Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Koran = Hard to Read

I've been doing some research for my dissertation because Borges used a passage from the Koran (Surah 2, "The Cow") as an epigraph to his story, "El milagro secreto." I must confess that I find the Koran to be a jumbled mess, like the ramblings of someone given to constantly adding new ideas to lists of things they've written down in journals. Perhaps it loses quite a lot in translation. The Zend Avesta, the Baghavad Gita, and even the Bible have stories and narratives, and even though you might be unfamiliar with them, they have a flow and a pattern to them. The Koran seems to be a seemingly endless list of do's and don'ts with only a few stories thrown in to clarify the do's and don'ts. Or it's like reading the Psalms and Proverbs all the time.

And then the Koran has this opinion of the Bible:

And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so Allah shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.

So they think that our book is just an incomprehensible as we do there's. Perspective and what you're used to play a large part in understanding the religious text of another religion. Borges once wondered what would have happened had the Alexandrine Gnostic sects triumphed dogmatically over Rome. What would have happened had worship of Abraxas been the norm? Would we look on the Bible stories as curious relics? Would the "heresies" of Capocrates and Basilides hold the same canonical place that Augustine and Thomas Aquinas possess? Interesting. I'm sure Muslims feel the same way when they read the Bible.

Thank Heavens for the Book of Mormon.

1 comment:

brent said...

I'm not sure the BoM advances the ball any farther. There are various criticisms of the BoM being confusing and non-sensical as well. Samuel Clements, for example, with that whole "chloroform in print" business.