The Quranic Jesus: A New Interpretation

The Quranic Jesus: A New Interpretation

by Carlos Andres Segovia


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Is it possible to rethink the multilayered and polyvalent Christology of the Qur’ān against the intersecting of competing peripheral Christianities, anti-Jewish Christian polemics, and the making of a new Arab state in the 7th-century Near East? To what extent may this help us to decipher, moreover, the intricate redactional process of the quranic corpus? And can we unearth from any conclusions as to the tension between a messianic-oriented and a prophetic-guided religious thought buried in the document? By analysing, first, the typology and plausible date of the Jesus texts contained in the Qur’ān (which implies moving far beyond both the habitual chronology of the Qur’ān and the common thematic division of the passages in question) and by examining, in the second place, the Qur’ān’s earliest Christology via-à-vis its later (and indeed much better known) Muhamadan kerygma, the present study answers these crucial questions and, thereby, sheds new light on the Qur’ān’s original sectarian milieu and pre-canonical development.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783110597646
Publisher: De Gruyter
Publication date: 11/19/2018
Series: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - Tension, Transmission, Transformation Series , #5
Pages: 194
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carlos A. Segovia, Saint Louis University, Madrid Campus, Spain.

Table of Contents

Preface IX

Abbreviations XVII

1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus 1

Descriptive vs. Anti-Christian Theological Texts? 1

The Study of the Quranic JESUS between the 1830s and Now 2

From Carl Friedrich Gerock to Denise Masson's Ecumenical Reading of the Qur'an 2

Robert Charles Zaehner and the "Nestorian" Matrix of the Qur'an's Christology 4

Henri Michaud and the Hypothesis of a Jewish-Christian Influence on the Qur'an 7

Geoffrey Parrinder's Theological Approach to the Quranic Jesus 9

From Ali Merad to Heikki Räisänen's Historical Interpretation 11

Giuseppe Rizzardi, Claus Schedl, and Günther Risse 15

Neal Robinson'S Comparative Study on Christ in Islam and Christianity 16

Addendum. Investigations on the Emergence of Islam and 7th-Century Near-East Christianity 17

Purpose and Argument of this Book, with a Note on the Notion of "Symptomatic Reading" 20

Three Preliminary Notions: Polyphony, Periphery, Hypertextuality 20

Introducing the Argument of the BOOK AND Its Parts 23

2 Jesus in the Quranic Corpus: Texts and Contexts 26

Distribution of the Relevant Passages 26

The Texts, with a Brief Commentary 27

Surat al-Baqara (Q 2, "The Cow") 27

No. 1: Q 2:87 27

No.2: Q 2:136 28

No. 3: Q 2:253 29

Surat A 'Imran (Q 3, "The House of 'Imran") 29

No. 4: Q 3:33-63 29

No. 5: Q 3:84 36

Surat al-Nisa' (Q 4, "Women") 36

No. 6: Q 4:155-9 36

No. 7: Q 4:163 37

No. 8: Q 4:171-2 38

Surat at-Ma'ida (Q 5, "The Table") 39

No. 9: Q 5:17 39

No. 10: Q 5:46 39

No. 11: Q 5:72-5 40

No. l2: Q 5:78 41

No. 13: Q 5:110-18 41

Surat al-An 'am (Q 6, "Livestock") 44

No. 14: Q 6:84-7 44

Surat al-Tawba (Q 9, "Repentance") 44

No. 15: Q 9:30-1 44

Surat Maryam (Q 19, "Mary") 45

No. 16: Q 19:2-36 45

Surat al-Anbiyya' (Q 21, "The Prophets") 48

No 17: Q 21:91 48

Surat al-Mu'minun (Q 23, "The Believers") 49

No. 18: Q 23:50 49

Surat al-Ahzab (Q 33, "The Factions") 50

No.19: Q 33:7-8 50

Surat al-Šura (Q. 42, "Consultation") 50

No. 20: Q 42:13 50

Surat al-Zuhruf (Q 43, "Ornaments") 51

No. 21: Q 43:57-64 51

Surat al-Hadid (Q 57, "Iron") 52

No. 22: Q 57:25-7 52

Surat al-Saff (Q. 61, "The Lines") 53

No. 23: Q 61:6 53

No. 24: Q 61:14 53

Surat al-Tahrim (Q 66, "The Forbidding") 54

No. 25: Q 66:12 54

3 Reassessing the Typology, Date, and Ideology of the Jesus Passages - and Their Setting 55

Towards a New Classification, Formal and Thematic 55

Formal Division 55

Thematic Division 55

Deciphering the Date of the Jesus Passages 58

Overlooked Texts in Defence of Jesus (and Mary) against the Jews 58

The Vindication of the Quranic Prophet in Q 3:84 58

The Parallel Vindication of the Jesus in Q 2:136 60

Anti-Jewish Rhetoric, Anti-Christian Texts, and the Date of the Jesus Passages 63

Their Setting and the Chronology of the Corpus 68

Ideological Stages, Redactional Layers, and Historical Periods 68

The P1 Jesus Passages as a Response to mid-7th-century Jewish Writings like Sefer Z&reveipa;rubbabel and Sefer Tôl&reveipa;dôt Yešû 75

The P2 Jesus Passages and the Making of a New Religious identity 85

Transition 87

4 Moving Backwards: A Peripheral South-Arabian Christology? 89

The Withdrawal from Byzantium's Political and Religious Control in 6th-Century Yemen - and the Arabian Peninsula 89

The Making of a Christian Yemen in the 6th Century 89

Reflections on Abr&reveipa;ha's Enigmatic Christology 91

Peripheral Christianity and Formative Islam 96

East Syria and Iraq, or Christianity beyond the Limes of the Byzantine Empire 101

Monks, Bishops, and the Plausible Anti-Chalcedonian Setting of Q 9:31, 34 104

Misunderstood Terms and Redactional Layers in Q 9:30-1 104

Pro-Chalcedonian Bishops and Anti-Chalcedonian Monks? 110

The Philological Crux in v. 9:31a - and v. 9:30 113

Five Hypotheses in Search of Q9:31's Vorlage 114

5 From the Qur'an's Early Christology to the Elaboration of the Muhamadan Kerygma 118

A Sketch of the Early Qur'an Christology (Q 75-107) 118

Introducing a Systematically Overlooked but Crucial Topic 118

A Heavenly Messenger that Speaks Directly to Mankind and Refers to God as "He" - but Who Is One with God 119

Excursus 1: Traces of an Angelomorphic Christology? 125

Introducing the Human alongside the Divine (Q 17, 68, 73-4, 81, 87, 88) 129

The Need of a Human Messenger - Almost Absent from the Earliest Quranic Layers 129

The Exaltation of the Human Messenger 132

Substituting the Heavenly Messenger by a Human Messenger: The Beginnings of the Muhamadan Kerygma (Q 53, 55, 69) 136

A Dual Farewell to the Heavenly Messenger 136

Re-imagining Jesus as a New John the Baptist 140

Excursus 2: Contesting the Exclusiveness of the Muhamadan Kerygma, or Reimagining Proto-Shite Christology vis-à-vis the Making of a Tribal- and Supra-Tribal Religion 140

Afterword 144

Bibliography 151

Index of Ancient Sources 166

Index of Ancient and Modern Authors 180

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