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Gerd R. Puin

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Title: Gerd R. Puin  
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Subject: Puin, Sana'a manuscript, John Wansbrough, Christoph Luxenberg, Textual criticism
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Gerd R. Puin

Gerd Rüdiger Puin (born 1940) is a German scholar and an authority on Qur'anic historical orthography, the study and scholarly interpretation of ancient manuscripts. He is also a specialist in Arabic paleography. He was a lecturer of Arabic at Saarland University, in Saarbrücken Germany.


  • Sana'a Qur'an find 1
  • Assessment of the Qur'an 2
  • Written publications 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Sana'a Qur'an find

Gerd R Puin photo of one of his Sana'a Qur'an parchments

Gerd Puin was the head of a restoration project, commissioned by the Yemeni government, which spent a significant amount of time examining the ancient Qur'anic manuscripts discovered in Sana'a, Yemen, in 1972, in order to find criteria for systematically cataloging them. According to writer Toby Lester, his examination revealed "unconventional verse orderings, minor textual variations, and rare styles of orthography and artistic embellishment."[1] The scriptures were written in the early Hijazi Arabic script, matching the pieces of the earliest Qur'ans known to exist. Some of the papyrus on which the text appears shows clear signs of earlier use, being that previous, washed-off writings are also visible on it. In 2008 and 2009 Dr Elisabeth Puin published detailed results of the analysis of Sanaa manuscript DAM (dar al-makhtutat) 01.27-1 proving that the text was still in flux in the time span between the scriptio inferior and the scriptio superior of the palimpsest.[2][3]

More than 15,000 sheets of the Yemeni Qur'ans have painstakingly been cleaned, treated, sorted, cataloged and photographed and 35,000 microfilmed photos have been made of the manuscripts. Some of Puin's initial remarks on his findings are found in his essay titled the "Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in San'a" which has been republished in the book What the Koran Really Says by Ibn Warraq, the pen name of a well known anti Islamic missionary.

Assessment of the Qur'an

In an article in 1999 Atlantic Monthly, Gerd Puin is quoted as saying that:

Written publications

  • Hans-Caspar Graf von Bothmer, Karl-Heinz Ohlig, Gerd-Rüdiger Puin (1999). "Über die Bedeutung der ältesten Koranfragmente aus Sanaa (Jemen) für die Orthographiegeschichte des Korans. In: Neue Wege der Koranforschung" [On the meaning of the oldest Quran fragments from Sana'a (Yemen) on the orthographic history of the Quran. In: New Ways in Quran Research] (PDF, 0.4 MB).  

See also


  • Puin, Gerd-R. (1996). "Observations on Early Qur'an Manuscripts in Ṣanʿāʾ". In Stefan Wild. The Qur'an as Text. Leiden, Netherlands:   Reprinted in What the Koran Really Says, ed. Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books, 2002, ISBN 978-1-57392-945-5.
  1. ^ a b  
  2. ^ Puin, Elisabeth (2008). "Ein früher Koranpalimpsest aus Ṣanʿāʾ - I. Einführung [An early Quran palimpsest from Sana'a - I: Introduction]". In Markus Groß, Karl-Heinz Ohlig. ]At a glance: The first two Islamic centuries [Schlaglichter: Die beiden ersten islamischen Jahrhunderte (in German) (1st ed.). Berlin:  
  3. ^ Groß, Markus; Ohlig, Karl-Heinz (2009). "Ein früher Koranpalimpsest aus Ṣanʿāʾ - II. [An early Quran palimpsest from Sana'a - II. ]". In Markus Groß, Karl-Heinz Ohlig. ]From the Quran to Islam [Vom Koran zum Islam. Schriften zur frühen Islamgeschichte und zum Koran [Writings on the early Islamic history and on the Quran] (in German) 4 (1st ed.). Berlin:  

External links

  • Atlantic Monthly article: What is the Koran
  • Guardian article: Querying the Koran
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