“…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:
(Note: THIS BY NO MEANS IS AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST.)
Daniel B.Wallace announced ( 22 MARCH 2012) in a debate with Bart Ehrman, that he had access to a fragment of Mark from the first-century; making it even older than P52 from the second century (which is the size of a credit-card). This announcement even made it’s way into Forbes magazine.
It is interesting to note that in that article, Wallace claims that :
…..radiocarbon dating has not been employed for Greek manuscripts to any significant degree, “largely because until recently it would necessarily destroy part of the manuscript.”
We have already examined this issue of radiocarbon-dating vs paleography. How is it possible for a manuscript of the Qur’an to be radiocarbon dated, and not the Bible?
But keeping all that aside, lets get back to the main question: WHERE IS THIS FIRST CENTURY MARK?
Luke 1:59-61New Living Translation (NLT)
59 When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
61 “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.”
Qur’an Verse (19:7)
Arberry: ‘O Zachariah, We give thee good tidings of a boy, whose name is John. No namesake have We given him aforetime.‘
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: https://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Word-God-Testament-historical/dp/0988565900
Keeping aside the oral tradition of the Qur’an of which the Bible does not have in Greek , let alone in Aramaic ( the language which Jesus spoke); how does the textual integrity of the surviving manuscripts of each respective book compare?
Just considering the first hundred years of each respective calendar (the Islamic Calendar vs the Christian Calendar), we find that within the early first century the Muslims can boast a 91.7 % completion rate . As for the Christians they do not have a Biblical fragment until the second century, and even then it is the size of a credit card. Moreover just based on manuscripts, it would take more than 300 years to get a complete Bible.
Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. [Quran 9:29]
New International Version (NIV)
10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
Radiocarbon dating of Qur’anic manuscripts is a well-known practice and undertaken by many museums, universities and institutions alike. However, the same can not be said of Biblical manuscripts/papyri. Why this discrepancy ?
Some may claim that Paleography (the study of ancient writing systems to date historical manuscripts) is just the same as Radio-Carbon dating. From the onset, it should be obvious that a subjective science like Paleography can in no way stand up to rigorous, tested and proven science which Radiocarbon dating provides. Below is a discussion regarding the pitfalls of using paleography:
The Blue Qur’an (Arabic: المصحف الأزرق al-Muṣḥaf al-′Azraq) is a late 9th- to early 10th-century Fatimid Tunisian Qur’an manuscript in Kufic calligraphy, probably created in North Africa for the Great Mosque (Mosque of Uqba) of Qairawan.
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.