1. General discussion of the wisdom of the dynamic phase and the role served by having the revelations spread over time and the rulings distributed among verses. This neither strengthens nor weakens the case for the abrogation doctrine. It just puts the discussion in perspective.
An excellent demonstration of that is what Abdullah ibn Hamza Aş-Şa`di Al-Yamaani wrote in his book التبيان في الناسخ والنسوخ في القرآن المجيد, pages 131-134, as he discussed the abrogation claim of 25:68-70
. He quotes Abdullah ibn Al-Husayn ibn Al-Qaasim, from his book الناسخ والمنسوخ, volume 2, telling the story of a few Muslims who reverted to polytheism. He quotes the story in the context of his argument that murder is graver than apostasy.
The story starts with Tu`ma ibn Ubayriq and Al-Haarith ibn Suwayd ibn Aş-Şaamit reverted to polytheism and went back to Mecca. Shortly after, Al-Haarith regretted and wrote to his brother, Al-Jallaas, in Medina that he regretted and wanted to go back to Islam. He said, "Is there repentance for me? If not, I'll just wander in the land." Al-Jallaas was sitting with the Prophet (PBUH) when this verse was revealed,
So, Al-Jallaas wrote to his brother saying, "There is no repentance for you with the Messenger of God, but repent and maybe God will give you a way out." Shortly after, this verse was revealed,
Al-Jallaas wrote to his brother that repentance has been revealed. He came back to Medina and the Prophet (PBUH) accepted him. Others who reverted and went back to Mecca with him, said, "We're just like Al-Haarith, looking out for Muhammad's demise (نتربص به ريب المنون). If we figure it (بدا لنا), we'd go back to him and he will accept us like he accepted him." That's when this verse was revealed,
Those people remained polytheists, and some of them died that way, until the Prophet's triumphant return to Mecca, when they surrendered to the Prophet (PBUH) and declared Islam again and the Prophet (PBUH) accepted. About those who died without repentance, this verse was revealed,
The progression of events and how the Quran was paced to match them is most interesting. For the early Muslims, they were witnessing a living revelation, a real-time guidance unfolding.