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Hermenuetics is a general field of study which is applied to all the Semitic scriptures including the Quran. The Arabic term widely used for Hermenuetics is "Usool At Tafseer". There is also a Wiki article for the same.

I saw in the meta discussions here that Quran is not included to be on topic for this site, which is clearly offensive to Muslims considering the fact that the NT is on topic here even though it is rejected by the Jews as not a revealed text. The OT is the only scripture here which all of us agree to being a revealed text. Additionally the Muslims believe the Gospels to be revealed text (on case by case basis). The Quran is considered the next and more importantly the final installment succeeding the NT and is clearly topically more similar to the common OT which we all share.

Historically the Muslims have not bound their Quran with the past scriptures and calling it the "Final Bible" in keeping with sincerity and not offending the other groups apart from the difficulty of choosing the appropriate NT version to be bound with the Quran. Although I see the Christians have done this by binding their NT with the OT a decision of the early Pauline Church in effort to win over the Jews by any means possible. I see this to be a largely incidental polemic and historical decision which could not have even happened. Nevertheless we can see there are many copies of only NT without being bound with the OT.

Since this is a pluralistic site , it should keep out the polemics and doctrine even at the scriptural level and thus allow hermenuetic studies on all the three broad scriptures including the Quran.

Contrary to the sentiment on this site there have been Muslim scholars applying hermeneutics to the NT and the OT which goes by the name Tafsir Isra'iliyat. Infact there is a recently written book which explains the hermeneutical study of the NT and OT scriptures BY Muslim scholars . Similarly there are works by Christian authors on hermenuetical analysis of the Quran by the likes of Rodwell and Arberry.

Update:

As per the comments below if Quran is not included , then please rename the site as "Christian Biblical Hermeneutics" as this is what the site is currently about.

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    Actually, the recognition by early Christians of the canonicity of the Jewish canon came about because our Lord quoted from it extensively and Christianity came out of Judaism. It was the canon of the earliest church before the collection of the Gospels, Acts, Epistles (both Pauline and General), and Revelation. – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 16:35
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The OT is the only scripture here which all of us agree to being a revealed text. Additionally the Muslims believe the Gospels to be revealed text (on case by case basis).

If this was really the case then there would seem to be a valid reason for this site including the Qur'an from the beginning. However, unless Wikipedia is completely wrong on the subject, there are in fact no extant texts held sacred by either Jews or Christians that are considered accurate by Muslim experts:

In Islam, the Bible is held to reflect true unfolding revelation from God; but revelation which had been corrupted or distorted (in Arabic: tahrif); which necessitated the giving of the Qur'an to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, to correct this deviation.

The Qur'an identifies books known as the Tawrat (Torah) given to Musa (Moses), the Zabur (Psalms) given to Daud (David), and the Injil (Gospel) given to Isa (Jesus) as genuine divine revelations brought by true messengers to the Jews and the followers of Ibrāhīm (Abraham). Together with the Qur'an itself, and the now unknown Suhuf Ibrahim ("Scrolls of Abraham"), these make up the kitab, the Islamic holy books. Belief in the divine inspiration of all of these books is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam. However, Islam holds that since all the Books prior to the Quran have been corrupted by human hands, Muslims are only to get their guidance from the Qur'an.

This doesn't mean that a site combining study of all three works would be impossible or unworkable, but it does make the analogy you make between Jewish>Christian and (Jewish+Christian)>Muslim scholarship significantly less valid. It seems likely that answers from a Muslim perspective would very rarely be useful to those interested in the extant Hebrew Bible and New Testament, and conversely detailed direct analysis of the text of those works would rarely be of interest to Muslim scholars without the use of the Qur'an as a lens to identify corruption.

The important difference her is that many Christians believe that the extant Hebrew Bible is the uncorrupted revealed Word of God, just as many Jews do.

There are of course a few other factors that may be important:


Regarding the update, such a rename would not be correct either: "We welcome Jewish, Christian, Atheist and other viewpoints as long as they take seriously the process of understanding the Biblical texts.". I do not know if we have any active Atheist contributors, but the point is not whether we have, but whether we would welcome their contributions, and we would, judging by the same standard of 'usefulness' that all contributions are judged.

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  • Infact there is a recently written book which explains the hermeneutical study of the NT and OT scriptures BY Muslim scholars . Similarly there are works by Christian authors on hermenuetical analysis of the Quran by the likes of Rodwell and Arberry. – bib Sep 18 '13 at 6:34
  • The wikipedia quotes does not reflect the fine nuance of the matter , in the sense that Quran the Prophet pbuh never said that the scriptures are textually corrupted. Wiki is not an authoritative source for what Muslims believe – bib Sep 18 '13 at 6:36
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    @Ali, how about the words of Muslim scholars on the topic: "Although many lay Muslims believe the Injil refers to the entire New Testament, scholars have pointed out that it refers not to the New Testament but to an original Gospel, written by God (Arabic الله Allah), which was given to Jesus." -Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, Appendix: On the Injil (emphasis added). – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 13:51
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    I had a long chat this weekend about the state of the Gospels among Muslims. Islam (the user) first said that the extant texts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are revealed. Then he said, no they are not. He never did give a straight answer on the question of the Hebrew Bible, that is, if those books beyond the 5 of Moses and Psalms of David are revealed. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, etc. And what of the psalms that are not Davidic? – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 13:53
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    The reasoning behind Caleb's answer from before hasn't changed. – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 14:00
  • @FrankLuke You are misquoting my messages, The issue is much more complex even for the Biblical scholars. The correct view is mentioned in the OP already i.e case by case basis. – bib Sep 18 '13 at 16:06
  • @Ali, so you were Islam? I asked point blank if MMLJ in the extant texts were revealed. Islam (you?) said "yes." Later, Islam (you?) said "no, the extant texts are not divinely revealed." – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 16:26
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    Here's the core question. If 1) Muslims do not consider the NT divinely revealed (the gospels MIGHT contain fragments of the Injeel but beyond them definitely not), and 2) I am yet to get a straight answer on the Tankak beyond Moses and Psalms of David being divinely revealed, and 3) Neither Jews nor Christians consider the Quran divinely revealed, why would you want to open the Quran for questions here? – Frank Luke Sep 18 '13 at 16:30

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