The literary miracle of the Quran

Does anyone know any actual responces to the literary miracle of the Quran? The claim is not that its so beautiful that it cant be imitated, the claim is that its unique in its style, and that all other literary masterpieces follows a certain style, but not this.


The response is that if something is beautiful is subjective. Some may find it beautiful, some may recoil in disgust.
Some people like cake, some people like pie. Some people think JK Rowling is a good author. Some people like justin bieber. The claim seems to be that the Koran is like jazz. Unique. Flowing. Etc. I dont like jazz.

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I’ve read the Quran. It reads like fanfiction. I wouldn’t call it a “literary miracle”. There is some wisdom and practical advice in it (especially in regards to relationships), but other than that it rips off the Bible and downplays our LORD Jesus Christ and puts Muhammad on a pedestal. The Quran is every Arian’s wet dream.

But my own personal polemics aside, the argument can be boiled down to this ( courtesy of this blog)

Premise One: If unbelievers can’t produce something comparable to a chapter of the Qur’an, then it must be from God.

Premise Two: Unbelievers can’t produce something comparable to a chapter of the Qur’an.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Qur’an must be from God.

The advantage of putting the argument into its logical form is that we can examine the premises separately to see whether they’re true. If either premise turns out to be false, the argument is unsound, and the conclusion hasn’t been established. Applying this method to the Muslim argument, we see how poor the case for Islam really is. Consider the first premise: “If unbelievers can’t produce something comparable to a chapter of the Qur’an, then it must be from God.” This is a very strange challenge. Apparently, the Muslim criterion for determining divine inspiration is the impressiveness of a text’s literary style. Notice that this would be equivalent to saying, “If you can’t produce poems like T.S. Eliot, or plays like Shakespeare, or books like Charles Dickens, then you have to admit that these works come from God.” Such a claim would be ludicrous, but this is exactly what Muslims maintain when it comes to the Qur’an.


I would ask for the style to be defined, grammatically, including its genres, and discussions on how its construct gives the definitions and translations.

Define its uniqueness. I have no idea of its linguistic style but it could very well be a unique style.

Is there a discussion or claim centred around its style?

There are books and chapters and verses in the Bible that are also unique.

We should appreciate their literary craft.

No, thats not the claim. Its an objective linguistic style.

I would argue that the argument could be true if it could be psychologically impossible for humans to produce this. I explained why it is not like writing that of shakespear.

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Not linguistically uniqe, but the claim is an enirely different style. All writers use certain styles that exists and has been used by many.

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I remember hearing this or a similar argument in favor of the Book of Mormon. They cant both be right. They can both be wrong though :wink:


Yes, this claim reminded me a lot of the BOM.

I think the Koran is the very opposite of a literary masterpiece and that is one reason why it is not from God.


I don’t necessarily think this is a good standard for judging divine inspiration. There are books of the Bible that are hardly of good literary caliber, whether in terms of their content or their composition. And there are many, many, many documents from the ancient world that are inspiring or well composed that aren’t divinely inspired Scripture.

The early Church used the criteria of apostlicity, use in the liturgy, and orthodoxy to determine if something was scripture. If it could be connected to the Apostles or their followers, if it had wide use in the liturgy, and if it didn’t contradict the teaching of the Church, something was judged to be scripture.



The claim made of the Koran is not that it is divinely inspired but that it was dictated by God so the analogy of different books of the Bible is not applicable to my comment. My phrase ‘comes from God’ refers directly to the Islamic claim not of the ‘Bible inspired’ claims super-imposed onto the Koran.

I don’t think anyone claims a book of the Bible was dictated by God.

For a book claimed to be dictated from God to be the opposite of a literary masterpiece does invalidate the claim.

Please note that in this opinion nowhere lies the logic that something from God must be a literary masterpiece or that any literary masterpiece must come from God.

No, but you did say:

That something isn’t a literary masterpiece doesn’t exclude it from being inspired scripture. If you’re going to argue that about the Quran, the same argument could be made about portions of the Bible.

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No. My comment was ‘the opposite of a literary masterpiece’.
This is not the same as saying it is ‘not a literary masterpiece’.

You are making a logic error.

That is literally the same thing as saying it is not a literary masterpiece. If something is the opposite of something else, if is by definition not the thing it is the opposite of.

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No it is not. It is saying something more than this.

Yes. This bit is true, but you are making a logic error to assume ‘the opposite of something’ is the sum of all things ‘not being that something’


If there is an exceptionally tall person, a medium height person and an exceptionally short person it makes sense to say the exceptionally short person and exceptionally tall person are opposities in terms of height. It is not logical to say the exceptionally tall person is the opposite to the exceptionally short person AND the medium height person.

The exceptionally short person is not exceptionally tall.
Similarly the medium height person is not exceptionally tall.
But only the exceptionally short person is the opposite in terms of height.

There is a vast quantity of literature. Some good, some inspiring, some mediocre, some terrible, some grammatically inventive etc etc.

A small section of this literature can be classified as literary masterpieces but it is illogical to say everything that is not classified as a literary masterpiece is the opposite of a literary masterpiece.

If you grade 100 poems from best to last and you pick up the best 5 ones and categorize them as exceptionally good you don’t automatically say the other 95 must be exceptionally bad. That is a logic error.

The opposite of ‘exceptionally good’ is ‘exceptionally bad’.

It is not everything that is ‘not exceptionally good’.

Except you didn’t say any of that. You simply said:

To put it into logical terms:

If the Quran is not a literary masterpiece,
Then it is not of God.

The Quran is the opposite of a literary masterpiece. It is thus not a literary masterpiece.

Therefore, the Quran is not of God.

I was disagreeing with your premises. I was remarking that the literary quality of a work is not indicative of divine inspiration. I’m not entirely sure how you think I’ve made a “logic error,” except that to keep saying that allows you to keep arguing that somehow I’m wrong without actually addressing my response to you.

And I’m out.


From my point of view as agnostic I view the Bible as merely the product of particular societies in particular eras. Which is not to say it doesn’t have a great deal worth reading and taking note of as moral and practical advice but I am an outsider of sorts here and don’t view any works as emanating from ‘God’.

The issue with the Q’uran though is that the general view I’ve run up against time and time and again is that it is literally the word of God, whereas Christians believe the Bible is the ‘word of God’ they mean something rather different. The Q’uran has some passages I found inspiring reading it. Perhaps in fairness being able to read it in its original form might alter my views, but it is plainly apparent it borrows heavily from source material. Of course a Jew would also make that point about the New Testament and point out little is original in the NT from their point of view.

I tend to view all scriptures as pious stories that enabled mankind to cope with particular issues or which suited societies they were created in and that they slowly lose that function as the centuries role by to some degree. They never lose it entirely as many human concerns are universal of course.

My comment was that it was the opposite of a literary masterpiece not that it simply was not a literary masterpiece.

This is the logic error you are making.

Let’s say there are 3 pieces of literature.

  1. A literary masterpiece.
  2. The opposite of a literary masterpiece.
  3. Not a masterpiece and not the opposite of a masterpiece.

A) If I say something is the opposite of a literary masterpiece that only covers 2.
B) If you say something is not a literary masterpiece that covers 2 and 3.

The two statement are not equivalent.

My comment was one thing (A) and you are responding if I had said something else (B).

You are making the logic error that A and B are equivalent. They are not.

It is a question of logic.

Don Quixote was unique in its style. Ulysses was unique in its style. The first book ever written was unique in its style. The first book of every type ever written was unique in its style.

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