Analysis of the Qur’an -- By: Gleason Archer

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 12:2 (Spring 1995)
Article: Analysis of the Qur’an
Author: Gleason Archer

Analysis of the Qur’an

Gleason Archer

Professor Emeritus of Old Testament and Semitic Languages
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Deerfield, IL 60015

Address delivered in Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC, February 3, 1995

It is a real privilege to be able to speak to you about a book so important as the Qur’an because it is probably the second most influential book ever written for the populations of the earth. And I must say also, that I come as one who is a real admirer of the classic Arabic language. I had the privilege of being introduced to Arabic under the instruction of Philip K. Hitti, who is a very famous historian of the progress of the Arab race and their literature. And I had under his guidance the privilege of reading some of the most interesting passages in the Qur’an and also in the New Testament in the Arabic Bible. And I want to indicate that I feel that it is time for us in America to awaken to the importance of Arabic studies. If I were able to secure sufficient funding I would start one right away up at Trinity Divinity School, because I believe in the contribution of Arabic culture and experience. And of course I should point out that it is the member of the Semitic family of languages which is closest to the original and has the richest inflectional system and syntactical equipment of all of the Semitic languages and therefore when I study in the Hebrew Scriptures or study in Syriac or in Ugaritic (of course there are no Scriptures that were ever written in Ugaritic), I find fascinating inscriptions that have come there from the time of Moses written in cuneiform. And it is always with reference to classical Arabic that I take my bearings. So I would like to make some opening comments about the value (I think there is a real value) in reading the Qur’an. I enjoy doing so myself. Some of the passages are very thought-provoking, and others show an acquaintance of history in the Old and New Testament which is also very edifying. But I must say that we have to reckon with the large number of immigrants who have come from Arab countries to dwell in our nation and to enrich our population with the contribution that they have to give, and I rejoice that they now number several million and pray that their tribes may increase.

Now the questions that I’m going to raise concerning the claims of the Muslim community as to the infallible inspiration and authority of the Qur’an, I offer as a person who has been trained in the law of legal evidence, and therefore

I have to have things demonstrated on a very concrete basis before I accept authenticity or falsity in connec...

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