Thursday, April 9, 2015


J wrote: 'Scriptures (all of them, from the pre-Hebrew ones to the most recent ones) are HUMANLY written (published?) and some (e.g. the Quran) only in ONE human language, even prohibiting a translation).'

The Quran, revealed in Arabic, has been translated in several languages, and even in the same language by several translators. Multiple translations are available online on many websites, such as: 

According to the Quran, it is the Muslim belief that a series of scriptures were revealed by divine decree for the guidance of mankind, the last of which is the Quran, as Muhammad is the seal (last) of the series of prophets [ ]. Though humans were able to make changes in previous scriptures (possibly both in the revealed language as well as translations), the arabic Quran is divinely guarded from changes [ ]. Translations of certain verses of the Quran differ, and thus, the importance of trying to look up the original arabic words and their range of meanings, and its usage across the Quran.  

Most of the scriptures we know have been orally transmitted and then recorded (published) by humans, except possibly the Ten Commandments which were given to Moses on stone tablets [ ]. But that is besides the point. The scriptures were revealed to the human prophets and messengers, in the language of the people they were addressing [ ], and thus the copy of the scripture in its revealed language is most likely the original source. There may be errors in translation, therefore, I suggest the study of the original sources, i.e. in the original language of revelation, if possible.  

It is also important to understand the difference between scripture [divine revelations] and secondary sources, which are efforts to compile teachings of the prophets that are not in the scripture, for example works like Bhagwad Gita, Talmud, Hadith. Of course, there are many errors in these recordings, which can be attributed to human memory or understanding, or both, or may be even deliberate efforts to corrupt the teachings and make additions to the religion. That the message of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and many other messages, have all suffered greatly because followers have attached primary importance to such secondary sources is quite evident from history. Vedas, Torah, Bible and Quran emphasise upon Monotheism, while the beliefs and worship of the many sects of Hindus, Jews, Christians and Muslims vary greatly. 

Personally, I see a lot of confusion on this list as well as elsewhere between the primary teachings of a scripture and the practice of those who profess to follow those religions. It is important to not to confuse the two if one is seeking the truth for oneself. 

For your convenience, following are the verses I referenced above. You can also look up multiple translations on  

Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets; and Allah is ever Aware of all things. Pickthall
Lo! We, even We, reveal the Reminder, and lo! We verily are its Guardian.

And We ordained for him in the tablets admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things; so take hold of them with firmness and enjoin your people to take hold of what is best thereof; I will show you the abode of the transgressors. Sahih International
And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them, and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

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