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Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts (Keith E. SMALL)

Textual Criticism and Qur'an Manuscripts (Keith E. SMALL)

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SMALL (Keith E.), Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts, London, Lexington Books, 2011, 230 p. ISBN 0-7391-4289-5


L’auteur est un conférencier à la London School of Theology pour le Centre des études islamiques et des relations islamo-chrétiennes (Centre for Islamic Studies and Muslim-Christian Relations).


This unique work takes a method of textual analysis commonly used in studies of ancient Western and Eastern manuscripts and applies it to twenty-one early Qur’an manuscripts. Keith Small analyzes a defined portion of text from the Qur’an with two aims in view: to recover the earliest form of text for this portion, and to trace the historical development of this portion to the current form of the text of the Qur’an.

Small concludes that though a significantly early edited form of the consonantal text of the Qur’an can be recovered, its original forms of text cannot be obtained. He also documents the further editing that was required to record the Arabic text of the Qur’an in a complete phonetic script, as well as providing an explanation for much of the development of various recitation systems of the Qur’an. This controversial, thought-provoking book provides a rigorous examination into the history of the Qur’an and will be of great interest to Quranic Studies scholars.


Part I: Introductory matters

P. 3. A critical text for the Qurʾān?
P. 15. Descriptions and pictures of the manuscripts

Part II: Observing the textual variants

P. 35. Orthographic variants involving long vowels
P. 65. Copyist mistakes
P. 69. Diacritical mark variants and variants affecting grammar
P. 77. Rasm variants
P. 89. Variant verse divisions
P. 95. Physical corrections to manuscripts

Part III: Evaluating the textual variants

P. 109. Variants in manuscripts compared to those in Islamic records
P. 131. Intentionality and non-intentionality with variants
P. 141. Oral and written textual transmission

P. 159. Part IV: Conclusions

P. 161. Concluding reflections
P. 189. Bibliography
P. 201. Qurʾān manuscripts index
P. 203. Name and subject index
P. 209. About the author

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