The BBC reports that some fragments of the Qur’an found at Birmingham University are among the world’s oldest. But it may be too soon for any definitive statements about the nature of this manuscript.
The parchment of the manuscript has been carbon-dated to sometime between AD 568 and 645. Muhammad lived in the seventh century AD, so this means the parchment dates to within a couple decades of his death. Carbon-dating is an accurate method for material within a few thousand years.
However, there are a number of very important things that the report does not note. The ink has not been carbon-dated, or if it has, this detail is not recorded in the news stories. It is a well-known fact that parchments can be washed and re-used – such re-used manuscripts are called¬†palimpsests. If something regarded as worthless was written on the valuable parchment, it may have been used to write a copy of the Qur’an much later. Understandably, testing the ink itself is a rare practice because it requires the destruction of part of the writing.
The manuscript has not been published in any academic journals, and it is generally considered “bad form” to release a manuscript find to the media before scholars have had a chance to vet it. We have noted this problem in the past with the lead codices and the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” both of which were quickly discredited by scholars.
Until scholars have had a chance to examine the manuscript and go through the proper channels, the value of this find cannot be assessed. In fact, some Saudi scholars have raised doubts about this manuscript, and say it may be a publicity stunt. They said, “The university should have examined the ink not the hide on which it was written.” Also, the order of the text was not the same as it was in that era. If some Muslims are rejecting the claims that the manuscript is ancient, surely Christians can, too.
The BBC has had a decidedly anti-Christian bias, but for various reasons, this does not apply to Islam. One cannot imagine a first-century New Testament manuscript receiving the glowing coverage that this seventh-century Qur’an fragment got.
Christians have the most well-documented text of all ancient documents-the New Testament. This new Qur’an manuscript does not change that.


  1. Maybe the muslime/islime/terrorist don’t want to acknowledge the Birmingham Qur’an Fragment because it might show that everything they have done, or do, or believe is totally wrong.

    Love the comment on carbon dating. Carbon dating is such a farse!

    • yes it is, just like the Shroud of Turin…biblically the dead were wrapped, like Lazarus, had to unwrap him, only the napkin on the face part is true…so never have believed in the Turin business…and because of carbon dating too

  2. CZ, I don’t know about the shroud being on Christ, but it is a mystery none the less. The original carbon dating had it only to medieval times. But they figured out that the Shroud was burned in a fire at some point and was repaired with a reweave. So they had tested a “repaired “spot.

    There was a few fragments left over from the original testing and the Church at Turin will not allow any more testing. So they devised some tests for the remaining samples. They could not do Carbon dating, but the 6-7 tests they ran were kinda accepted by most of the scientific community Anyway with these tests they did they were sorta able to put it back to time of Christ. The thing is no one can figure how the heck it was done.

    If it was painted on the paint would have soaked thru at least a few fiber layers. This is only 1 fiber layer deep. They have done some experiments with high energy light sources/rays and have sorta duplicated it kinda.

    Like I said it’s a bit of a mystery to me anyhow how it was done.

    • Problem is, they did not use sheets and cover the whole body, they were wrapped in strips, like mummies…read the story of Lazarus. As well, his body was prepared as stated in the Bible. The linen was left, but it was strips, not one big sheet. Whoever the shroud came from, it was not Christ.

      • Like I said I don’t know about coming from Christ. Just very weird whoever did it. I mean this day and age and they can’t tell how it was done, nor can they really duplicate it.

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