only God and His messenger, with direct inspiration from God, can replace verses of the Quran. Then how can ordinary men claim that they know what was replaced or that any part of the Quran was replaced if neither God nor His messenger have pointed them out?
You raise this point here and in other spots. You are in good company in rejecting abrogation claims that are based on arguments by scholars rather than direct
evidence in the Quran and Sunna. In volume 1 of this book
by Dr. Mostafa Zeid, the following points are made.Item 256 on page 168
: The author asserts that abrogation could only happen during the life of the Prophet (PBUH), and every abrogation claim that came later without reference to specific evidence from that time should be rejected. Nothing that the Prophet left in place can be abrogated later on.Item 257 on page 169
: The author says that an instance of abrogation cannot be recognized without instruction from God. He further specifies that the evidence should go back to the life of the Prophet (PBUH) directly through him or through the Sahaba on condition that the source of abrogation be identified
(my understanding of his phrase بشرط تعيين الناسخ ).Item 257 on page 170
: The author quotes Imam Abu-Muhammad Aly Ibn-Hazm as saying: "No Muslim who believes in God and the Hereafter is allowed to say about something in the Quran or in the Sunna 'this is abrogated' without certainty." He goes on to give evidence from the Quran to support his view, and discusses the ramifications of not sticking to this rule (predicting what has largely taken place in the abrogation doctrine).Item 272 on pages 181-182
: The author concludes that "what abrogates has to be a text, therefore abrogation cannot go beyond the time of the Prophet because that's when Quranic revelation was made and Sunna was formed, and these are the only texts sanctioned by God. Accordingly, the authority of abrogation cannot be given to any human being, regardless of how knowledgeable, except for the one human being who received the Quran and conveyed it to us."Item 298 on page 199
: The author concludes that "The only one who can abrogate is God. That is His right, and no one else shares that right. He abrogates by stating so. The statement could be in the Quran and could be in the Sunna."