Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Phantom Errors in Quran

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The Quran pretends to be the word of God, but several "internal contradictions" presented on the Answering Islam website are not contradictions. I try my best not to have double standards when evaluating other "sacred" texts, and to give the benefit of the doubt in accordance with Christian charity. Here are some of these phantom internal errors (translation from Arberry):

(1) Do Not Say Trinity
Sura 4:171 An-Nisaa: People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only One God. Glory be to Him -- That He should have a son! To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; God suffices for a guardian.
Editor: The complaint is that this command must be broken if the verse is to be recited, but this is farcical. The verse, however, is heretical and confused.

(2) Where Is Allah and how long is His day?
Editor: The Quran does not contradict itself on this point, but simply gives diverse expressions to hint at the mystery of divine omnipresence and eternity.
Throne on waters in Sura 11:7 Hud: And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His Throne was upon the waters -- that He might try you, which one of you is fairer in works. And if thou sayest, 'you shall surely be raised up after death,' the unbelievers will say, 'This is naught but a manifest sorcery.'
1,000 year day in Sura 32:5 As-Sajda: He directs the affair from Heaven to earth, then it goes up to Him in one day, whose measure is a thousand years of your counting.
Nearer than jugular vein in Sura 50:16 Qaaf: We indeed created man; and We know what his soul whispers within him, and We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.
Sura 57:4 Al-Hadid: It is He that created the heavens and the earth in six days then seated Himself upon the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth, and what comes forth from it, -- what comes down from Heaven, and what goes up unto it. He is with you wherever you are; and God sees the things you do.
50,000 year day in Sura 70:4 Al-Ma'aarij: To Him the angels and the Spirit mount up, in a day whereof the measure is fifty thousand years.

(3) "Pure" Arabic
WRH: Pace Answering Islam, the sense of Sura 16:103 An-Nahl is not that every word in the Quran is Arabic, according to the most reliable and unbiased translations: "And We know very well that they say, 'Only a mortal is teaching him.' The speech of him at whom they hint is barbarous; and this is speech Arabic, manifest." Cf. Shakir: "And certainly We know that they say: Only a mortal teaches him. The tongue of him whom they reproach is barbarous, and this is clear Arabic tongue."

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