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<< Return to SBL Forum Archive 2001 SBL Presentation Toward a Rapprochment of Bible and Quran

The justly famous manuscript discoveries of the past century are transforming the scholarly study of the literary history of ancient Judaism. Nowhere is this metamorphosis more evident than in the academic study of the textual integrity of the Hebrew Bible. As we enter the twenty-first century, biblical scholars are in the process of gauging the significance and assessing the implications of a vast treasure-hoard of primary texts which shed a penetrating light on the very centuries surrounding the emergence and production of what eventually becomes the canonical form of the Hebrew Bible. The evidence supplied from such diverse resources as the Cairo Geniza, the Nag Hammadi corpus, and the Dead Sea Scrolls has stimulated a number of intriguing questions regarding the possible relationships of one text or group of texts to another, both within and across religious boundaries. Is a proto-gnostic ideology visible at Qumran? Do the Scrolls attest Christian concepts in nascent form? Can one speak intelligibly of a Jewish Sufism in Fatimid Egypt? And just who copied, studied, and eventually deposited documents like the Qumran Damascus Covenant or the Aramaic Levi apocryphon in a medieval synagogal rubbish heap over one thousand years after the time period of their original composition?

But perhaps one of the more arresting of these newer queries centers upon the very idea of 'Bible' itself. The label 'Bible' rarely merits or even requires definition among most social circles in Western culture, whether religiously or secularly based. It is customarily applied by scholars to a collection of Jewish books whose composition and textual content achieved stability during the final centuries of the Second Temple period (515 BCE-70 CE) of Jewish history and then were transmitted as an integral collection (i.e., as 'Bible' to subsequent generations. The scholastic attention devoted to such an enterprise suggests that what we inherit as 'Bible' acquired and maintained a type of institutional authority lacking in other potentially rival assemblages of texts. The notion of Bible as 'sacred scripture,' as 'written Torah,' plays a crucial ideological role in the gradual shift in focus within early Judaism from a religion based on the sacrificial service of the deity in the Temple to a religion which centers itself in the study and interpretation of a sacred scripture.

While it is true that we now possess some textual evidence for the existence of almost every 'biblical' book by the time of the First Jewish Revolt, it is by no means certain that what later generations conceptualize as 'Bible,' or that even the notion of 'the canonical form' of any 'biblical book,' was analogously operative during this period. Citation formulas and the number of times a particular 'book' is physically instanced or was copied supply some clues for assessing relative religious importance, or at least popularity, among literary texts. Yet the same criteria also raise problematic questions. Just how should we understand the scope of common referential designations like torat Mosheh or ha-nevi'im when the usual referents of those labels are simultaneously exemplified in a variety of formats among their users, as for example, at Qumran? Is torat Mosheh to be limited to what we recognize as a prototype of the later Masoretic text of the Pentateuch? What about the Samaritan or Septuagintal prototypes, both of which were also archived at Qumran? Or what about the various so-called pentateuchal 'paraphrases' or 'parabiblical' texts which combine and weave elements from different parts of the Pentateuch into new textual complexes? Or what about other parallel works ascribed to the authorial or editorial activity of Moses, such as the Book of Jubilees or the Temple Scroll (11QT)? Might not the label torat Mosheh cover all of this material as well? When we scrutinize the employment of the label ha-nevi'im, we fare no better, given that Qumran literature bestows the epithet 'prophet' and presumably its concomitant aura of authority on more characters than does canonical biblical literature. David and Daniel undergo a 'prophetization' at Qumran. Was Enoch or Noah also among the prophets? The conceptual problem for modern researchers is further aggravated by a largely unreflective use of popular classificatory terminology like that of 'rewritten Bible' for works like Jubilees or 1 Enoch. One must first have 'Bible' before one can 'rewrite' it: the category presupposes and subtly endorses both a chronological sequence and an intertextual relationship.

Circumstances such as these should prompt us to reexamine longstanding and usually unquestioned assumptions about the editorial structure, the contents, the date of final formulation, and the textual integrity of those literary works presently collected together under the rubric of 'Bible.' I would suggest that the notion of 'Bible' as a privileged category functioning as the fixed point of reference and discussion for the labeling, analysis, and evaluation of 'non-canonical' i.e., non-biblical works, requires a radical revision and reformulation. Our descriptive language should be altered in order to express this 'revisioning' instead of biblical 'expansions' or 'rewritings,' we should perhaps speak of 'biblically allied,' biblically affiliated,' or 'biblically related' literatures. Moreover, our accustomed way of perceiving and categorizing how Bible interacted with parallel literary corpora will require a serious overhaul. Instead of measuring all biblically allied or affiliated literatures against the Bible and then assigning labels like 'expanded Bible,' 'rewritten Bible,' 'paraphrased Bible,' 'distorted Bible,' and the like to those exemplars which depart textually and/or thematically from the Bible of the Masoretes, we should rather consider the bulk of this material, both biblical and non-biblical, as one culturally variegated literary continuum which juxtaposes a number of alternative or parallel ways of recounting a particular story or tradition.

Talmon has recently endorsed such an interpretive position:

The new evidence proves convincingly that not all variants in Hebrew non-masoretic and translational witnesses resulted from scribal mistakes or the deliberate interference of emendators, revisers and copyists. Rather, variants in an ancient version preserve at times pristine readings which were accidentally lost in the course of time or were designedly suppressed by later tradents. Accordingly, in tracing the transmission history of the biblical books and submitting them to critical analysis, the evidence of the ancient versions must be carefully weighed.' He states further: "...it is my thesis that the presumably 're-told,' re-read,' 're-written,' etc. Bible-related works should mostly be viewed as crystallizations of 'living' literary traditions, which parallel presentations of these same traditions in the books of the Hebrew Bible, but do not necessarily spring from them." (See Talmon's "Textual Criticism: The Ancient Versions," Text in Context: Essays by Members of the Society for Old Testament Study [ed. A.D.H. Mayes; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000] 141-70, at pp. 149-50 and 157 respectively.)

Once we adopt this new perspective for the reading of biblical and early Jewish literature, a number of interesting implications emerge. The one I would like to focus on for our purposes today pertains to the analysis of so-called narrative 'gaps.' Under the old scheme of analyzing 'gaps' in biblical narrative, one almost invariably viewed so-called 'expansions' or 'embellishments'gap-fillers, if you will—such as are found in rabbinic midrash or the works belonging to the genre of 'rewritten Bible' as post-textual responses to the interpretive problems posed by puzzling features of the biblical text. Under the new perspective I am advocating, we are no longer obligated to view these 'gap-fillers' as interpretive responses to a base text. We can instead entertain the distinct possibility that midrash, 'rewritten Bible,' and biblically allied collections of traditions may preserve certain features or motifs or even in some cases provide more cohesive and thematically consistent presentations of stories than those eventually attested in what became Bible.

Given what folklorists and students of oral tradition have repeatedly demonstrated about the incredible stability and longevity of tale types, motifs, and other elements of traditional narrative, it also follows that age and language of expression become largely irrelevant in the consideration of all the variant versions of a particular story or narrative event. Such a realization is directly relevant to the topic of today's discussion. Many of you are probably aware that Bible and Qur'an share a common layer of discourse based on stories associated with certain paradigmatic characters such as Noah, Abraham, and Moses. What I shall attempt to show is that the Qur'an, along with the interpretive traditions available in Hadīth, commentaries, antiquarian histories, and the collections of so-called 'prophetic legends' (qiê aê al-anbiya'), can shed a startling light on the structure and content of certain stories found in Bible and its associated literatures (such as pseudepigrapha and midrash). My ultimate goal will be to demonstrate that Qur'an and other early Muslim biblically-allied traditions must be taken much more seriously as witnesses to 'versions of Bible' than has heretofore been the case.

Let us consider several examples of how a careful reading of Qur'an and early Muslim authorities might shed some valuable interpretive light on Jewish and Christian scriptural traditions from the early centuries of the Common Era.

(1) During a Qur'anic rehearsal of the careers of a series of biblical figures to whom Islam accords the status of 'prophet,' we encounter the following enigmatic statement: 'Make mention in the book of Idrīs: he was a truthful one, a prophet; and We raised him to a lofty place' (S. 19:56-57). Given the clear biblical provenance of the names appearing in these verses' immediate environment—e.g., Moses, Abraham, and Noah—one might legitimately expect Idrīs to be a biblical character as well. The problem however is that the name 'Idrīs,' or any related form thereof, does not figure in either the Hebrew or Christian Bibles. Some western scholars have sought to resolve this identity crisis by positing a corruption in the transmission of the Qur'anic name, but their suggestions are not very compelling. A closer study of the Qur'anic citation itself, coupled with a careful reading of the Muslim interpretive tradition as mediated by the standard commentaries and histories, reveals that Idrīs is in fact identical with the biblical forefather Enoch.

There are two separate clues within the Qur'anic verses that cement this identification. First is their unambiguous reference to the apparent removal of Enoch from human society: 'We raised him (i.e., Idrīs) to a lofty place (lit. to an "exalted," or even "supernal" locale).' Although the Hebrew Bible (Gen 5:22-24) is strikingly reticent on Enoch's fate, remarking only that Enoch consorted with divine beings and turned up missing because 'God took him,' the rich legendary circle of traditions surrounding this character as found in so-called Books of Enoch and various derivative literatures produced over the course of the first millennium of the Common Era provide a multitude of details about his journey(s) to and eventual installation among the angelic beings in heaven, or alternatively, his divinely supervised sequestration from mortal society within the celestial Garden of Eden. Compare the diction of one of these latter sources—I cite here Jub. 4:23—with our Qur'anic base text: 'He was taken away from among humankind, and we conducted him into the Garden of Eden in majesty and honour,' (Translation cited from that of R.H. Charles and C. Rabin, "Jubilees," The Apocryphal Old Testament [ed. H.F.D. Sparks; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984] 23.) as juxtaposed with 'We raised him to a lofty place.' Apart from the interesting parallel usage of the first-person plural pronoun with regard to angelic interlocutors, when one recalls that there is a persistent tradition within early eastern Christendom that locates Eden at the top of a cosmic mountain, one begins to realize that there are tangible 'subtextual' linkages between these texts. Or compare Enoch's first-person description of his removal from earth as portrayed in the so-called 'Animal Apocalypse' of 1 Enoch: 'and those three [heavenly beings] that had last come forth grasped me by my hand and took me up, away from the generations of the earth, and raised me up to a lofty place ...apos; (1 Enoch 87:3[Ethiopic makan nawwax for 'lofty place.' Ethiopic text cited from Das Buch Henoch: Äthiopischer Text {ed. J. Flemming; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1902} 120; translation cited from that of R.H. Charles in his APOT 2.251.]). It is almost as if the Qur'an has quoted this latter clause in its description of the fate of Idrīs. These intriguing intertextual threads—Genesis-Jubilees-1 Enoch-Qur'an—come back full circle when we note that Saadia Gaon's tenth-century Arabic translation of Gen 5:22-24 incorporates verbal elements of Qur'an S. 19:56-57!

Another indicator in the Qur'anic verses of the Enochic persona lurking behind the name 'Idrīs' is his epithet of ê iddīqan 'truthful one' ('he was a truthful one, a prophet' It is surely not accidental that reflexes of this same Semitic root (tsaddiq; qushta), or its most common translational renderings (ho dikaios) were primitively associated with the biblical forefather Enoch. The ninth-century Muslim historian Ya'qūbī in fact subtly underscores this aural reverberation by creatively fusing the Qur'anic and biblical verses: 'Idrīs enjoined his offspring to be faithful in the worship of God and to practice righteousness and true religion. Then God raised him after three hundred years had passed.'Ya'qūbī, Ta'rīkh [2 vols.; ed. M.T. Houtsma; Leiden: Brill, 1883] 1.8-9.)

But why the peculiar name 'Idrīs' In order to explore this theme, we will need help from the rich treasuries of exegetical and antiquarian lore contained in the early Muslim commentators, historians, and collectors of biblical folklore. One of the more important contributors to this study was the ninth-century scholar Ibn Qutayba, wherein we read:

To Seth was born Enosh, as well as (other) sons and daughters, and to Enosh was born Kenan, and to Kenan was born Mahalalel, and to Mahalalel was born Yared, and to Yared was born Enoch, and he is Idrīs ... He bore the name Idrīs on account of the quantity of knowledge and religious practices which he learned (darasa) from the Scripture of God Most Exalted. God Most Exalted revealed to him thirty scrolls. He was the first to write with a pen ... He was the great-grandfather of Noah. He was raised up at the age of 365 years.(Ibn Qutayba, Kitab al-ma'arif [2d ed.; ed. Th. 'Ukasha; Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1969] 20-21.)

In other words, the name 'Idrīs' reflects a word-play on the verbal root darasa, which is in turn connected with the acquisition and promulgation of knowledge. Enoch becomes Idrīs to mark that character's distinction in academic pursuits. Unsurprisingly, this is precisely the type of curriculum vita exhibited by the character Enoch within Jewish and Christian pseudepigraphic sources: he is the first to write, he becomes proficient in astronomical and calendrical lore, and he admonishes his contemporaries—the infamous dor ha-mabbul—to practice righteousness and true piety. These same collections of traditions often supply a list of reasons why Enoch deserved this boon, most of which revolve around his scholastic attainments and exemplary piety. Given his scholastic and moral attainments, and the well attested intercultural popularity of the figure of Enoch as celestial voyager and purveyor of supernatural secrets, it should occasion little surprise that the Qur'an and its early exegetes likewise signal a familiarity with these influential literary traditions.

(2) Consider now the following tradition found in the ninth-century Muslim historian Ya'qūbī amidst his summary rehearsal of the career of the prophet Idrīs, whom as we have seen, is actually identical with the biblical forefather Enoch. Ya'qūbī recounts:

When he (i.e., Idrīs) was 65 years old, he fathered Methuselah. He admonished the descendants of Seth, together with their wives and children, about descending (from the mountain), for this (behavior) distressed Enoch. He summoned his offspring—Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah—and said to them: 'I know that God will inflict a great merciless punishment on this generation!'Ya'qūbī, Ta'rīkh [ed. Houtsma] 1.8.)

Several things are worthy of note in this short extract. Perhaps most noticeable is Ya'qūbī's obvious reliance upon the Christian Cave of Treasures legendary cycle: this holds true for much of the narrative thread of his own 'biblical history.' His dependence is instanced in the present citation by its presumption that the descendants of Seth inhabit the slopes of a mountain, which is in actual fact the mountain at whose summit is Paradise. Their place of dwelling contrasts with that of the wicked progeny of Cain, a group who indulge in all manner of debauchery and who inhabit the plain below. Much of the narrative tension in the initial chapters of the Cave of Treasures revolves around the corruptive danger posed to the line of Seth (who here play the role of the 'sons of God' of Gen 6:2) by the degenerate offspring of Cain (the 'mortal women' of the same verse). Will Seth—like his predecessor Abel—succumb to Cain? We of course know how this story—even in this version—will end.

I am however much more interested in the words spoken by Enoch in this story. In order to appreciate that utterance's contextual significance, you should know that direct speech in Ya'qūbī's 'biblical history' is frequently tied to 'quotations' from written revelatory discourse of various types; e.g., in order to situate a Qur'anic declaration or pronouncement within a narrative setting. In other words, biblical characters sometimes 'speak' what we subsequently find in scriptural sources. Now Enoch, as we have seen, enjoys a reputation for literary production, and the so-called Ethiopic Enoch or book of 1 Enoch survives today as an important ancient witness to the type of literature associated with his name. Hence when Enoch 'speaks,' as he does in our pericope, we should at least be attuned to the possibility that the author may be quoting from an allegedly Enochic scripture.

'He summoned his offspring—Methuselah, Lamech, and Noah—and said to them: "I know that God will inflict a great merciless punishment on this generation!"' Contrast this Enochic oracle with the first statement attributed directly to Enoch that is recorded in the initial chapter of our present 1 Enoch: 'not to this generation, but rather to a distant generation do I speak' (1:2).(I render the fragmentary Aramaic Urtext of 1 Enoch 1:2 as preserved in 4Q201 (4QEna ar) I 4:The Greek version is similar. See Reeves, Heralds of that Good Realm: Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions [NHMS 41;Leiden:E.J. Brill, 1996, 24 n.45.) This latter authentic Enochic citation explicitly associates the proper target audience for the contents of 1 Enoch with a generation who lives near the anticipated eschaton or End of Days, and not, it emphasizes, Enoch's antediluvian contemporaries. Our Ya'qūbī citation, by contrast, reverses this dichotomy and identifies Enoch's speech as being directed not to future worthies but instead specifically to 'this generation' namely, his peers. The 'this generation'distant generation' interplay between these two widely disparate literary sources seems deliberate. The problem comes in analyzing its import. Is it simply a matter of signaling the author's awareness that a prophet's primary mission is to convey warnings to his own people during his lifetime and that Enoch, given his status as prophet, must have had some message for his contemporaries? Might he be consciously imitating the rhetoric of 1 Enoch 1:2, in which case we must entertain the intriguing likelihood that some form of 1 Enoch would have been known to either Ya'qūbī or his source? Or might he be informing us that there is another 'book of Enoch'still awaiting discovery—which featured oracles and visions pertinent to 'this generation, rather than a distant one' In that vein, the following report from the tenth-century historian Mas'363;dī assumes added significance: 'thirty scrolls were revealed to him (i.e., Enoch), just as before him twenty-one scrolls were revealed to Adam and twenty-nine scrolls were revealed to Seth. Within them (Enoch's scrolls) were psalms of praise and hymns.'Mas'363;dī, Murūj al-dhahab wa-ma'adin al-jawhar: Les prairies d'or [9 vols.; ed. C. Barbier de Meynard and P. de Courteille; Paris: Imprimerie impériale, 1861-77] 1.73.)

(3) Qur'an S. 2:30 reads as follows: 'And when your Lord said to the angels, “I am putting a deputy on the earth!,” they responded: “Would You put on it one who will corrupt it and shed blood? Could we (then) extol Your praise(s) and sanctify You?"' We learn from the following verse that this 'deputy' (calīph) is in fact Adam, and God goes on to create him despite these angelic objections, declaring that He knows what He is doing. Once Adam is created, God immediately challenges the rebellious angels to test their mental abilities against those of the new creature by 'coining names for everything' (2:31). The angels fail this test miserably, while Adam passes with flying colors. But this victory is not unexpected, since the text also notes that Adam has been previously coached for this contest by God!

Most scholars rightly acknowledge a structural and dialogical affinity between what the Qur'an reports about a heavenly consultation concerning the fabrication of humanity and the cycle of legends surrounding the creation of Adam in rabbinic literature. In that latter corpus, the scene is usually constructed as follows:

a. God resolves to create Adam

b. the angels object to God's plan

c. usually on account of humanity's inherent uselessness or weakness

d. God goes ahead and creates Adam anyway

e. sometimes declaring the superiority of human wisdom to that of the angels

f. which is often 'proven' by an animal-naming contest

g. which the angels lose

h. but which Adam wins

There are a number of variant versions of this tale-type whose precise details may change from source to source but whose general outline remains fairly constant.(See Gen. Rab. 17.4; b. Sanh. 38b; Pirqe R. El. §13; Num. Rab. 19.3; Zohar 3.207b. These can easily be multiplied.) What is of especial interest for our present purposes are the specific reasons advanced by the angels for refraining from Adam's creation. Within the rabbinic material, the usual response by the angels to God's announcement about desiring to create Adam is to quote Ps 8:5 or Ps 144:3-4, both of which stress the inherent uselessness or weakness of mortals, but neither of which specify particular failings or crimes. By contrast, Qur'an S. 2:30 departs significantly from this standard template when it portrays the angels saying 'Would You put on it one who will corrupt it and shed blood?' Now, were this verse to figure in a completely unique narrative scenario, we would probably not give it much thought. But since it occurs within a relatively stable narrative setting whose elemental components do not significantly vary for over one thousand years of literary history, it becomes positively arresting. The question generated in my mind by this text is whether the Qur'an envisions a specific narrative event or sequence of events when it condemns humanity for its impending 'corruption of the earth' and the 'shedding of blood.'

Antediluvian biblical narrative immediately provides one possible candidate for the angels' accusation. The infamous 'generation of the Flood' explicitly 'corrupted the earth' (Gen 6:11-12) and 'engaged in violence' (6:11-13), an undifferentiated mayhem which we learn from the parallel accounts in 1 Enoch and Jubilees involved the 'shedding of blood.' (Jub. 5:2-4 (?); 7:21-26; 1 Enoch 7:4-6; 9:1,9.)After the Flood, when God re-establishes his covenant with Noah, he receives some detailed instructions pertaining to the proper handling of 'blood,' some of which focuses upon the grievous consequences that befall one who 'sheds human blood' (Gen 9:2-6; Jub. 6:6-8,12-13; 7:27-33). The attention given this topic suggests that an improper handling of blood—including human bloodshed—is somehow implicated in those events which 'corrupt the earth' and precipitate the universal deluge.

A better candidate however, I would like to suggest, is the earlier story of Cain and Abel (Gen 4:1-16), some echoes of which also appear in the Qur'an (S. 5:27-32). Most modern students of Bible fail to discern the pivotal significance which this tale plays in the present narrative structure of Genesis because of the enormous religious significance with which ancient, medieval, and modern Christian interpreters have invested the immediately preceding story of Adam and Eve in the Garden. The subsequent Cain and Abel affair is homiletically reduced to an afterthought cast under the dark shadow of human hubris and disobedience to God. But I would like to suggest that while admittedly the episode of disobedience in the Garden was not a good thing, the story of Cain and Abel introduces something far worse into the created order; namely, the 'corruption' and 'bloodshed' of which the Qur'anic angels speak. It represents a critical turning point in antediluvian history, and is (from the point of view of the final redactor of Genesis) the key crime which leads ineluctably to the Flood.

Evidence supporting this point can be gathered from both the structural and exegetical scrutiny of the Masoretic text of Genesis. A structural examination swiftly reveals that the stories of Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen 2:4b-3:24) and of Cain and Abel (Gen 4:1-16) form almost perfect mirror-images:

Gen 2:4b-3:24
Adam: 'worker' Cain: 'worker'
within Eden outside of Eden
admonished to avoid a type of action admonished to avoid a type of action
does the action anyway does the action anyway
in association with a woman [possibly over a woman*]
question/response sequence question/response sequence
result: death (mortality) result: death (murder)
plus curses (including ...) plus curses (more than ...)
expulsion expulsion
*1 Enoch 85:3; Jub. 4:1,9 know this tradition; Ginzburg, Legends 5.138-39 n.17 accumulates references to this motif in rabbinic, Christian, and Muslim sources.

While both stories result in the manifestation of death, the death-s depicted are in no way equivalent. The death which results from Adam's disobedience may be a misfortune, but it is presented as a universal, natural, and even inevitable event which will eventually lay claim to all organic life. The real point of the Garden story, when cast in this light, is not so much about human rebellion and corruption as it is about exposing human stupidity in their forfeiture of immortality. By contrast, the death introduced by Cain's homicide is a qualitatively different type of demise: it is individually plotted and targeted, and it represents an premature termination of a divinely ordained determination of lifespan.

The narrative logic of this juxtaposition demands that the murder of Abel represents the first fatal shedding of blood in antediluvian history. Will this position withstand narratological scrutiny? Two possible problems emerge here: (a) the 'garments of skin' mentioned in Gen 3:21; and (b) Abel's sacrificial offering from his flock in Gen 4:4. A simple (peshat) reading indicates that a slaughter of animals might be presupposed for both texts. However, a canvassing of the exegetical tradition surrounding each of these verses reveals that neither necessarily involves the violent death of animals. With regard to 'garments of skin,' some interpreters opine that the skin employed was that previously sloughed by the serpent. Others note that since fur and wool grow out from the skin, they also can be considered 'skin,' and that God simply collected bits of fur pulled off mammals by briars and thorns as they passed through the thickets of Eden. With regard to Abel's offering, there is a widespread tradition that it consisted simply of milk and wool. The fact that such interpretive options are even extant for these problematic verses prior to Abel's murder serves to underscore the climactic enormity of that crime. Nothing remotely like it had happened before. And once it transpires, its effect is to unleash a wave of bloodthirsty violence which wends its way through Lamech and the generation of the Flood.

The fatal 'shedding of blood' is hence a crucial motif for understanding the narrative logic of Genesis 2-9 in its final form. I would suggest that Qur'an S. 2:30 explicitly confirms the validity of such a biblical reading when the angels condemn humanity as 'a shedder of blood.' In other words, Qur'an and its interpretive tradition function here as key witnesses to a crucial theme in early biblical narrative which has been obscured and then ignored by postbiblical Christian commentators.

It is my hope that I have been successful in demonstrating some of the ways that knowledge of Islamic literature can contribute to a better understanding of the literary history of early Judaism and Christianity, as well as vice versa. It is an enormously exciting field of endeavor which promises to shed an illuminative light on the manifold scriptural connections among all the Abrahamic religions.

Citation: John C. Reeves, " 2001 SBL Presentation Toward a Rapprochment of Bible and Quran," SBL Forum , n.p. [cited Sept 2004]. Online:http://sbl-site.org/Article.aspx?ArticleID=58

 
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