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BIK01 - Biblical Investigations of the Koran
A Ministry Course on Biblical Content in the Koran
STAGE 1 - INTRODUCTION
UNIT 02 - INNER LIMITS: Comparing the Bible and the Koran as BOOKS
040 - DIFFERENCE 1: The History of Formation of Bible and Koran
The Bible came into being in a long process of more than 1000 years, in which more than 30 different authors contributed to the collection of books that came to be known as the Bible. Here is a list of some of these authors of the Bible and the books that they have written or compiled (in brackets after the name of the author):
MOSES -- (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
JOSHUA -- (Joshua)
SAMUEL -- (Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel)
DAVID -- (75 Psalms)
SOLOMON -- (Some Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes)
JEREMIAH -- (1 and 2 Kings, Lamentations, Jeremiah)
ISAIAH -- (Isaiah)
EZEKIEL -- (Ezekiel)
DANIEL -- (Daniel)
EZRA -- (1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah)
HOSEA -- (Hosea)
MATTHEW -- (Gospel of Matthew)
MARK -- (Gospel of Mark)
LUKE -- (Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles)
JOHN -- (Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Revelation)
PAUL -- (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon -- and some scholars think also Hebrews)
JAMES -- (James)
PETER -- (1 and 2 Peter)
JUDE -- (Jude).
The Koran, however, came into being in just 22 years, beginning in 610 AD, when Muhammad started his prophetic mission, and ending in 632 AD, when he died. Thus, the Koran has only one man as an oral author, namely Muhammad, who spoke the words of the Koran and his followers heard them and remembered them according to what Muslims believe. So, the list of authors of the Koran is very short:
MUHAMMAD -- (The Koran)
In this the Koran is very different from the Bible.
The process of writing down the Koran, producing a written copy of it (mushaf
), is complex. It started in the later years of Muhammad's life and ended with the production of a shorthand version of the Koran under the Caliph Uthman in 653 AD (21 years after the death of Muhammad). After Uthman it took several hundred years until the currently most widely used system of Arabic diacritical and vowel marks was accepted for producing copies of the Koran. The oldest extant manuscript of the Koran using the Arabic Naskh
script and the today prevalent system of diacritics and vocalization was produced in the year 1000 AD by Ibn al-Bawwab
This process had the effect that some countries today (like Morocco for example) use a slightly different system of diacritical marks than the prevalent system, which originated in Egypt. The Arabic letter F has one dot above it in Korans from Egypt, but no dot above it in Korans from Morocco. And the Arabic letter Q has two dots above it in Korans from Egypt and only one dot above it in Korans from Morocco.
In this latter point the Koran is similar to the Bible, where the current Hebrew system of writing the texts of the Old Testament (with vowels and diacritical marks) was completed after 500 AD and the current Greek system of writing the books of the New Testament (using miniscule letters) became prevalent after the year 1000 AD.
However, the time it took for the Bible and the Koran to be produced by their respective authors is very different for the two books. The Bible comprises many different periods of history (1000 years) as reflected by the testimonies of the authors, who wrote their books themselves. The Koran, however, comprises only a relatively short period of time (22 years) reflecting the mindset of one author, who himself is believed to have spoken the words of the Koran.
Of course, in the Koran reference is made to different previous ages involving various men of God. But news about these are all rendered in the words of one man, Muhammad, who uttered them and therefore this news does not reflect the testimony of his personal experience of these long past ages, which are vaguely hinted at in the Koran. This will be one main reason for marked differences in content between the Bible and the Koran.