Thursday, January 24, 2008

Textual Criticism and the Koran

Over at Addenda & Errata, Dan Reid has an interesting post on The Dangerous Science of Textual Criticism which discusses textual criticism of the Koran and he includes links to some news articles that include the claim that "a secret archive of ancient Islamic texts had surfaced after 60 years of suppression".


  1. This made for a very interesting read. I would guess that most western Muslim scholars would be open to discuss the textual integrity of the Koran, despite what was said in the Oct Christian-Muslim dialog statement.

  2. Hi,

    I take it you meant to say 60 years of repression by a German orientalist?

    One could have gained the impression you were suggesting Muslims were responsible for withholding this "secret archive" as you have termed it.

    The archive is now in the hands of angelika neuwirth.

    I am sure those members of the Islam section in the European Leadership Forum will be abreast of this exciting discovery, given that some of their speakers have participated in the same conferences as Neuwirth.

    Kind regards,

    Abu Sulayman

  3. This is true. Anton Spitaler, Prof. of Semitics at the University of Munich, had in his possession over 400 films from Qur'an-manuscripts, which had largely been collected by the famous Semitist Bergsträsser (who died 1933), in preparation for a critical edition of the Qur'an. Spitaler (died 2003) made everyone belief they had been burnt during World War II, while they actually were hidden somewhere. These manuscripts have now been taken over by Prof. A. Neuwirth (University of Berlin), together with additional material (manuscripts, early traditions, early Qur'an citations etc) to prepare a new critical edition of the Qur'an (but more likely, there will only be an apparatus criticus added to the official version), which might even one day become available online ...