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Text Analysis: Is the Quran really more violent than the Bible?

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posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:04 PM
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This is quite interesting and the results may come as a surprise to some. I have no experience of text analysis and am not able to confirm how valid the methodology or the resulting data is.

There appears to be a growing trend for a need to question if there something inherently and uniquely violent about Islam as a religion (not my own view). Tom Anderson used sophisticated data mining technology (what he calls, shallow but wide comparative analysis using OdinText) to determine with as little bias as possible whether the Quran is really more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts.


Considering many people take at least a year to read just one of these texts, you may find it interesting that it took OdinText less than 120 seconds to read, parse and analyze all three texts at once!


Anderson has split the Bible to facilitate comparison of the Old Testament, New Testament and Quran. His reasons were due to the time period between old and new testaments and also their combined size relative to the Quran.


Though all data (Old Testament, New Testament and Quran) were combined and read into OdinText as a single file, the Old Testament is the largest with over 23K verses and about 623K words, followed by the New Testament with just under 8K verses and 185K words, and then the Quran with just over 6K verses and less than 78K words.


Anderson also took into consideration the multiple versions and translations of the texts available. He chose the New International Version (NIV) Christian Bible over the King James version stating that the somewhat updated language should be easier to work with.



In selecting an English translation of the Quran, we considered the Tafsir-ul-Quran (1957) by the Indian scholar Abdul Majid Daryabad, but decided to go with The Holy Qur’an (1917, 4th rev. ed. 1951) by Maulana Muhammad Ali because this version is more widely used and the data are more easily accessed.


The data methodology can be found in Part 1 of the article below.


OdinText uses a top-down/bottom-up approach to analyse text.

This means that identification of issues for investigation will be partly a priori or ‘Top-Down’ (i.e. the analyst determines specific topic areas to explore such as “violence”).

But there will also be a data-driven or ‘Bottom-Up’ aspect in which the software helps to identify topics or areas that may not have occurred to the analyst, but which could be important given the data.




Analysis and Graphs









Findings

Emotional Analysis Reveals Bible is “Angriest”

Old Testament is Most Violent


Killing and destruction are referenced slightly more often in the New Testament than in the Quran (2.8% vs. 2.1%), but the Old Testament clearly leads—more than twice that of the Quran—in mentions of destruction and killing (5.3%).


New Testament Highest in ‘Love’, Quran Highest in ‘Mercy’


The concept of ‘Love’ is more often mentioned in the New Testament (3.0%) than either the Old Testament (1.9%) or the Quran (1.26%). But the concept of ‘Forgiveness/Grace’ actually occurs more often in the Quran (6.3%) than the New Testament (2.9%) or the Old Testament (0.7%). This is partly because references to “Allah” in the Quran are frequently accompanied by “The Merciful.” Some might dismiss this as a tag or title, but we believe it’s meaningful because mercy was chosen above other attributes like “Almighty” that are arguably more closely associated with deities.



‘Belief/ Faith’, ‘Non-Members’ and ‘Enemies’

A key difference emerged immediately among the three texts around the concept of ‘Faith/Belief’.

Here the Quran leads with references to ‘believing’ (7.6%), followed by the New Testament (4.8%) and the Old Testament a distant third (0.2%).

Taken a step further, OdinText uncovered what appears to be a significant difference with regard to the extent to which the texts distinguish between ‘members’ and ‘non-members’.

Both the Old and New Testaments use the term “gentile” to signify those who are not Jewish, but the Quran is somewhat distinct in referencing the concept of the ‘Unbeliever’ (e.g.,“disbelievers,” “disbelieve,” “unbeliever,” “rejectors,” etc.).

And in two instances, the ‘Unbeliever’ is mentioned together with the term “enemy”:

“And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will give you trouble. Surely the disbelievers are an open enemy to you”

An-Nisa 4:101

“If they overcome you, they will be your enemies, and will stretch forth their hands and their tongues towards you with evil, and they desire that you may disbelieve”

Al-Mumtahina 60:2

That said, the concept of “Enemies” actually appears most often in the Old Testament (1.8%).

And while the concept of “Enemies” occurs more often in the Quran than in the New Testament (0.7% vs 0.5%, respectively), there is extremely little difference in how they are discussed (i.e., who and how to deal with them) with one exception: the Quran is slightly more likely than the New Testament to mention “the Devil” or “evil” as being an enemy (.2% vs 0.1%).


Conclusion

Overall analysis reveals the Quran to be no more violent than its Judaeo-Christian counterparts. Anderson acknowledges the limitations of his study describing is as just touching the surface.


Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface here. A deep analysis of unstructured data of this complexity requires contextual knowledge, and, of course, some higher level judgement and interpretation.


Anderson was also surprised that 'Mercy' ranked higher in the Quran (he thought it would be equal with the New Testament).

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 including further graphs and info




posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:11 PM
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a reply to: Morrad

And yet, we have Saudi Arabia...

LOL



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:16 PM
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But something these studies tend to forget both Christian and Muslims believe old testament too. When you consider Christians "more violent" you add both old and new testament in conclusion. When you compare Quran you leave old testament out of conclusion... So when you add old testament to both .. what you get ? If you leave out Old Testament from both .. what you get ?



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:18 PM
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a reply to: Morrad

I don't think books can be properly affixed with human emotions such as anger, nor can one be more or less violent, for the simple reason that books are passive objects.

What can be described in such terms are the people who read these books and who use them as justification for their emotions and actions.
edit on 4-12-2016 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:20 PM
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From what I have read of the Quran. it seems to be a peaceful book, but it does say that if fighting is necessary, go at it with all you have. I even listened to some of the elders explaining things and they seem to stress good in living your life. I guess some Christians want to see evil, but it really isn't there. Of course, just like the bible, religion has sometimes twisted things out of context and bad things are done in the name of god all the time.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:22 PM
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originally posted by: dollukka
But something these studies tend to forget both Christian and Muslims believe old testament too. When you consider Christians "more violent" you add both old and new testament in conclusion. When you compare Quran you leave old testament out of conclusion... So when you add old testament to both .. what you get ? If you leave out Old Testament from both .. what you get ?


I think it is only the first three books of the old testament that are in the Quran. I could be wrong about that though.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:22 PM
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a reply to: Morrad

I don't think it matters really. The Christian and Jewish religions have gone through a reformation and are not violent today in most cases. Islam needs a reformation because they seem hell bent on subjugation and killing the disbelievers. I have always said the Old Testament God was very harsh and violent. Jesus said he did not come to change the law i.e. old testament law. I believe Islam believes in the old testament and that Jesus was a prophet. So, I would imagine that would add up to more violence in the religion vs. just looking at the quran.

Anyway, great thread OP.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Morrad

Its funny to see this because I was specifically looking at anger in the Christian Bible today. I don't think a textual analysis of this sort is valid. If the Bible has a story about how someone was extremely violent and then the character learns how that was a bad idea, it would be listed in this survey as violence in the Bible.

I think what is more interesting here is that The Old Testament portrayal of an angry and vengeful God does indeed seem to conflict with the New Testament peaceful portrayal of God. It does not make for a cohesive religion that you have God showing different characteristics by time period in the context of an unchanging all-knowing God. The book of Exodus in the Bible portrays anger as a neutral emotion, whereas the first thing the book of James in the Bible says is to "be slow to anger". And note this sentence would be in a word count study misleadingly paint the book as "angry" because it uses the word "anger" when the opposite is the case.

The story of the Golden Calf in Exodus was a quite brutal incident in the Old Testament where Moses specifically seems to have killed people for their religious choices, although that specific act was not portrayed either positively or negatively, but more or less historically. And that brings me to my final point which is that a textual analysis can be done but it must be done subjectively and cannot be done by a phrase count analysis. You have to put everything in context and then any counting must be in terms of popular interpretations by denomination size.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:47 PM
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Maybe Im not entirely informed, but it seems to me that the major difference is that the Quran / Islam have edicts to violence, while the bible / Christianity does not. Difference between a violent movie and a propaganda video calling for violence.

Im not christian, just fyi. Just my observations at this time.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: fractal5

Moses, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel in Old Testament foretold of the New Covenant which is coming, it was not something someone made up later. Old Covenent served it´s time, maybe God was angry, people were lost and were worshipping all kind of Gods when they were in Egypt. While their leader was gone for several days on the mountain people went back to worshipping fake Gods..
New Covenant was made with Jesus, time was different, Israel was a puppet of the Roman empire. Different time and different covenant. If you think about it Christianity got strong just being loving and caring also having unity. Christianity was the doom of Roman empire. Doesn´t that look like new covenent worked as "planned" ?



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Muslims believe all the way to books of Samuel. which is about half of the Old Testament. Well even so should we still compare ? I think we should.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: Morrad


Ummm...Stop being so disingenuous...

Gods man...you know that what you've proposed is a red herring...

The question should not be about religion...Rather...the question should be about what proceeded from the teaching and mouths of Christ and Mohammad...

Which spoke more...to help or harm to neighbor...There's the answer to your quandary...you only have to know where to look...

Glad I could be of assistance...that'l be $300.00...Thank you very much...




YouSir



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: Morrad

Islam like Christianity once had noble ideals. However, over time it has become corrupt with too much infighting among different sects.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:59 PM
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Could we stop this whole religion thing already, its getting silly, really.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

Can´t find what the noble thing is in beheading infidels.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:05 PM
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originally posted by: dollukka
a reply to: starwarsisreal

Can´t find what the noble thing is in beheading infidels.



Ummm...Touche'...

The only noble thing is...returning...the favor...


YouSir



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:20 PM
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a reply to: dollukka

I took Islamic history in University and I've learned that they once promoted a lot of noble ideas back when Islam first started.

For example did you know they actually promoted literacy among its followers shortly after the founding of Islam?

Also, women in early Islam were more free than later generations. For example Aisha was actually a military general.

Plus let me tell you something interesting when the Muslims started declaring war against the Byzantines and the Persians, it wasn't just them, they also have Christian warriors fighting alongside them.
edit on 12/4/2016 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:21 PM
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I know the same kinds of 'dark side' quotes can be found in the OT and Q just the same, but I was hoping to see how many times they get hammered into people from one to the next (like total number of such quotes, 'books' that contain them versus dont, etc). I dont recall seeing much of the public stoning type stuff in the NT.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 03:44 PM
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a reply to: starwarsisreal

In warfare allies are chosen by which one is practical and takes you to the desired goal, goals change so does the allies. For example Hitler was allie to Soviet Union and later it was not.

Well .. In lebanon at 70´s looking by the pictures female were free had mini skirts etc.. Arab Spring was backtracking rights of the women. But Quran clearly says woman is less worthy than a man. So it is no wonder muslim countries have not signed human rights agreement. No matter what Aisha was once in battle of the Camels.



posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:06 PM
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I've also seen lists of verses, or rather almost the same exact verse verbatim from like every major holy book out there (in an Astrotheologists blog). The one he selected was wholesome good stuff.

But now I'm curious if say the Hindu or Buddhist scriptures have the public stonings, gay bashing, racism, etc in them as does the Q & OT?



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