The History of the Qurʾān


This first complete translation of Theodor Nöldeke’s The History of the Qurʾān offers a foundational work of modern Qurʾānic studies to the English-speaking public. Nöldeke’s original publication, as revised and expanded over nearly three quarters of a century by his scholarly successors, Friedrich Schwally, Gotthelf Bergsträsser and Otto Pretzl, remains an indispensable resource for any scholarly work on the text of the Qurʾān. Nöldeke’s segmentation of the surahs into three Meccan periods and a Medinan one has shaped all subsequent discussions of the chronology of the Qurʾān. The revisions and expansions of Nöldeke’s initial discussions of the orthography and variant readings of the text have found a new audience among those contemporary scholars who seek to create a more sophisticated understanding of the Qurʾān’s textual development.

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Biographical Note

Wolfgang Behn has translated several works from German, Dutch and Arabic and collected, compiled and published four bibliographies, including the Concise Biographical Companion to Index Islamicus (Brill, 2004).


All those interested in the Qur'ān and Islamic history.

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