Sign up ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It is quite a famous argument from Muslims for authenticity of the Quran that the previous Holy Books (Bible and Torah) sent by God have been corrupted or changed by their followers and that Quran is the only one which remains intact in its original form. Though they never provide any evidence for this claim against today's Torah, it is still one of the main arguments.

What is the counter argument to this claim according to Jewish teachings? Have there been any later versions, additions or omissions in/from the Torah? Or is it really the original one according to Judaic teachings? And what evidence can be presented to dismiss this Muslim claim?

Note: This question isn't meant to be for ridicule or anything. It's just academic curiosity. So I apologize if this causes any sort of offence. I'm not very knowledgeable about Jewish religion.

share|improve this question
Ali, welcome to Mi Yodeya. Thank you for bringing your question here and for asking it so respectfully. I hope you enjoy the site. – Monica Cellio Mar 26 '14 at 13:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

As you yourself say, the Muslim claims have never been backed up with proof.

If there would be proof, why would they not inform us?

That seems ample proof that it's a baseless claim.

There are various proofs that the Torah we have is essentially identical to the original (with some minor spelling variants).

One is the fact that all Jews have the same version - even though they were dispersed all over the globe for over 1,000 years, with no communication between them. Yet, when they eventually met-up in the 20th century, they all had the same version.

Another proof would be the dead-sea scrolls where almost the entire Bible was found (our version) - and they are about 2,500 years old. That's about 1,000 years before Muhammad was born.

share|improve this answer
"Yet, when they eventually met-up in the 20th century, they all had the same version." - While I'm not jewish, the consistency of the texts seems very interesting. Is there a link that goes into more detail about the Torahs being compared after they come back together? – Mark Rogers Mar 26 '14 at 14:58
I agree with @MarkRogers. For my own academic curiosity, please link to some sources showing that the various Diaspora communities maintained the same text. (And I have heard that when the Yemenite Jews returned to Yisrael around 1950, their Torah text matched the main text to the letter. But I don't have a cite handy, just a memory from the Museum of the Diaspora.) – Codes with Hammer Mar 26 '14 at 16:13
There are minor variant in spelling words in the teimoni Sefar Toroh. They follow the rambam which followed the Aleppo codex. There is a word or two which are in the different tense then other sifrei toroth of Ashkenazim n safardim – MoriDoweedhYaa3qob Mar 26 '14 at 16:52
@gt6989b Looks like a list of minor spelling variants to me. Old news. He's quoting standard sources from regular Jewish books. That article is basically 'common knowledge'. – Double AA Mar 26 '14 at 18:03
@gt6989b there is an explicit talmudic saying that admits were don't know with certainty where certain vowel-like letters, such as W or Y in that article go. when it comes to interpretation, they change nothing. I think is hilarious that chazal preempted basically that whole essay. – Baby Seal Mar 26 '14 at 18:15

To expand on Danny's answer.

As per Danny, it's clear that Jews everywhere have had essentially identical texts for thousands of years. If you want to look back before that, I recommend David Weiss Halivni's books, particularly "Peshat & Derash". He defends the thesis that the texts did suffer some issues in the era of the Judges, and that Jewish authorities have often discussed these issues and their relationship to various special dots and modified letters in the traditional scribal text.

share|improve this answer

Consider the orthographic changes between the pre and post Babylonian captivity (that you can see from the Dead Sea Scrolls). And consider the textual differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic texts.

Though these textual changes exist, it remains an exercise for the student to ascertain whether they are significant.

share|improve this answer

protected by msh210 Mar 27 '14 at 3:37

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.