I wrote this article 2 years ago.
I wanted to do some research to discover how top Western scholarship understands what the Qur’an teaches about the scriptures of the People of the Book (the Jews and Christians). This question is a storm centre for Christian-Muslim polemics. Evangelical apologists are adamant that the Qur’an does not teach that the original Revelations given to Moses (Torah) and Jesus (Gospel) have been corrupted or lost. Muslims insist however that the original Books have been corrupted/lost to a greater or lesser extent. So I was curious to find out what the best Western experts on the Qur’an conclude. I assumed that they would be relatively free from bias as it is difficult to see what ideological interest they might have one way or another on this question.
As I have a Readers Card at the prestigious British Library in London I went there to find out.
The Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾan (edited by Jane Dammen McAuliffe) is an academic encyclopedia with articles on the most important themes and subjects of the Qur’an. It is considered to be the standard academic reference work on the subject. I took these two pictures of articles from The Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾan. The scholars basically agree with the traditional Islamic view that the Qur’an teaches that the previous scriptures have been ‘corrupted’ or lost. Hence the need for the Qur’an to rectify these lapses.