Showing posts from March, 2013

Quranic textual history? Yes sir.

It is commonplace among Muslims to argue/suggest that the Quran has no "textual transmission" because what Muhammad received from Allah was simply written down and kept untouched thence forward. Because of this staunch religious belief, very little work has been done on the textual history of the Quran. (In fact, there were so many different early manuscripts that one leader had all manuscripts but one burned.)
There is a recent dissertation that examines the textual history of the Quran. Larry Hurtado offers some good thoughts:

Scared at a fish fry

Mark 14:50 “And having left him, they all fled.” Jesus already told them that they all would flee – that they all would flee (Mk. 14:27). In fact, Mark’s Greek word is “scandalized.” Church tradition, because of the later scandal of Peter’s denial, only focuses upon how Peter denied Jesus. Peter, after all, had told Jesus specifically that he would not “scandalize” Jesus (Mk. 14:29). We all know that Peter would deny Jesus not once or twice, but three times. Such is history. Such is the story of Peter: following Jesus until the trial scenes, then failure. But like we’ve already seen, Jesus foretold the failure of all the disciples. All of them. Jesus knew that his future was if anything, alone. Since the church typically separates these two parts of Jesus’s story (Jesus’s ministry, then Jesus’s passion week), we miss this powerful fact. Jesus’s ministry has been constantly done with others. At every turn, even when debating other religious authorities, Jesus’s closest disciples stayed w…