The Koran

By John Rodwell

First Edition (1861)

The Koran

John Rodwell, Williams and Norgate, London, 1861
“Preface It is necessary that some brief explanation should be given with reference to the arrangement of the Suras, or chapters, adoped in this translation of the Koran. It should be premised that their order as it stands in all Arabic manuscripts, and in all hitherto printed editions, whether Arabic or...


John Medows Rodwell (1808–1900) was an English oriental clergyman of the Church of England. His greatest literary achievement was his English version of the Quran, which appeared in 1861 (2nd edition 1876). Rodwell differs from his predecessors such as Sale and Ross, where he dampens the combative tone. He also completely abandons the previously used sequence of the chapters (surahs) of the Quran. He rearranges them chronologically to give a linear historical record. His translation was more well received and gained traction when it was reissued as part of the series “Everyman’s Library” in the start of 1909.

About the author

John Rodwell

  • Born: Barham Hall, Suffolk, England, 11 April 1808
  • Died: St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England (buried in Ore cemetery, Hastings, England), 6 June 1900 (aged 92 years)
  • Full name: John Medows Rodwell
  • Other names: John Medows Rodwell J. M. Rodwell Rodwell, J. M. J. Medows Rodwell Rev. J. M. Rodwell
  • Creed: Christian


There has been up to 50 editions up until 2002 in both the US and Britain.