Paradise Lost, Bible, and Quran: A Semantic Pathology of Judo-Christian Tradition of the Fall Narrative

The story of the “fall” in Judo-Christian tradition, particularly the Bible, has functioned as a model for many narratives written by Christian poets such as John Milton. Since the Bible has been written by numerous writers and accumulated through centuries, it is obviously not the word of God, but man’s reproduction of it. The story of man’s fall and original sin, therefore, has been narrated from a human perspective, not a divine viewpoint. Thus, the biblical account of Adam and Eve’s fall carries the ideological strains bearing on anthropocentric knowledge and culture. In other words, this narrative bears prejudicial aspects which are transferred to later historical phases, and crystallized particularly in poetic traditions and narratives like Paradise Lost. Although Milton’s poem reproduces the biblical version of the fall by stylizing and modifying it for reasons pertaining to the socio-political context in which it was composed, still the work is informed with the biblical view of the fall. Compared to the fall narrative in the Bible and Paradise Lost, the Quran’s narrative is not only exempt from any ideological or prejudicial burden, but also renders the event in egalitarian and unbiased terms. Therefore, this essay will explore how Judo-Christian tradition diverges from the divine narrative of the fall by paralleling this tradition to the Islamic one in the Quran as the ultimate and undistorted book of God. Furthermore, the research seeks to show that the semantic divergences in the biblical and Miltonic narratives of the fall signal the essential differences between direct revelation (in the Quran), modified revelation (in the Bible) and poetic manipulation of revelation (in Paradise Lost). As for methodology, Bonn and Paris schools of semantics will be employed to carry out the investigation. This study is significant for it can help both teachers and students to differentiate between Judo-Christian and Islamic traditions while reading Paradise Lost.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Linguistic Research in the Holy Quran , Volume:8 Issue:1, 2019
65 - 82  
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