THE QUR’AN’S HISTORICAL PROBLEMS

Assessing the newest research on the historicity of the Qur’an

By Dr. Jay Smith

November 23, 2018

The ‘Inimitability’ of the Qur’an

What Muslims claim

  • The Qur’an is uncreated and exists eternally on clay tablets in heaven (S.85:22)
  • The Qur’an was sent down to Muhammad between 610 and 632 AD
  • The Qur’an was finally completed by Uthman in 652 AD
  • The Qur’an is unchanged in the last 1400 years

The ‘Inimitability’ of the Bible

What Christians claim

  • The Bible was created, as it was written by man
  • The Bible was not sent down to anyone, but inspired by God
  • The Bible was complete in its original form
  • The Bible has been changed in the last 2000 years, and we know where, and say so

Our remit today

What we will attempt to do

  • We cannot critique an ‘uncreated’ or a ‘sent down’ Qur’an
  • We can only critique an archaic, ‘complete’, and ‘unchanged’ Qur’an
  • Thus, we would want to find:
    • 1 Qur’an
    • Dated from the mid-7th century (652 AD)
    • Complete (i.e. all 114 Surahs)
    • Unchanged (exactly like the 1924 ‘Hafs’ Qur’an used today)

Where we plan to go…

11 areas we will investigate

[A] What do modern Muslim Leaders Claim?

[B] What did early Muslim Scholars Say?

[C] Historical Anachronisms

[D] Source Criticism

[E] The 2 compilations of the Qur’an

[F] The 6 Earliest Qur’anic Manuscripts

[G] The 2 Layers of the Sana’a Palimpsest

[H] The 4 Carbon Dating Lab Reports

[I] The late Diacritical Variants (i.e. the 31 different Arabic Qur’ans)

[J] The early Consonantal Variants

[K] The History of the 1924 Hafs canonized text

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