking its readers on a journey through the latest academic research on the topic, in the hope of bringing them as close as possible to the heart of the debate. It also has, as its objective, to provide the most satisfactory answers to the most bewildering questions readers may have about the authenticity of the two texts in question—the New Testament and the Qur’an.

The author’s expertise in both areas, the Biblical and Qur’ānic, will enable the reader to gain solid knowledge of the subject matter tackled in this book.

كتاب “Hunting for the Word of God” للدكتور سامي عامري 2013.
الكتاب يناقش علماء النصارى في الغرب في إمكان استعادة النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد، وعلى رأسهم زعيمهم (Daniel B. Wallace).
يكشف أنّ التحريفات التي اعترف بها علماء النصارى تطعن في كثير من عقائد الكنيسة.
يرد على القائلين بتحريف النص القرآني، ويفصّل في تاريخ حفظه كتابة ومشافهة.
يردّ على من يستدلّون “بمصاحف صنعاء”.
يقدّم اعترافات كثيرة للمستشرقين بحفظ النص القرآني من التحريف.
يدفع النكارة التاريخية عن وجود إنجيل خاص بالمسيح استنادًا إلى أبحاث “المشكلة الإزائية” “Synoptic Problem”، ودلالاتها.
وتفاصيل أخرى كثيرة متعلقة بمشاكل المخطوطات اليونانية، والترجمات القديمة، والاقتباسات الآبائية..
للمؤلّف كتاب باللغة العربيّة في مناقشة موضوع استحالة استعادة النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد دون بقية مباحث الكتاب الإنجليزي.. وفيه توسّع أكبر من الكتاب الإنجليزي في هذا الموضوع. وهو بصدد الاتفاق مع ناشر على طبعه السنة القادمة بإذن الله.
أخيرًا.. نرجو أن تساهموا في نشر الكتاب في المواقع الدعوية الإنجليزية لبيان حجّة الإسلام في عصمة النص القرآني وضياع النص الأصلي للعهد الجديد.
-الكتاب متاح للبيع على الأمازون:

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[BBC] ‘Oldest’ Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

What may be the world’s oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham.

Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence. 

The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century.

The British Library’s expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this “exciting discovery” would make Muslims “rejoice”.

The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.


25,000 New Testament manuscripts? Big deal.

Taken from here:

Consider the claim of 25,000 manuscripts. The originals of every New Testament book were written in Greek, but three-quarters of these manuscripts are translations into other languages. We can avoid the extra layer of interpretation imposed by a translation by focusing on just the 5800 Greek manuscripts.

Now consider when these manuscripts were written.

This chart shows the number of Greek manuscript copies by century. (The data is from Wikipedia, with manuscripts categorized on the cusp of two centuries put into the earlier century.) We have zero manuscripts from the first century and eight from the second. The twelfth century has the most, with 1090 manuscripts. The printing press was invented in the middle of the fifteenth century, which explains much of the drop on the right of the chart.



Taken from Here:

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give. — Proverbs 25:14


“More differences among manuscripts than words in the New Testament”

Taken from Bart Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus, page 10:

“This kind of realization coincided with the problems I was encountering the more closely I studied the surviving Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. It is one thing to say that the originals were inspired, but the reality is that we don’t have the originals—so saying they were inspired doesn’t help me much, unless I can reconstruct the originals. Moreover, the vast majority of Christians for the entire history of the church have not had access to the originals, making their inspiration something of a moot point. Not only do we not have the originals, we don’t have the first copies of the originals. We don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals, or copies of the copies of the copies of the originals. What we have are copies made later—much later. In most instances, they are copies made many centuries later. And these copies all differ from one another, in many thousands of places. As we will see later in this book, these copies differ from one another in so many places that we don’t even know how many differences there are. Possibly it is easiest to put it in comparative terms: there are more differences among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.”

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