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The Holy Quran Experiment (het Heilige Koran experiment)

A video went viral. An experiment where they highlighted passages out of the Bible and presented them like they were from the Quran

What is it?

There was an experiment in the Netherlands where a Bible was placed inside a cover for "The Holy Quran". They looked up some controversial verses and presented them to the people to ask their opinion on the Quran after reading it. Only afterwards they told the people that is actually was a Bible. People were shocked. I think it is an interesting experiment but I still had a problem with it. There is the Halo Effect and they picked verses out of context, it is edited and you can do anything with a text if you take verses out of context.

What Is the Halo Effect?

The Halo Effect was named by Edward Thorndike. It is the reason that when we see a person first in a good light, it is difficult subsequently to darken that light or the other way around. By telling the people at the start that it is the Quran, what because of the recent events more likely has a negative connotation, they influence the outcome of the experiment. A better expiriment would have been to let people read the passages without telling them from what book it came and ask their opinion. While this isn't perfect, because you still take scripture out of context, it would have made the experiment better. This would have changed the nature of the experiment so I do get why they did it.

It is edited

The things with experiments like this is that you can turn the outcome into almost everything you desire. Everything that doesn't fit the message you want to present just gets edited out. I really wonder how many people noticed it wasn't the Quran, or that it was the Bible. I wonder how many people started explaining the context of the verse they were presented with. Experiments like this show to me that if you are a christian it is important to read in and study the Bible.

It takes verses out of context

An experiment like this also demonstrates the dangers of cherry picking verses. When you take the context away you can do way more that when you leave it in the original context. It is the same text, but the meaning has changed.

The truth in the experiment

It is however true that there are things in the Bible that don't mix well with how some people think today. In that case you always need to look if it was something that was needed in that specific situation or time, or if it is something that still applies today. A little known fact might be that when Paul told the woman to be quiet during the teachings it was revolutionary. It was special that the woman were allowed there. But that nuance gets lost because the lack of historical placement if you just read it and don't study it.

Written by Jelmer Prins on in the Category: Other