John Medows Rodwell

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John Medows Rodwell (1808–1900) was a friend of Charles Darwin while both matriculated at Cambridge. He became an English clergyman of the Church of England and a Non-Muslim Islamic scholar. He served as Rector of St.Peter's, Saffron Hill, London 1836-43 and Rector of St Ethelburga's, Bishopsgate, London from 1843-1900. He and Darwin maintained a correspondence after their graduation.

Qur'an translation[edit]

Rodwell's Qur'an translation The Koran was first published in 1861. In the 1994 Everyman Library edition the Surahs, which Rodwell originally ordered chronologically, have been put back in the traditional order, from long to short. Rodwell's outdated preface and professor G. Margoliouth's introductory notes have been replaced by a new introduction by Alan Jones, and some of Rodwell's obsolete notes have been removed as well.[1] According to Jones, when comparing with the Qur'an translations of Sale (1734), Palmer (1880), Pickthall (1930), Bell (1937-9) and Arberry (1955), the strengths of Rodwell's translation lies in its "nineteenth century positivistic approach" and his much better cross-referencing to biblical texts, which is "crucial to one's understanding if the Qur'an".[1]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Alan (ed.) (1994). The Koran. Everyman Library. London, UK. ISBN 0460874381. pp. ix-xx; xix-xxvii.

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