Amanda Skofstad | June 11, 2018
While Islam is often regarded as a stand-alone faith tradition, Gabriel Said Reynolds — University of Notre Dame professor of Islamic studies and theology — shows in his newest publication, “The Qur’an & the Bible: Text and Commentary,” that the connections between the sacred texts of Islam, Christianity and Judaism run deep.
Traditional religious scholarship favors the view that background to the Quran is largely pagan and partially Jewish, but Reynolds argues that the Quran and the Bible are intrinsically linked, and that by reading the Quran as a work in conversation with biblical literature, readers can better understand the text — and the historical context of late antiquity that gave rise to Islamic tradition.
“The Quran is an original work in literary and religious terms, but also a work which depends heavily on its audience’s knowledge of the Bible,” Reynolds writes in the introduction.
“The Qur’an & the Bible” features a full translation of the Quran along with excerpts from Jewish and Christian texts, and, unlike other comparative works, it is organized according to the Quran’s contents and not the Bible’s.
Reynolds notes that about 25 percent of the Quran’s verses are concerned with narratives of prophets or other figures from Jewish and Christian tradition, but says the shared content and themes are far more extensive.
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