Thursday, 2 April 2009

Koranic Arabic in Clarke's Bible Commentary

Adam Clarke Biblical scholar in his authoritative work spoke in flattering terms about the language of the Qur'an.

Adam Clarke (1760-1832) was one of the most influential methodists, who followed John Wesley. His enormous commentary on the Bible was a standard reference for more than hundred years, and used by all protestant churches. Its thorough and authoritative scientific nature was accepted by Armenian and Calvinist churches as well.

Looking up his commentary at Exodus 20:26 we can find the following sentence: „Mohammed defied all the poets and literati of Arabia to match the language of the Koran; and for purity, elegance, and dignity it bore away the palm, and remained unrivalled.”1
In his work Adam Clarke has mentioned Arabic language several times, which – he wrote – means serious help interpreting the Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Bible. The scholar himself also set an example by mastering Arabic language, inspiring those who desire to apprehend the message of holy scriptures to do likewise.

1 Of course muslims credit this feature to Allah rather than Mohammed.


  1. Here's a great Arabic language resource for those interested in learning the language of the Qur'an:

    العربية wiki browser