Re The Bible v the Qur an The battle

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					                          Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.

Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the


      • From: "Zuiko Azumazi" <zuiko.azumazi@xxxxxxxxx>
      • Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2008 10:38:22 −0600

"Robert" <robert45@xxxxxxx> wrote in message

<snip> ...

        You ask what subscribers make of the Economist's "The Bible vs. the
        Koran" − it's just a piece of ill−informed journalism.

<snip> ...

What makes this Economist's "The Bible vs. the Koran" article, ill−informed
journalism? Can you intelligently substantiate this dismissive claim? Did
you read what I originally posted, here's the link :−

Are you objecting because it insightfully questions the philologically
integrity of the Biblical canon, that is, as it critically states :−

<Quote> ...
There are about 900 English translations of the Bible, ranging from the
grandiloquent to the colloquial. There are translations into languages, such
as Inupiat and Gullah, that are spoken by only handfuls of people. Bob
Hudson, of the American Bible Society, wants everybody on the planet to be
able to claim that "God speaks my language".
<Unquote> ...

Are you speciously implying that this article is untrue? On what evidence?

But I suggest that readers might want to read "People of the Book: Canon,
Meaning and Authority" by Professor Moshe Halbertal :−

While Scripture is at the center of many religions, among them Islam and
Christianity, this book inquires into the function, development, and

Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.                                          1
                          Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.
implications of the centrality of text upon the Jewish community, and by
extension on the larger question of canonization and the text−centered
community. It is a commonplace to note how the landless and scattered Jewish
communities have, from the time of the destruction of the Temple in
Jerusalem in 70 A.D. until the founding of modern Israel in 1948, cleaved to
the text and derived their identity from it. But the story is far more
complex. The shift from the Bible to the Torah, from biblical religion to
rabbinic Judaism mediated by the Sages, and the sealing of the canon
together with its continuing interpretive work demanded from the community,
amount to what could be called an unparalleled obsession with textuality.
Halbertal gives us insights into the history of this obsession, in a
philosophically sophisticated yet straightforward narrative.People of the
Book offers the best introduction available to Jewish hermeneutics, a book
capable of conveying the importance of the tradition to a wide audience of
both academic and general readers. Halbertal provides a panoramic survey of
Jewish attitudes toward Scripture, provocatively organized around problems
of normative and formative authority, with an emphasis on the changing
status and functions of Mishnah, Talmud, and Kabbalah. With a gift for
weaving complex issues of interpretation into his own plot, he animates
ancient texts by assigning them roles in his own highly persuasive

AND :−

People of the Book? The Authority of the Bible in Christianity
by the Revd Professor John Barton, MA, DPhil, DLitt (Hon DrTheol Bonn).
Oriel and Laing Professor of the interpretation of Holy Scripture at

<Quote> ...
'People of the Book' is a quotation from the Qur'an. It is the Qur'an's name
for adherents of what we call the three monotheistic religions, Judaism,
Christianity and Islam. In a saying which seems to promise a degree of
religious toleration much needed by the modern world in both East and West,
the Qur'an urges the Muslim: "Do not dispute with the People of the Book:
say, we believe in what is sent down to us and what has been sent down to
you; our God and your God is one' (Sura 29.25). ...
<Unquote> ...

<snip> ...

         Among Christians only Protestants can properly be called "people of
         the book". In the 16th century they attempted to reconstruct
         Christianity on the basis of "sola scriptura" − only doctrines that
         could be proved from scripture were accepted.

<snip> ...

According to the Qur'an and Islamic teachings "People−of−the−Book" (Ahl al−

Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.                             2
                            Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.

Kitâb) primarily concerns, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which is
contrary to this misleading and deceptive "Protestant" claim that you have
artfully introduced to cloud the "The Bible v the Qur'an" issue.

What has historical Protestantism and the Reformation, in the sixteenth
century got to do with what is revealed by God in the Qur'an about
"People−of−the−Book" in the seventh century?

<snip> ...

        The Economist article is
        written from a distinctively Protestant point of view.

<snip> ...

How do you arrive at that false conclusion?

<snip> ...

        The claim that the Koran is the most widely read book in the Islamic
        world ignores the fact that the vast majority of Muslims do not read
        Arabic, not to mention Arabic of the seventh century CE.

<snip> ...

It's certainly true that the Qur'an has been translated from Arabic into
many languages. What's the problem with that?

<snip> ...

        All that most
        Muslims do is to vocalize it without understanding.

<snip> ...

Are you sure about this ill−informed generalisation? Isn't this another
stereotypical myth circulated by Islamophobe interlocutors over on the
unreliable "Apocalyptic Blogosphere"?

<snip> ...

        I once read the
        story of a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity;

<snip> ...

"I once read" says it all. Isn't that identical with saying 'I heard it

Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.                               3
                           Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.

rumoured'? What has this vacuous hearsay and unsubstantiated anecdotal
chatter got to do with the "The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the
books" article in the Economist? Is it cogent evidence of anything

<snip> ...

        Why shouldn't there be 900 English translations of the Bible?

<snip> ..

I don't know that's why I was asking the question? Do you have a sensible
answer beside a rhetorical question? A partial answer, according to the
Bible Historian, Daniel Wallace, Th.M., Ph.D. (Bio), is :−

<Quote> ...
Not only this, but none of the Bible translations were produced in a vacuum.
There were political and religious groups behind the scenes that were
driving much of the production. [The History of the English Bible − Part IV]

<snip> ...

        The number is preposterous − just try checking the publishers' lists.

<snip> ...

How do you know that the author of this perceptive article, in a respected
journal like the Economist, didn't check the accuracy of his facts before

Didn't the Jesuit Catholic father, Felix Just, S.J. confirm that there were
"over 500 different English translations of the Bible"? Is this Jesuitical
confirmation from a Catholic perspective, as you say, "preposterous"?

<snip> ...

        Muslims regularly produce the fact that there are various translations
        of the Bible as if this shows that the Bible is somehow suspect; they
        ignore the fact that there are various translaions of the Koran −
        which Muslims are NOT encouraged to read.

<snip> ...

Are you suggesting that "The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books."
report, in the 'Economist', was written by a Muslim? Do you have any
evidence substantiating that claim? Or is it just more rhetorical huff, puff
and bluster?

Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.                              4
                           Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.

Haven't you raised the question, how many more English translations of the
Bible are needed before English speaking Christians themselves resolve the
'suspect' (i.e. English translations regarded as untrustworthy; regarded
with suspicion; have no faith or confidence in) dilemma?

If it is true that there is always more than one way of construing a text,
it is not true that all interpretations are equal. [Paul Ricoeur]

Zuiko Azumazi


Re: The Bible v the Qur'an − The battle of the books.                              5