The Koran and Modern Language

It is believed among Muslims that the Koran was written in the language of god and it must never be translated into the language of men. It is believed that the language of god is classical Arabic. Thus, it can only be printed in its original form. It can not even be printed in a modern version of Arabic.

Since less than 2% (some say less than .5%) of Muslims can even read classical Arabic, most Muslims are not able to read the Koran at all. Thus, they are at the mercy of those who can read classical Arabic.

Commentaries On The Koran

Commentaries on the Koran can be written, printed and distributed. However, commentaries are interpretations and explanations of the original text. We know what has happened to commentaries of our Bible. What is written by the commentators contain the beliefs of those commentators.

Thus, we have some commentaries on our Bible that contain very little of the actual meaning of the original text. We also have other commentaries that do a very good job of teaching the true meaning of the original text. The same is true with the commentaries that are written on the Koran.

This is one reason why there are not only two main sects of Muslims, the Shiites and Sunnis, but also many other minor sects (some of which have millions of members). Of course, this is the same with Christianity. Which branch of Christianity do you adhere to? And which branch of Islam does a Muslim adhere to?

The Koran Was Written By God

Muslims are taught that the Koran was written by god (Allah) in His own language, that is, classical Arabic. And since this is god’s language, it would be a sacrilege to translate it into an earthly language. Besides, they argue, how can you translate a spiritual language into an earthly language and retain its original meaning?

Modern Translations Of The Koran

Even though Muslims believe that the Koran can never be translated into another language, there are many translations on the Internet, not only translations into English, but also into many other languages as well.

For instance, if you go to http://quran.com/ you will find all 114 chapters of the Koran. There you will find the original text, as well as 6 English translations. There are also translations into 33 other languages.

If you go to http://quranexplorer.com/ you will find 7 different English translations. You can also listen to the Koran in English and Urdu. This site also has a search engine where you can search for specific words or phrases that you want to find in the Koran.

I also found two other sites where you can search for specific words or phrases. One is http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/ and the other is http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/koran/ .  Just remember that you are looking for a specific word of phrase contained in a specific translation. You may not find exactly what you are looking for. However, these search engines are a help.

The Problem With Translations

The first thing that we need to realize as we look at these various translations, is that scholars are translating from one type of language into another. This means that that the meaning of a certain word that is commonly understood in one language cannot be directly translated into a specific word in another language.

This is why we have so many different translations of our Bible into English. The different translators try to translate a meaning from the original language (Hebrew and Greek) into our language and many times it simply cannot be done. The word in the original language has a specific meaning to the person that speaks the native language. However, it is a concept that we do not have in our language.

This is why I teach that we need to read more than one translation of the Holy Bible. By reading various translations, we can get a much better idea of the original meaning of the original text. In fact, the best translation to read, if you want to understand the original meaning of the text, is the Amplified Bible. It tries to bring out the full and complete meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek work.

Read More Than One Translation

This same technique must be used as we try to understand what the original Koran said. If you do want to understand what the Koran really teaches, read several different translations of the Koran.

For instance go to this site and you will find all the different chapters of the Koran listed. Click on one of the chapters. When the next window opens, you will see the original Arabic text along with one translation. On the left side of the page, you will see a listing under “English.” Clicking on each name in turn will add another translation. In all, you will be able to read 6 different translations.

If you look under “Other Languages” you will find that the Koran has been translated into 33 other languages. If people want to read and understand what the Koran actually says, it is very easy to do so.

You may wonder why some of the English translations are so different from the others. Just think about how different many English translations of our Holy Bible differ from each other and you can understand why these translations can be so different. Arabic is a different type of language than English. It is just as difficult to translate exact meanings from Arabic into English as it is to translate exact meanings from Hebrew or Greek into English.

If you read each translation and try to combine the meanings that each of the translators try to bring out, you will begin to get a  much better understanding of the original meaning from the original Arabic text.

Search The Internet

If you search the internet for “Koran” or “Qur’an” you will probably find other translations as well as much more information on the Koran. Some of it is written by Muslims and others are written by Christians who want us to understand what the Koran actually says.

If you want to know what the Koran actually says, it is very easy to find out.

What You Can Do

If you want to understand Muslims better, you do need to understand what their Holy Book, the Koran says. However, if you have the time and want to find out where the radical Muslims get their ideas, you can search for the Hadith on the internet. Just keep in mind that it will take you a long time to find what they are teaching. The Hadith is a very long collection of writings.

However, by reading the Koran, you can get a much better understanding of the basic teaching of Islam. If you do this, you will realize that non-radical Muslims are actually seeking God and wanting to follow Him. Just realize that because of their Imams teachings, they really do not know who the god is that they are serving.

This is why we, as born-again Christians, need to demonstrate what we believe by the life that we live. We need to show Muslims that we believe what our Bible says and that we actually do live by it. However, first make sure that you are living like Jesus wants you to live to the best of your ability before you try to show a Muslim that you are living as Jesus wants you to.

If we understand what they believe, we can help lead them to a saving relationship with Jesus. My additional articles will help you in that understanding.

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