065 -- Introduction to Unit 04
In order to find biblical content in the Koran it is important to first verses and passages in the Koran that seem to have been influenced by the Bible. For this you select a given subject that you want to study comparatively and produce two lists of verses:
Since here we are focusing on biblical passages, we presuppose that the list of Bible verses on the subject is all included in one coherent passage, chapter or series of chapters in the Bible. Finding the corresponding koranic verses can be difficult, because usually you will find that biblical material that is presented in one coherent context of the Bible has Koranic counterparts that are widely spread throughout the Koran. The hardest but foolproof way to find such biblical content in the Koran is to read through the whole Koran and note each Koran verse, where a certain biblical passage seems to have left a trace.
An easier way to achieve this end is to use a concordance of the Koran and look up all verses that take up the concept that is prevalent in the biblical passage, which you are studying comparatively, e.g. a personal name like Adam in Genesis 1 to 5. You then need to compile all these verses of the Koran found in the concordance of the Koran into a list. Once you have this list, you should check each of these Koran verses in it, to see if the koranic context of each Koran verse in your list also belongs to the biblical subject in question. If you include these koranic contexts into your list of Koran verses, then you have compiled a complete list of passages for the Koran, which take up the biblical concept that you are studying comparatively.
In some cases, you can use a still easier approach by consulting a book that has already treated the respective comparison between the Bible and the Koran. Then you can use the references from the Bible and the Koran used in that book as a point of departure for producing your own compilation.
By way of an example we here present a compilation of verses of the Koran that take up biblical personalities. For each biblical personality we first give the main biblical passages and then a complete list of the Koranic passages on the respective personality that we were able to find in the Koran. You can use these compilations to proceed with your own research on how biblical content has been taken up and changed in the Koran. We order these biblical personalities according to the order of their appearance in the Bible. For each personality the main passages are in the following listings. Each list of verses from the Bible and from the Koran for a biblical personality is followed by sample texts from both the Bible and the Koran, in which this personality plays an important role. Whenever possible we have tried to choose such passages from the Bible, which have left definite traces in parallel passages of the Koran. Of course, the Bible has many, many more personalities that it describes in its books, chapters and verses, and which were totally omitted in the Koran. Here we are only concerned with the biblical personalities, which seem to have been taken up in the Koran. Some of the biblical personalities that have been omitted by the Koran can be found in UNIT 03 above.