Christology & Bible Translation by S. M. Hutchens

Column: Mortal Remains

Christology & Bible Translation

by S. M. Hutchens

No one has at any time seen God; the only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me. And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Islam believes its scriptures to be pure and authentic only as transmitted to Mohammed in Arabic. All translations have the status of commentaries and lack the authority of the autographs. As such, the Koran reflects the attributes of God as Muslims believe him to be, wholly uncorrupted by concourse with creation. The Koran is by nature untranslatable because its Giver himself is above nature in such a way that to bring him into it in any way that would compromise his transcendence would be blasphemous, and this blasphemy includes representing as holy any alleged scripture that did not bear these marks of his person. (The angel of transmission must bear the metaphysical weight of mediation that Christians believe can only be borne by the Incarnate God.)

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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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