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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:
(Note: THIS BY NO MEANS IS AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST.)
Weird, National Geographic took their site down:
Let me copy the authentication stuff below:
To verify the authenticity of the Gospel of Judas documents,
the National Geographic Society scrutinized them
as closely as was possible without harming them further
Too bad its closed. I wonder why it was……
The original provenance of these two codices is unknown.
One was donated to Britain by the Church of Constaninople in the 17th century;
the other was “found in a rubbish bin” in a church monastery in the 19th century.
How do we know that these manuscripts are not more forgeries by the medieval Church?
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?
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:
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.