Muslim Perceptions and Receptions of the Bible: Texts and Studies
The present volume deals with Muslim perceptions and uses of the Bible in its wider sense, comprising the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and the New Testament, albeit with an emphasis on the former scripture. While Muslims consider the earlier revelations to the People of the Book to have been altered to some extent by Jews and Christians and abrogated by the Qurʾān, God’s final dispensation to humankind, the Bible is at the same time venerated in view of its divine origin, and questioning this divine origin is tantamount to unbelief. These different approaches to the biblical text, with their inherent contradictions, are discussed in twenty-one previously published and updated articles. Some of these were individually authored by Camilla Adang or Sabine Schmidtke, while others were co-authored. After a series of contributions surveying Muslim attitudes to the Bible, representative authors from the medieval Sunni and Shiʿi traditions are discussed. An important place is reserved here for two of the earliest Muslim compilations of presumed biblical predictions of the Prophet Muḥammad: Aʿlām (or Dalāʾil) al-nubuwwa by Ibn Qutayba and Kitāb al-Dīn wa-l-Dawla by Ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī (both 3rd/9th century), which had a major impact on later authors, Sunni and Shiʿi alike. The final section of this book is concerned with the polemical works of a number of Ottoman scholars, who adduced material from the later Jewish exegetical tradition. The appearance of these interconnected studies in a single volume makes this book a welcome contribution to the fields of Religious Studies in general, and Islamic Studies in particular.