I would like to point out the logical distinction between the linguistic meaning and the technical meaning of words, as applied to the key word here, abrogation
Take a word like "مشرك" that is usually translated as polytheist. The linguistic meaning of the word is "someone who makes others take part." However, the use of the word in the Quran took over, and gave the word its technical
meaning "polytheist." Now, the linguistic meaning of the word was not annulled, and one may construct a legitimate phrase like مشرك في ثروته which would literally mean "someone who lets others share his wealth." However, the technical meaning in the case of "مشرك" has completely taken over and people would normally not use the word in its plain linguistic meaning any more.
When it comes to "نسخ" (abrogation), the situation is similar, but more subtle. The technical meaning is dictated by the use of the word in the abrogation verse 2:106. However, since the word "نسخ" is less central in Islam than the word "مشرك" for example, the non-technical, linguistic meaning of "نسخ" is very much alive. The problem now arises when theologists use the word "نسخ", not in its technical meaning per 2:106, but in one of the other legitimate linguistic meanings of the word. Someone may assume that they used "نسخ" in its technical meaning, and what the scholars actually meant gets "lost in translation." It seems to me that Dr. Zaid's comments on the use of the word by the early Muslims, the Hanafi school, and others, boils down to exactly that.
In this project, when we say "نسخ" , we are talkng about abrogation per 2:106 and nothing else. This means a verse gets annulled. It is clear that in much of the abrogation literature, this is not what is meant. Dr. Zaid supports the annulment definition in volume 1 of his book
:Item 294 on page 198
: he says "It is lifting in the sense of erasing and deleting. Indeed the lifting of the juristic ruling is a fundamental condition of abrogation, in fact it is its essence without which it cannot be pictured."
Dr. Zaid goes on to provide a number of clear examples where the word "نسخ" was used by the early Muslims and originalists not for abrogation that annuls a verse, but rather to indicate that a particular verse cannot be taken as an absolute in view of a later verse that sheds more light on it, through exception or elaboration, and that the two verses need to be taken together to infer the correct ruling. This is within the legitimate scope of the linguistic meaning of "نسخ", but is different from the technical meaning that 2:106 addresses and that the debate about the abrogation doctrine revolves around.
In addition to the 'accidental' confusion between the technical and linguistic uses of "نسخ" in the religious literature, a Western writer points out on page 18 of his book
the possibility of deliberate use of the word "نسخ" to refer to situations that do not fall under the prescription of 2:106. His view is that the generalized notions of abrogation were useful as a tool for resolving perceived conflicts in different components of the religion. Referring to these notions with the specific term "نسخ" which appears in the Quran was expedient in sanctioning them and giving them legitimacy. Advocating that there are abrogated verses in the text of the Quran then served to maintain this legitimacy. Although this is a cynical view, the fact that there is only one verse
that is unanimously agreed upon as abrogated by those who believe in the doctrine, and the ruling in that verse is not actionable anyway, gives credence to the theory that abrogation in the Quran is an incidental component of the doctrine. Disclaimer:
This paragraph is based on non-Muslim analysis of events, and should be viewed in this light.
Here is a somewhat related post
that gives another angle.