The scriptures of various religions guide their adherents on religious and temporal matters. They prescribe codes of conduct for leading a virtuous life and instruct the faithful on how they should pray and perform various rituals.
The scriptures of the major religions were written after the passing away of the founders. They were written or compiled by companions of the founders or their followers. While some of the scriptures contain the teachings of the founder of the religion, others are collections of teachings of several holy men.
The Quran is said to have been verbally revealed by God to Prophet Mohammed through angel Jibril (Gabriel) gradually over a period of approximately 23 years, beginning in 610 AD, when Mohammed was 40, and concluding in 632, the year of his death.
Shortly after Mohammed’s death, the Quran was compiled into a single book on the orders of the first caliph, Abu Bakr, and at the suggestion of his future successor, Umar.
Hafsa, Mohammed’s widow and Caliph Umar’s daughter, was entrusted with that Quranic text after Umar died. When the third caliph, Uthman, began noticing slight differences in pronunciation of the Quranic Arabic, he sought Hafsa’s permission to use her text and commissioned a committee to produce a standard copy of the text of Quran, to which added diacritical marks ensured correct pronunciation.
Following this, variations to the standardised text were invalidated and ordered to be destroyed. All versions of the Quran copied by scribes subsequently were from this codex. The present form of the Quran text is accepted by most scholars as the original version compiled by Abu Bakr.
“Scriptures may not be what they are believed to be–the direct word of God. If all the scriptures were messages from one God, the question arises as to why the messages are different.”
“Because of differences over the origins, authenticity and meaning of the scriptures, these holy books lack the authority that one would expect the word of God to have.”