'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

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'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#1  Postby Alan B » Jul 22, 2015 9:56 am

BBC
What may be the world's oldest fragments of the Koran have been found by the University of Birmingham.

Radiocarbon dating found the manuscript to be at least 1,370 years old, making it among the earliest in existence.

The pages of the Muslim holy text had remained unrecognised in the university library for almost a century.

The British Library's expert on such manuscripts, Dr Muhammad Isa Waley, said this "exciting discovery" would make Muslims "rejoice".

The manuscript had been kept with a collection of other Middle Eastern books and documents, without being identified as one of the oldest fragments of the Koran in the world.

These tests provide a range of dates, showing that, with a probability of more than 95%, the parchment was from between 568 and 645.

"They could well take us back to within a few years of the actual founding of Islam," said David Thomas, the university's professor of Christianity and Islam.

"According to Muslim tradition, the Prophet Muhammad received the revelations that form the Koran, the scripture of Islam, between the years 610 and 632, the year of his death."

The person who actually wrote it could well have known the Prophet Muhammad... he would maybe have heard him preach
Prof David Thomas, University of Birmingham

Prof Thomas says the dating of the Birmingham folios would mean it was quite possible that the person who had written them would have been alive at the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

Now, it remains to be seen if this text differs in any way from later and more modern versions. If so, will the Muslim community re-assess the later editions?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#2  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 22, 2015 10:05 am

Interesting.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#3  Postby Clive Durdle » Jul 22, 2015 10:39 am

Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#4  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Jul 22, 2015 10:48 am

Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....

Only if the dating is off by more than 75 years, or Tom Holland has knowledge about Mohammed's date of birth that's unkown to th rest of the world.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#5  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 22, 2015 12:52 pm

https://twitter.com/holland_tom/status/ ... 0450180096

Tom Holland ‏@holland_tom · 5h5 hours ago
@ijazbadshah1 One of the Sana'a palimpsests was CD'ed to the early 500s.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#6  Postby Shrunk » Jul 22, 2015 12:56 pm

Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....


Well. That would give Muslims reason to rejoice, wouldn't it? They'd finally have definitive proof their religion is a fraud, and they could celebrate with champagne and bacon.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#7  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 22, 2015 1:44 pm

Shrunk wrote:
Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....


Well. That would give Muslims reason to rejoice, wouldn't it? They'd finally have definitive proof their religion is a fraud, and they could celebrate with champagne and bacon.


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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#8  Postby Strontium Dog » Jul 22, 2015 1:46 pm

All they would have definitive proof of is that it was written down on really old parchment.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#9  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 22, 2015 2:39 pm

Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....



Did he give any basis for that opinion?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#10  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 22, 2015 2:41 pm

Peter Brown wrote:https://twitter.com/holland_tom/status/623750830450180096

Tom Holland ‏@holland_tom · 5h5 hours ago
@ijazbadshah1 One of the Sana'a palimpsests was CD'ed to the early 500s.




Tom Holland wrote:Christian Robin reported on it at a conference in 2010. It was assumed to have been a mistake - & almost certainly was.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#11  Postby duvduv » Jul 22, 2015 3:18 pm

A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#12  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 22, 2015 3:24 pm

duvduv wrote:A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not



Couldn't agree with you more, but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#13  Postby duvduv » Jul 22, 2015 4:21 pm

Well, let's call it utterly misleading. They probably want to show they aren't so "anyi-Islam."
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#14  Postby Peter Brown » Jul 22, 2015 7:59 pm

The head of BBC religion is a Muslim. I know because he closed down all the religious forums, he claimed it was the cost of running a forum, I think he didn't like the new atheists mvement asking about Muslims and wife beating etc
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#15  Postby laklak » Jul 22, 2015 8:02 pm

Burn it at a public ceremony.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#16  Postby iskander » Jul 22, 2015 8:14 pm

http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2013/ ... department

The main problem is Ahmed's ignorance arrogance, which have resulted in hours wasted trying to persuade the contributors to give interviews backing his eccentric interpretations of religious history. At the last count he even omitted reference to the Crimean War
.

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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#17  Postby quisquose » Jul 22, 2015 8:24 pm

Spearthrower wrote:
Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....



Did he give any basis for that opinion?


If the text dates from between 568 and 645, and it's the earlier date then that's before Mohammed was supposedly born isn't it?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#18  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 23, 2015 4:36 am

quisquose wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
Clive Durdle wrote:Tom Holland has tweeted that they may be older than Mohammed....



Did he give any basis for that opinion?


If the text dates from between 568 and 645, and it's the earlier date then that's before Mohammed was supposedly born isn't it?



Yes, but no one has suggested that's the case here.
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#19  Postby Briton » Jul 23, 2015 7:44 am

Spearthrower wrote:
duvduv wrote:A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not



Couldn't agree with you more, but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.


What specifically do you think is wrong with this news article?
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Re: 'Oldest' Koran fragments found in Birmingham University

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Jul 23, 2015 12:44 pm

Briton wrote:
Spearthrower wrote:
duvduv wrote:A review of all the hullaballoo about the discovery of a supposed early fragment of the Quran. The discovery has many holes in it. No pun intended. What "parts" of Suras 18 - 20? How do they know it was from the Quran itself, and as the review states, how do they know the script was as old as the parchment when parchments were erased and reused in ancient times, in both Judaism and Islam, etc.?? And if the parchment itself is datable to BEFORE the traditional birth of Mohammed, then what?! I mean, doesn't the BBC have more integrity than just putting out a puff piece in the guise of scholarship?!
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33436021
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/07/oldes ... -maybe-not



Couldn't agree with you more, but the answer to your questioning is a resounding 'no'. Puff pieces are just fine - they do it all the time. I'm not sure it's really a question of integrity so much as either a lack of relevant expertise and the need to present something clearly and unequivocally to their market, or because they don't think their market has sufficient interest for a more scholarly review.


What specifically do you think is wrong with this news article?



I wasn't talking specifically about this article, but generally about the BBC and other news sites when reporting on scientific or specialist discoveries. My point was that it's not about necessarily about the integrity of the reporting standards, but about market factors and readership.
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