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..."Comparing the Qur’an to the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinical Midrashim, Fr. Thery concluded that the Qur’an was only “the Bible explained to the Arabs,”
though he also isolated a residue, drawn from allusions made to contemporary events by the Quranic author, which could not be explained away in this fashion. This residue he believed was a little like the Acts of the Apostles, and so he dubbed them the Acts of Islam, thereby presenting them as kind of diary of rabbinical attempts to convert the Arabs to Judaism. Although Fr. Thery did not have a completely closed and satisfactory theory, he advanced the study of Islam and declared the key to discovering it would be a systematic and scientific translation of the Qur’an,
for the Qur’an was the only sure document. He believed that the Qur’an had to explain the Qur’an in the way that the Bible explained the Bible. His linguistic deficiencies, however, made him unsuitable for the task.
The process has been greatly advanced in our days; by Brother Bruno Bonnet-Eymard. He is not merely a gifted theologian, who has studied Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in depth, but he is also a talented linguist who reads Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, and Arabic.
The first thing to understand is that his systematic translation of the Qur’an is necessary because no one has ever succeeded in doing it to date
. The reason is that the translators have been guided not by the actual meaning of the text, but by taking into predominant consideration “the received sense” of the text. There is actually no agreed translation of the Qur’an in existence!
We may be used to differences of phraseology and emphasis in the various editions of the Bible that exist, but no one disputes the essentials. With the Qur'an, however, it is all the other way round. One writer will translate a phrase in one way, another will do so in a completely different way, and both talk of breaks in meaning, interpolations, amendments, and adaptations in an effort to cover up the essential uselessness of their work.
Speaking of such translations, Fr. De Nantes, a colleague of Br., Bruno, writes:Nonsense, fantastic inventions, contradictions, incoherence without” even mentioning the innumerable omissions of embarrassing words and misplaced additions-such is the method of the traditional translation for 13 centuries.
.."Br. Bruno tells us that the word Islam is traditionally translated as “submission,” something that we saw at the outset of this article. He says that the translation is clearly wrong and wholly unconnected to the text. The Hebrew root word, sim, is also to be found in Aramaic and is simply ‘aslim in Arabic. The word means “perfect”—in Aramaic, hawei selim means, “Be perfect!” Why this should be will be explained in due course.
It is, of course, beyond the scope of this article to follow Br. Bruno through all his translation, so we will have to content ourselves with a brief overview of the text, which shows the true meaning of the Qur’an, and also through looking at certain key words. Firstly, however, we will have to review our historical knowledge a little, so that the full impact of what has been discovered comes home to the reader."