Pagina principale The Quranic Jesus: A New Interpretation
The Quranic Jesus: A New InterpretationCarlos A. Segovia
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.
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.
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Carlos A. Segovia The Quranic Jesus Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – Tension, Transmission, Transformation Edited by Patrice Brodeur, Alexandra Cuffel, Assaad Elias Kattan, and Georges Tamer Volume 5 Carlos A. Segovia The Quranic Jesus A New Interpretation ISBN 978-3-11-059764-6 e-ISBN (PDF) 978-3-11-059968-8 e-ISBN (EPUB) 978-3-11-059896-4 ISSN 2196-405X Library of Congress Control Number: 2018951346 Bibliografic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliografic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.dnb.de. © 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston Typesetting: Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. Printing and binding: CPI books GmbH, Leck www.degruyter.com To Sofya ان َوإِ َذا آ َم َن ِبع َ ِيسی ُث َّم آ َم َن ِبي َ ،ف َل ُه أَجْ َر ِ صحيح البخاري ٣٤٤٦ Preface While clearly affirming that God has no partner, and moreover that he is childless,1 the quranic authors repeatedly encourage their audience to behave like Jesus’s disciples, defend Jesus against the Jews, declare him to be the Messiah and the Word of God as well as a spirit from him (a series of titles they never apply to other prophets), make systematic use of a number of crucial Christian rhetorical moves, and quote more or less verbatim the New Testament Apocrypha and the writings of several late-antique Christian authors. Furthermore, they seem to be engaged in intra-Christian controversies just as much as they seem to partake in anti-Christian polemics. Conversely, the apparently pro-Jewish passages that one finds in the Qur’ān often prove tricky, as they are usually placed within, or next to, more or less violent anti-Jewish pericopes that bear the marks of Christian rhetoric despite a few occasional anti-Christian interpolations. And to further complicate the matter, the earliest quranic layers seem to develop a high- yet non-incarnationist Christology of which, interestingly enough, Jesus’s name is totally missing. What, then, can we make out of this puzzle? To what extent may the Qur’ān’s highly complex Christology2 help to decipher not only the intent of various quranic authors – which may well be very different from what has been hitherto taken for granted – but also the likewise complex redactional process characteristic of the document itself? Is it, moreover, possible to inscribe the often – indeed too-often – oversimplified Christology of the Qur’ān within the peripheral religious culture of the 6th-to-7th-century Near East? Is it possible, also, to unearth from it something about the tension carefully – or perhaps not so carefully – buried in the document between a messianic-oriented- and a prophetic-guided religious thought, and to root therein the earliest “Islamic” schism – if speaking of Islam before ‘Abd al-Malik’s reign in the late 7th century makes any sense, that is? By analysing, first, the typology and the plausible date of the Jesus-texts contained in the Qur’ān (which implies moving far beyond any purely thematic division of the passages in question), and by examining, in the second place, the Qur’ān’s earliest Christology vis-à-vis its later (and indeed much better known) Muhamadan kerygma, the present study tries to give response to these crucial questions. 1 On the difference between God being “sonless” and “childless,” see further Chapter 5. 2 Let this composite term be provisionally understood here in its broadest sense, i.e. as allusive to the treatment that God’s Word and Jesus’s messiahship receive in the quranic corpus. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599688-201 X Preface A few acknowledgements are in order here. I should like to thank Ali AmirMoezzi and Guillaume Dye for encouraging me to work on sūra-s 2 and 3 of the Qur’ān for a collective volume forthcoming at Les Éditions du Cerf, of which I have extracted a few excerpts in Chapter 3; Haggai Mazuz for allowing me to include in it a few paragraphs of a paper of mine upcoming in a volume he is preparing for the Brill Reference Library of Judaism;3 William Adler, Lorenzo DiTommaso, and Matthias Henze, for permitting me to reproduce there too a few fragments of my recent contribution to Michael Stone’s Festschrift;4 Isaac Oliver and Anders Petersen for their helpful feedback on an earlier draft of my analysis of Q 9:30-1, which I have undertaken and reworked in Chapter 4; Manfred Kropp for his valuable insights on the section on Abrǝha’s Christology included too in it – whose first draft, moreover, he welcomed for publication in Oriens Christianus in 2015;5 Matt Sheddy, for authorising me to incorporate to the Afterword some excerpts of a paper of mine on the Dome of the Rock inscriptions;6 and Daniel Beck, on whose hermeneutical insights I substantially rely in Chapter 5. I am also grateful to Guillaume Dye, with whom I have had the pleasure to thoroughly discuss many of the views put forward in the pages that follow; Basil Lourié, who without knowing it helped me to make of the study of the Qur’ān my field of specialisation over the past ten years;7 Emilio González Ferrín, who kindly shared with 3 Carlos A. Segovia, “Friends, Enemies, or Hoped-for New Rulers? Reassessing the Early Jewish Sources Mentioning the Rise of Islam,” forthcoming in Jews and Judaism in Northern Arabia, ed. Haggai Mazuz (BRLJ; Leiden and Boston: Brill). 4 Carlos A. Segovia, “An Encrypted Adamic Christology in the Qur’ān? New Insights on 15:29; 21:91; 38:72; 66:12,” in The Embroidered Bible: Studies in Biblical Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha in Honour of Michael E. Stone, ed. William Adler, Lorenzo DiTommaso, and Matthias Henze (SVTP; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018) 913–27. 5 Carlos A. Segovia, “Abraha’s Christological Formula RḤMNN W-MAS1Ḥ-HW and Its Relevance for the Study of Islam’s Origins,” OC 98 (2015): 52–63. 6 Carlos A. Segovia, “Identity Politics and the Study of Islamic Origins: The Inscriptions of the Dome of the Rock as a Test Case,” forthcoming in Identity, Politics and the Study of Islam: Current Dilemmas in the Study of Religions, ed. Matt Sheddy (CESIF; Sheffield, UK, and Bristol, CT: Equinox) 7 For this book, together with my upcoming papers: “Messalianism, Binitarianism, and the East-Syrian Bacground of the Qur’ān” (forthcoming in Remapping Emergent Islam: Texts, Social Contexts, and Ideological Trajectories, ed. Carlos A. Segovia [SWLAEMA; Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press], “Asceticism and the Early Quranic Milieu: A Symptomatic Reading of Q 17:79, 43:36, 73:1–8, 74:43, 76:26, and 108” (forthcoming), and (with Gilles Courtieu) “Bābil, Makka and Ṭā’if, or (always) Ctesiphon(-Seleucia)? New Insights into the Iranian Setting of the Earliest Quranic Milieu” (forthcoming) is my final contribution to the study of Islams origins, since I have recently moved into an altogether different field of research at the crossroads of postcolonial studies, contemporary philosophy, and anthropological theory – after having fulfilled, that is, an ambitious research project whose two principal results I take to be (1) the underlying of the Preface XI me his impressions after reading a first draft of this book; my former chair of division at Saint Louis University in Madrid, John Welch, for thoughtfully making possible for me to teach on the quranic Jesus during three consecutive years – an experience from which this book has, I think, consistently benefited; and my students, with whom I have intensely and fruitfully worked month after month on the typological classification ventured in Chapter 3 and the evolution of the Qur’ān’s Christology examined in Chapter 5. Above all, however, I should like to express my deepest gratitude to my wife, Sofya, without whose generous inspiration and precious love I would be unable to breathe and think; dedicating this book to her is but a humble sign of my devotedness to whom I feel blessed to live with every day. key role that corresponds to the Jesus-texts for deciphering the threefold (pre-Muhammadan, Muhammadan, and post-Muhammadan) chronology of the quranic corpus, and (2) the establishment of an original Iraqi, rather than Hijazi, setting for the latter’s earliest layers. Visibly, a this implies expanding the boundaries of the proto-Islamic milieu (I am reluctant to speak of “Islam” strictu sensu before the late 7th century) in both space and time, as also the composition and collection of the Qur’an itself. Yet I am persuaded that we need a new interpretative lens, as well as more sophisticated tools, to study the latter, and that questions of theory and method must be very clear from the outset if we want to get a clear picture of what the quranic corpus originally was – supposing we can still speak in the singular. I moreover take this type of investigation to be of special relevance given the naivety of a field of study that has been, and sadly remains today, excessively dependent on obsolete and purely emic master-narratives. Thus I am persuaded that applying internal, textual criteria to the analysis of the quranic corpus provides far more satisfactory results for a correct understanding of the document’s content and setting than the mixture of doctrinal and pseudo-historical interpretation supplied by the Islamic tradition does. More specifically, this book attempts at deciphering some of the document’s key redactional layers, periods of composition, and geographical-cultural settings through the examination, and typological classification, of a number of symptomatic textual indices combining group-identity markers, ideological discursive strategies, and (meta)religious concepts. The task can be viewed as recursive and intersectional, for typology is often indicative of context and contextual analysis often serves to trace chronology. 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’ān 2 Robert Charles Zaehner and the “Nestorian” Matrix of the Qur’ān’s Christology 4 Henri Michaud and the Hypothesis of a Jewish-Christian Influence on the Qur’ān 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 Distribution of the Relevant Passages 26 The Texts, with a Brief Commentary 27 Sūrat 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 Sūrat Āl ‘Imrān (Q 3, “The House of ‘Imrān”) No. 4: Q 3:33-63 29 No. 5: Q 3:84 36 26 29 XIV Contents Sūrat al-Nisā’ (Q 4, “Women”) 36 No. 6: Q 4:155-9 36 No. 7: Q 4:163 37 No. 8: Q 4:171-2 38 Sūrat al-Mā’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. 12: Q 5:78 41 No. 13: Q 5:110-18 41 Sūrat al-An‘ām (Q 6, “Livestock”) 44 No. 14: Q 6:84-7 44 Sūrat al-Tawba (Q 9, “Repentance”) 44 No. 15: Q 9:30-1 44 Sūrat Maryam (Q 19, “Mary”) 45 No. 16: Q 19:2-36 45 Sūrat al-Anbiyya’ (Q 21, “The Prophets”) 48 No. 17: Q 21:91 48 Sūrat al-Mu’minūn (Q 23, “The Believers”) 49 No. 18: Q 23:50 49 Sūrat al-Aḥzāb (Q 33, “The Factions”) 50 No. 19: Q 33:7–8 50 Sūrat al-Šūrā (Q 42, “Consultation”) 50 No. 20: Q 42:13 50 Sūrat al-Zuḥruf (Q 43, “Ornaments”) 51 No. 21: Q 43:57-64 51 Sūrat al-Ḥadīd (Q 57, “Iron”) 52 No. 22: Q 57:25-7 52 Sūrat al-Ṣaff (Q 61, “The Lines”) 53 No. 23: Q 61:6 53 No. 24: Q 61:14 53 Sūrat al-Taḥrīm (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 Contents XV 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 Sēfer Zǝrubbābel and Sēfer Tôlǝdôt Yēšû? 75 The P2 Jesus Passages and the Making of a New Religious Identity 85 Transition 87 4 89 Moving Backwards: A Peripheral South-Arabian Christology? 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 Abrǝha’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 Q 9:31’s Vorlage 114 5 From the Qur’ān’s Early Christology to the Elaboration of the Muhamadan Kerygma 118 A Sketch of the Early Qur’ān 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 XVI Contents 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 Bibliography 144 151 Index of Ancient Sources 166 Index of Ancient and Modern Authors 180 Abbreviations AIBL AIG ANZM apud Arab. ASA ASMEA b. BEHE BEHESR BHMIIS BJQHS BJRL BRLJ BSOAS c. C1 C2 C3 CCL CESIF cf. ch(s). CIH contra CRSAIBL CSAI CT CTh CUASEC d. DA DACS DAI DHR DOP DORLC DR DRLAR ECCA ECS ed(s). e.g. EI Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres Arabic Infancy Gospel Administration der Neuen Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft At, in the writings of Arabic Ancient South Arabian Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa Babylonian Talmud Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études Sciences Religieuses Bulletin of Henry Martyn Institute of Islamic Studies Al-Bayān: Journal of Qur’ān and Ḥadīth Studies Bulletin of the John Rylands Library Brill Reference Library of Judaism Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies Around (Latin: circa) Christology no. 1 Christology no. 2 Christology no. 3 Collection Cerfaux-Lefort Cultures on the Edge: Studies in Identity Formation Compare (Latin: confer) Chapter(s) Corpus Inscriptionum Himyariticarum In opposition or contrast to Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres Corpus of South Arabian Inscriptions Cave of Treasures Cahiers théologiques Catholic University of America Studies in Early Christianity died Diskurse der Arabistik Dissertations: Ancient Christian Studies Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Dynamics in the History of Religions Dumbarton Oaks Papers Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection Dublin Review Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion Early Christianity in the Context of Antiquity Easter Christian Studies Edited by, editor(s) For example (Latin: exemplum gratia) Encyclopaedia of Islam https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599688-202 XVIII EME 1 En EnIr esp. EUS GDN Gk. Heb. HR HTR i.e. IFD IISMM IJHCME IS IVP JA JAOC JAOS JCIT JCSSS JESHO JPS JQR JSAI JSS KTAH l(l). LAE LAMINE lit. LOS MA MAIBL MDCSPCK MLR MMW MW n(n). N1 N2 N3 NAPSPMS NNT NPNF1 NRSM NZM Abbreviations Éditions Modulaires Européens 1 Enoch Encyclopaedia Iranica especially European University Studies Grosser Damm Nord Greek Hebrew History of Religions Harvard Theological Review That is (Latin: id est) Institut Français de Damas Institut d’études de l’Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman Der Islam: Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East Iranian Studies InterVarsity Press Journal asiatique Judaïsme ancien et origines du christianisme Journal of the American Oriental Society Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – Tension, Transmission, Transformation Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient Journal of Persianate Studies Jewish Quarterly Review Jerusalem Studies n Arabic and Islam Jewish Social Studies Key Themes in Ancient History Line(s) Life of Adam and Eve Late Antique and Medieval Islamic Near East Literarily London Oriental Series Miscellanea arabica Mémoires de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres Madras Diocesan Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge Mediterranean Language Review Makers of the Muslim World The Muslim World Note(s) Narrative no. 1 Narrative no. 2 Narrative no. 3 North American Patristics Society Patristic Monograph Series Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift Nicene- and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series Nouvelle Revue deScience Missionaire Neuen Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft Abbreviations OC OECS OJC OLA OM OSB p(p) P1 P2 pace PHR pl. PO POr PRE PsM Q r. RA REB RHR ROMM RSQ Sab. SBEO SBL SBLEJL SCM SFGMO sic sing. SLAEI SNT SO SSN STDJ SVTP Syr. SWLAEMA TCH TSAJ TSQ v(v). VCS vol(s). WBG WUNT ZRGG Oriens Christianus Oxford Early Christian Studies Orientalia Judaica Christiana Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta Orient et Méditerranée Oxford Studies in Byzantium Page(s) Period no. 1 Period no. 2 With due respect to, but disagreeing with Problèmes d’histoire des religions Plural Patrologia Orientalis Parole de l’Orient Pirqê de Rabbî ’Elî‘ezer Pseudo-Matthew Qur’ān reigned Religion et Altérité Revised English Bible Revue de l’histoire des religions Revue de l’Occident musulman et de la Méditerranée Rutledge Studies in the Qur’ān Sabaic Société Belge d’Études Orientales Society of Biblical Literature Society of Biblical Literature Early Judaism and Its Literature Student Christian Movement Schriften der finnischen Gesellschaft für Missiologie und Ökumenik Thus (Latin: sic erat scriptum) Singular Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam Studien zum Neuen Testament Studia Orientalia Studia Semitica Neerlandica Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Studia in Veteris Testamenti Pseudepigraphica Syriac Social Worlds of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages Transformations of the Classical Heritage Text and Studies in Ancient Judaism Texts and Studies on the Qur’ān Verse(s) Variorum Collected Studies Volume(s) Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte XIX 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Descriptive vs. Anti-Christian Theological Texts? Heretofore the modern study of the quranic Jesus has basically moved in a single direction, as generally scholars have approached the Jesus passages contained in the Qur’ān from a thematic standpoint. Somewhat inoffensively, therefore, they tend to distinguish between the passages in which Jesus’s birth is reported, those that mention his mission to Israel (including his teachings and miracles), those relative to his death, those which mention him as a prophet or a righteous among other prophets and righteous, and those that discuss his divine sonship and hence the very basis of mainstream Christian doctrine – which most modern scholars regard as the primary target of the Qur’ān’s counter-Christology. It is this last point, moreover, that has largely overdetermined all modern interpretations of the quranic Jesus.1 Accordingly, most scholars take the quranic passages allusive to Jesus’s birth, life, and death as being merely illustrative of some key episodes of Jesus’s “biography” as told in the gospels; in their view, therefore, such passages convey a purely descriptive purpose, even if their narratives often draw on apocryphal (i.e. non-canonical) sources, or else display new (i.e. elsewhere unmatched) “data.” In contrast, the passages that criticise the notion that Jesus is God’s son – and which question, thereby, the cornerstone of any recognisable Christology – are interpreted by them to contain the Qur’ān’s own theological message about Jesus. As I hope to prove in this book, things are much more complex than most modern interpreters are willing to assume. It may well be, for example, that some if not all of the alleged descriptive Jesus passages hide more than they seem to offer at first sight; or, to put it in more forceful terms, that they serve an ideological purpose which is anything but descriptive. Also, it is not altogether clear how one ought to articulate and interpret the quranic passages that refer to Jesus as God’s messiah instead of God’s son, those which deny Jesus’s divine sonship, those that impugn the Christian trinity, and those which contend that God is 1 Two notable exceptions are Peter von Sivers, “Christology and Prophetology in the Umayyad Arab Empire,” in Die Entstehung einer Weltreligion III, ed. Markus Groß and Karl-Heinz Ohlig (Berlin: Hans Schiler, 2014) 255–85, and Daniel A. Beck Evolution of the Early Qur’ān: From Anonymous Apocalypse to Charismatic Prophet (ACDE 2; New York and Bern: Peter Lang, 2018). – I am grateful to Daniel Beck for kindly sharing a draft of his book with me prior to its publication. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599688-001 2 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus childless: do they all belong to the same redactional layer?, and, more importantly, even if one agrees that they all aim at the same idea, which is their exact theological intent? Lastly, is it possible to reread the Christology of the Qur’ān (i.e. the latter’s treatment of God’s Word and of Jesus’s messiahship) against the background of the Near-Eastern Christological developments of the 7th century? And if so, how should they and how should they not be linked?; this is to say, what specific type of contextual connection between them should be acknowledged in order to pay justice to their apparently complex imbrication and what particular type of subordination should be avoided in turn? Before answering to these and other related questions, however (that is, before moving beyond the poor binary typology formerly alluded to, which certainly needs to be substituted with a more complex, sophisticated one)2 it will be helpful to ponder and discuss the most relevant arguments on the quranic Jesus put forward over the past decades (with no attempt at exhaustivity, therefore). The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now From Carl Friedrich Gerock to Denise Masson’s Ecumenical Reading of the Qur’ān Several monographs on the quranic Jesus were published in German, French, and English between 1839 and 1929, including Carl Friedrich Gerock’s Versuch einer Darstellung der Christologie des Koran,3 J.-P. Maneval’s La Christologie du Coran,4 William Goldsack’s Christ in Islam,5 Samuel Zwemer’s The Moslem Christ,6 and Basharat Ahmad’s Birth of Jesus in the Light of the Quran and in 2 Not that I view binary logic as being rudimentary per se (see my forthcoming essay “Social Theory, Conceptual Imagination, and The Study of Pre-State Societies: From Lévi-Strauss to Pierre Clastres,” forthcoming in Anarchist Studies); it simply proves here inoperative at best. 3 C. F. Gerock, Versuch einer Darstellung der Christologie des Koran (Hamburg: Perthes, 1839). 4 J.-P. Maneval, La Christologie du Coran (PhD dissertation, Faculté de théologie protestante de Montauban; Toulouse, France: Chauvin, 1867). 5 William Goldsack, Christ in Islam: The Testimony of the Quran to Christ (London: Christian Literature Society, 1905). 6 Samuel M. Zwemer, The Moslem Christ: An Essay on the Life, Character, and Teachings of Jesus Christ according to the Koran and Orthodox Tradition (Edinburgh and London: Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier, 1912). The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 3 the Light of the Gospels.7 Yet due to the obsolete style of these, the first if indirect studies worth mentioning here are Josef Henninger’s Spuren christlicher Glaubenswahrheiten im Koran8 and Denise Masson’s Le Coran et la Révélation judéo-chrétienne,9 which were both published in the 1950s. Henninger patiently scrutinises the Christian views and doctrines reflected in the quranic corpus,10 whereas Masson basically aims at bridging the divide between the theology of the Qur’ān and that of the Catholic Church. The Christology resulting from the 4th Lateran Council according to which the divine essence is uncreated, Thomas Aquinas’s distinction between differences ad extra and differences ad intra, and Hans Urs von Balthasar’s non-triadic understanding of the trinity, Masson affirms, may all be said to come rather close to the formulation of God’s unmatched unicity in the Qur’ān. Her legitimate ecumenical concerns notwithstanding, Masson’s too harmonising and somewhat ahistorical views were opportunely criticised in the 1960s and the 1970s by French Orientalists and Catholic theologians alike,11 yet they were influential on the Second Vatican Council (1962–5) and encouraged the renewed attitude towards Islam that the Catholic Church displayed thereinafter.12 7 Basharat Ahmad, Birth of Jesus in the Light of the Quran and in the Light of the Gospels (Lahore, India: Dar-ul-Kutib-i-Islam, ca. 1929). See further the bibliography in Jan A. B. Jongeneel, with the assistance of Robert T. Coote, Jesus Christ in World History: His Presence and Representation in Cyclical and Linear Settings (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2008) 429. 8 Josef Henninger, Spuren christlicher Glaubenswahrheiten im Koran (Schöneck: ANZM, 1951); originally published in NZM/NRSM 1 (1945): 135–40, 304–14; 2 (1946): 56–65, 109–22, 289–304; 3 (1947): 128–40, 290–301; 4 (1948): 129–41, 284–93; 5 (1949): 127–40, 290–300; 6 (1950): 207–17, 284–97. 9 Denise Masson, Le Coran et la Révélation judéo-chrétienne. Études comparées (2 vols.; Paris: Maisonneuve, 1958); reedited in 1976 as Monothéisme coranique et monothéisme biblique. Doctrines comparées (Paris: Desclée). 10 See now too Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Qur’ānic Christians: An Analysis of Classical and Modern Exegesis (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007); Gabriel Said Reynolds, “On the Presentation of Christianity in the Qur’ān and the Many Aspects of Qur’anic Rhetoric,” BJQHS 12 (2014): 42–54. 11 See Regis Blachère, “Compte rendu de Denise Masson, Le Coran et la Révélation judéochrétienne, études comparées, Paris (A. Maisonneuve) 1958,” Arabica 7.1 (1960): 93–5; André Caquot, “Compte rendu de Denise Masson, Le Coran et la Révélation judéo-chrétienne. Études comparées, Paris, A. Maisonneuve, 1958,” RHR 157.1 (1960): 107–8; Hervé Bleuchot, “Compte rendu de Denise Masson, Monothéisme coranique et monothéisme biblique. Doctrines comparées,[Paris,] Desclée de Brouwer, 1976,” ROMM 24.1 (1977): 281–85. 12 See further James Pallathupurayidam, The Second Vatican Council and Islam: Change in the Catholic Attitude (Ph.D. dissertation, McGill University, 1981); Renée Champion, “Masson, Denise,” in Dictionnaire des orientalistes de la langue française, ed. François Pouillon (Paris: IISMM– Karthala, 2012) 704. See also Giulio Basetti-Sani, Il Corano nella luce di Cristo: saggio per una 4 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Robert Charles Zaehner and the “Nestorian” Matrix of the Qur’ān’s Christology The very same year in which Masson’s book was released, Robert Charles Zaehner published a brief essay on “The Qur’ān and Christ”; Zaehner’s essay was included as an appendix in a volume titled At Sundry Times: An Essay in the Comparison of Religions containing the transcript of his Sir D. Owen Evans Lectures at the University College of Wales in January of 1957, and it was also the first modern study to explicitly focus on the study of quranic Jesus.13 Zaehner was a historian of religions and a specialist in Iranian and Indian studies (on which he published uninterruptedly between 1938 and 1974) who combined his academic position as professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University with his job as British Intelligence officer at the UK Embassy in Tehran.14 As an Orientalist, Zaehner worked on middle-east religions; as a (Catholic-)Christian apologist, he was deeply concerned with the relation between these and Christianity, and his views proved influential within certain Christian sectors;15 an illustration of this is Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli’s Handbook of Christian Apologetics, which draws repeatedly on Zaehner’s insights on “salvation and other religions.”16 Yet Zaehner’s 1958 paper on the quranic Jesus cannot be simply grouped among his apologetic writings. As Carlo Cereti, following Geoffrey Parrinder,17 writes, [e]ven in his more scholarly books, Zaehner was prone to be influenced by his personal beliefs when analyzing religious phenomena. [And t]his was all the more true for a group of books that may be aptly defined as apologetic and polemical, arguing as they do in favor of his own Christian and ethical beliefs–works such as Christianity and Other Religions (1964), The Convergent Spirit (1963), Evolution in Religion (1971), and Dialectical Christianity and Christian Materialism (1971). More complex and intellectually stimulating [however] are two other impassioned works, At Sundry Times (1958) . . . and Concordant Discord (1970).18 reinterpretazione cristiana del libro sacro de l’Islam (Bologna: Editrice Missionaria Italiana, 1972; English translation by W. Russell Carroll and Bede Dauphinee, The Koran in the Light of Christ [Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1977]). 13 R. C. Zaehner, At Sundry Times: An Essay in the Comparison of Religions (London: Faber and Faber, 1958; 2nd ed., Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1977) 195–217. 14 For Zaehner’s biography and publications, see Geoffrey Parrinder, “Robert Charles Zaehner (1913–1974),” HR 16 (1976): 66–74; Carlo Cereti, “Zaehner, Robert Charles,” EnIr, online edition, 2015, available at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/zaehner-robert. 15 See e.g. R. C. Zaehner, Mysticism Sacred and Profane (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1961) and Christianity and Other Religions (New York: Hawthorn, 1964), respectively. 16 Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundred of Answers to Crucial Questions (IVP Academic; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009) 399. 17 Cf. Parrinder, “Zaehner,” 69–70. 18 Cereti, “Zaehner.” The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 5 In his 1957 lectures at the University College of Wales and at the Newman Association Graduate Division of the University Catholic Federation of Great Britain that very year,19 Zaehner attempted to build a bridge (thus wider than Masson’s) between Christianity and the religions of the Middle East, Islam included; and for that purpose he criticised what he believed to be lately introduced points of conflict in the Islamic interpretation of the Qur’ān, which he understood to be in basic agreement with the premises of Christian doctrine.20 Not all of Zaehner’s insights can be ruled out on this basis, however. I therefore disagree with Oddbjørn Leirvik’s claim that Zaehner “combines a thematic approach [to the quranic Jesus] with a sort of interpretatio christiana”21 when, following Tor Andrae,22 in his 1958 appendix he suggests, for instance, that the Christology of the Qur’ān is less anti-Christian than “Nestorian” (i.e. East-Syrian) oriented;23 for in this case Zaehner’s rather unconventional view is partly sound, as I shall try to prove later in this book. To put it succinctly: Zaehner rightly makes the point that, although God’s Word and Spirit can be said to dwell in him, Jesus is fully and only human in the Qur’ān; as to Mary, he argues, she is not the Mother of God, for God’s Word and Spirit pre-exist her and are cast upon her: “The human Jesus is produced directly by God’s creative Word or Logos,” he writes: “he is not a son acquired by God but is brought into existence in the Virgin’s womb by the direct action of the Divine 19 See R. C. Zaehner, “Islam and Christ,” DR (1957): 271–88. 20 For an assessment of Zaehner’s attitude towards Islam, see further David R. Blanks, “Western Views of Islam in the Premodern Period: A Brief History of Past Approaches,” in Western Views of Islam in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Perception of Other, ed. David R. Blanks and Michael Frassetto (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999) 24–5; Kristin Skottki, “Medieval Western Perceptions of Islam and the Scholars: What Went Wrong?,” in Cultural Transfers in Dispute: Representations in Asia, Europe and the Arab World since the Middle Ages, ed. Jörg Feuchter, Friedhelm Hoffmann, and Bee Yun (Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag, 2011) 107–34, pp. 120–1. 21 Oddbjørn Leirvik, Images of Jesus Christ in Islam (London and New York: Continuum, 1999; 2nd ed., 2010) 24. 22 Tor Andrae, Der Ursprung des Islams und das Christentum (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1926). 23 Zaehner, At Sundry Times, 206–9. I personally prefer expressions like “East Syrian” (or “Eastern Diphysite”) to the term “Nestorian,” which constitutes – as Sebastian Brock stresses – a “misnomer” (see Sebastian P. Brock, “The ‘Nestorian’ Church: A Lamentable Misnomer,” BJRL 78.3 : 23–35); yet “Nestorian” is the term Zaehner himself uses to denote the Christology of the Church of the East, for which reason I opt to keep it here as such. For a criticism of Brock’s “pro-orthodox” view, see however Chapter 4 in fine. 6 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Word, ‘Be!’”24 In fact, the Qur’ān teaches nothing different from this;25 and this unquestionably resembles, in turn, the “theology of the indwelling Logos” of the Church of the East, according to which Colossians 2:9 (“For it is in Christ that the Godhead in all its fullness dwells embodied” [REB]) was paraphrased to mean “in [Jesus] the Logos dwells perfectly.”26 It may be objected that, compared to East-Syrian Christology, the Qur’ān operates on a different level, as it does not address the question of the relationship between Christ’s divinity and his humanity – put differently: Jesus lacks in it divine status, so one may argue that there is no need for the quranic authors to reciprocally articulate his divinity and his humanity, which was, in contrast, a fundamental concern for the theologians of the Church of the East.27 Yet the 24 Zaehner, At Sundry Times, 206. 25 Cf. Q 2:87, 253; 5:110 (concerning Jesus’s divine assistance by the Holy Spirit); 3:45; 4:171 (concerning Jesus as God’s Word); 3:47, 59; 19:21 (concerning God’s creation of Jesus) 4:171; 21:91; 66:12 (concerning Jesus as the manifestation of God’s Spirit). Cf. too 3:59; 15:29; 38:72; 21:91; 66:12 (apropos Adam and Jesus). I shall examine these passages in the next chapter. 26 Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (2 vols.; Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1971–4) 2:41. It is from Pelikan, too, that I take the expression “theology of the indwelling Logos.” “The man whom the Logos had assumed as his temple and dwelling,” he writes, “was the Second Adam, made sinless by the grace of God. It was this assumed man, and not the indwelling Logos, who had been crucified”; cf. the reference to Jesus’s death in Q 4:153–9, which may be read in this way contra its traditional interpretation in (and outside) Islam (see Neal Robinson, “Jesus,” in Encycopledia of the Qur’ān, ed. J. D. McAuliffe [6 vols.; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2001–6] 3:17–20; Gabriel Said Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus: Dead or Alive?” BSOAS 72.2 : 237–58). On the hitherto overlooked quranic (crypto-)representation of Jesus as the Second Adam, see my comments on Q 15:29; 38:72; 21:91; 66:12 in Chapter 3. 27 According to the latter, Christ is one “person” (Syr. ܦܪܣܘܦـܐparsōpā; Gk. πρόσοπον prosōpon) with two “natures” (Syr. ܟܝܢܐkyanē, sing. ܟܝܢܐkyanā; Gk. φύσεις physeis, sing. φύσις physis), one divine and the other one human, to which therefore correspond two “individual manifestations” (Syr. ܩܢܘ�ܡܐqnōmē, sing. ܩܢܘ�ܡܐqnōmā; the Gk. ὑπσότασεις hypostaseis, sing. ὑπσότασις hypostasis, has a slightly different and more complex meaning, as it denotes both the “substance,” i.e. the “underlying reality” of something and “what actually exists”; see in this respect Christopher Stead, Philosophy in Christian Antiquity [Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994] 176). This approach clearly differs from the Chalcedonian (one person and one substance, but two natures), whose foundations were laid in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and which represents a less-straightforward type of Diphysitism (the theological view that Christ has “two” natures), as much as it differs from the Miaphysite or West Syrian (one person, one single nature, and hence one single manifestation of such nature). Syriac Christians – be they Miaphysites or Diphysites – regarded Chalcedonian Christology, moreover, as being politically dangerous and theoretically untenable, for it represented the Christology of the foreign Greek-speaking Byzantine Church and proved ultimately inconsistent according to their own doctrinal principles (there cannot be two natures in Christ and one The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 7 Qur’ān reflects the East-Diphysite premise that the earthly Jesus is only a man, and therefore labels him “the Messiah, son of Mary,” instead of Son of God – a title that intriguingly echoes too, in chiastic fashion, the East-Diphysite claim according to which Mary is the “Bearer/Mother of the Messiah” (Gk. Χριστοτόκος Christotokos) instead of the “Bearer/Mother of God” (Gk. Θεοτόκος Theotokos), as Chalcedonians and Miaphysites (alike in this case) conversely sustain(ed).28 Furthermore, as I shall argue in Chapter 5, affirming that the Qur’ān leaves no room to the divinity of God’s Word would amount to an oversimplification of its message. Emphasising as Zaehner does, therefore, the apparent connections existing between the Christology of the Qur’ān and the Christology of the EastSyrian Church, is in my opinion, pace Leirvik – and, again, in spite of Zaehner’s own religious views – anything but improper. Additionally, the meaningfulness of Zaehner’s comments cannot be limited to the comparative study of religion, for even if the Qur’ān would become in the late 7th-century the “sacred book,” i.e. the textual marker of a new religious community, the documents collected in it (not to speak of the earliest redactional layers of such documents!) resist any clear-cut religious definition.29 Henri Michaud and the Hypothesis of a Jewish-Christian Influence on the Qur’ān The next study after Masson’s and Zaehner’s was Henri Michaud’s Jésus selon le Coran in 1960.30 Michaud’s purpose was to undertake a comprehensive survey of the quranic Jesus-texts and to foster a climate of mutual understanding and tolerance among Christians and Muslims. In addition, he ventured a rather bold hypothesis, namely that Muḥammad’s views of Jesus were influenced by Jewish-Christianity. This contention had already been made inter alios by Adolf von Harnack and Hans-Joachim Schoeps31 but presents several sole manifestation for both, claimed the Diphysites of East Syria and present-day Iraq; and vice versa: there cannot be one only substance and two natures, the Miaphysites of West Syria, the Coptic-speaking Miaphysites of Egypt, and the Gǝ‘ǝz-speaking Miaphysites of Ethiopia, affirmed in turn). 28 For a more thorough cross-examination of the Christology of the Qur’ān and that of the Church of the East, see chapters 4 and 5. 29 In short, it would be anachronistic to view the Qur’ān as a deposit of Islamic doctrine or theologoumena; see the Conclusion to this book. 30 Henri Michaud, Jésus salon le Coran (CTh 46; Neuchatel: Delachaux et Niestlé, 1960). 31 See Guy G. Stroumsa, “Jewish Christianity and Islamic Origins,” in Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts: Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, ed. Behnam Sadeghi, Asad Q. Ahmed, Adam Silverstein, and Robert G. Hoyland (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015) 72–96. 8 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus problems. First, as Guy Stroumsa aptly notes, “our documentation on Jewish Christian communities rarely goes beyond the fourth century.”32 Secondly, “the precise mechanisms through which ideas [were] transmitted [into the Qur’ān] are too little known”33 to draw a clear-cut conclusion as to the direct influence of Jewish-Christian motifs upon formative Islam. Thirdly, as Matt Jackson-McCabe and Daniel Boyarin persuasively argue, the category “Jewish Christianity” is inherently problematic, inasmuch as it is too theological and too anachronistic.34 It would make little sense, for instance, to distinguish between pagan- (i.e. Pauline) and Jewish (i.e. non-Pauline) Christians within the early Jesus’s movement. We should rather talk of Christ-believing Jews as a subtype of Messianic- and/or Apocalyptic- and/or Enochic Jews,35 and consequently distinguish between (a) the Christ-believing Jews that accepted Paul’s 32 Stroumsa, “Jewish Christianity and Islamic Origins,” 76. A fact that Mustafa Akyol’s recent book The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017) and Dominique Bernard’s likewise recent monograph Les disciples juifs de Jésus du Ier siècle à Mahomet: Recherches sur le mouvement ébionite (Paris: Cerf, 2017) – as well as paradoxically Stroumsa himself – seem to overlook. 33 Stroumsa, “Jewish Christianity and Islamic Origins,” 90. 34 “Two critical if typically unspoken assumptions,” writes Jackson-McCabe, “undergird this notion of a Jewish Christianity. The first is that, even if the name itself had not yet been coined, a religion that can usefully be distinguished from Judaism as Christianity was in fact in existence immediately in the wake of Jesus’ death, if not already within his own lifetime. The second is that those ancient groups who seem from our perspective to sit on the borderline between Judaism and Christianity are nonetheless better understood as examples of the latter” (Matt Jackson-McCabe, “What’s in a Name? The Problem of ‘Jewish Christianity’,” in Jewish Christianity Reconsidered: Rethinking Ancient Groups and Texts, ed. Matt Jackson-McCabe [Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007], 7–38, p. 29). In turn, Boyarin highlights that “everything that has traditionally been identified as Christianity in particular existed in some non-Jesus [Jewish] movements of the first century and later as well,” and that “there is no nontheological or non anachronistic way way at all to distinguish Christianity from Judaism until institutions are in place that make and enforce this distinction, and even then we know precious little about what the nonelite and nonchatering classes were thinking or doing” (Daniel Boyarin, “Rethinking Jewish Christianity: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious Category [to which is Appended a Correction of my Border Lines],” JQR 99.1 (2009): 7–37, p. 28). On the late partings of the ways between “Christianity” and “Judaism,” see Daniel Boyarin, Border Lines: The Partition of Judaeo-Christianity (DRLAR; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). 35 On the interconnectedness of these categories, see e.g. Gabriele Boccaccini, Beyond the Essene Hypothesis: The Parting of the Ways between Qumran and Enochic Judaism (Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 1998); idem, Roots of Rabbinic Judaism: An Intellectual History, from Ezekiel to Daniel (Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2002); Gabriele Boccaccini, ed., Enoch and the Messiah Son of Man: Revisiting the Book of Parables (Grand Rapids, MI, and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2007). The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 9 original message of integrating the gentiles qua gentiles alongside Israel into the people of God; (b) the Christ-believing Jews, be they originally born Jews or proselytes, that opposed Paul’s message by claiming that the gentiles had to convert to Judaism; (c) the non-Jewish Christ-believers that sided with one or another of these options; and (d) the non-Jewish Christ-believers that refused to join Israel.36 Labelling the Christ-believing Jews that opposed Paul’s message as “Jewish Christians” implicitly deprives them of their Judaism/Jewishness and loses sight of the fact that Paul and those Jews who accepted his message were Christ-believing Jews as well. As for the period elapsing between the 1st and the 4th century, why should we uncritically assume the view of the Christian heresiologists that the non-Pauline Christ-believing Jews and the gentiles who joined them are to be considered as Christians instead of Jews? Should we not equate Christianity with the somewhat artificial and political achievement of the aforementioned d-group alone, and thus exclusively label as Christians the people belonging to it whatever its eventual subdivisions?37 Geoffrey Parrinder’s Theological Approach to the Quranic Jesus Like Zaehner’s, Masson’s, and Michaud’s books, Martin Pörksen’s Jesus in der Bibel und im Koran (1964) serves too an ecumenic purpose.38 I shall next briefly comment instead of Pörksen’s essay, therefore, Geoffrey Parrinder’s widespread monograph Jesus in the Qur’ān, which was published in 1965.39 As the author declares, he had his book “written primarily for readers in the Western world, the general public as well as students of theology and the comparative study of religions”,40 and his main purpose was to offer to such readers and to those Muslim readers who had asked for it “a modern and impartial study of the teaching of the Qur’ān about Jesus”41 which was wanting at that time. 36 See further Gabriele Boccaccini and Carlos A. Segovia, eds., Paul the Jew: Rethinking the Apostle as a Figure of Second Temple Judaism (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2016). 37 On the making of Christianity see once more Boyarin, Border Lines. On the subdivisions of “Jewish Christianity,” Simon Claude Mimouni, Le judéo-christianisme ancien. Essays historiques, Préface par André Caquot (Patrimoines; Paris: Cerf, 1998). 38 Martin Pörksen, Jesus in der Bibel und im Koran (Bad Salzuflen, Germany: MBK, 1964). 39 Geoffrey Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’ān (London: Faber and Faber, 1965; 2nd ed., Oxford: Oneworld, 1995). 40 Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’ān, 9. 41 Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’ān, 9. 10 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Ultimately, however, Parrinder’s approach is strongly and unambiguously theological: This is a study of religion – he writes – and it presupposes sympathy with religious faith. The old idea that only an agnostic could write impartially is less popular now than in the last century, for it is realized that one who regards religion as superstition may well be biased and cannot hope to discover the inner spirit of religion or command the attention of believers. It is noteworthy that some of the most eminent modern writers on Islam in English, French and German are Christians who approach Islam as a kindred religion. But many academic scholars are interested chiefly in linguistic or historical matters, and questions of theology tend to get left aside for lack of interest or competence. When the theologian enters this field he [sic!] must try to follow academic discipline, apply its standards in the examination of texts and teachings, yet bring out the meaning and importance of religion. . . . The interest of this book is chiefly theological, and so questions of textual criticism, a subject particularly delicate for Muslims, have largely been left aside.42 Questions of textual criticism should be paid special attention and sympathy with religious faith be entirely left aside, nevertheless, when writing from a historical perspective, which is absolutely necessary, in turn, to understand what the Qur’ān says about Jesus regardless of the way(s) in which Muslim and/or Christian believers may interpret it – on which we now have Roger Arnaldez’s,43 Neal Robinson’s,44 Maurice Borrmans,45 Tarif Khalidi’s,46 Mark Beaumont’s,47 Paul-Gordon Chandler’s,48 Oddbjørn Leirvik’s,49 and Mona Siddiqui’s50 excellent essays.51 42 Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur’ān, 9–10. 43 Roger Arnaldez, Jésus, fils de Marie, prophète de l’Islam (Paris: Desclée, 1980). 44 Neal Robinson, Christ in Islam and Christianity (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1991). 45 Maurice Borrmans, Jésus et les Musulmans d’aujourd’hui (Paris: Desclée, 1996). 46 Tarif Khalidi, The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature (Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 2001). 47 I. Mark Beaumont, Christology in Dialogue with Muslims: A Critical Analysis of Christian Presentations of Christ for Muslims from the Ninth and Twentieth Centuries (Foreword by David Thomas; Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 2005). 48 Paul-Gordon Chandler, Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslim Road: Exploring a New Path between Two Faiths (Lanham, MD, and Plymouth, UK: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007). 49 Leirvik, Images of Jesus Christ in Islam. 50 Mona Siddiqui, Christians, Muslims, and Jesus (New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2013). 51 See also Donald Wismer, The Islamic Jesus: An Annotated Bibliography of Sources in English and French (New York: Garland, 1977; reprinted in London and New York: Routledge, 2016), and Akyol’s aforementioned book on the Islamic Jesus, whose historical reconstruction of the quranic milieu remains, however, too conventional. The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 11 Put differently: commitment to the principles of secularism and the methods of historical-critical research needs to be unconditionally demanded from the historian of religious ideas qua historian, whose task is to unravel the eventual connections existing between a number of religious notions, texts, and practices, and to bring out their meaning and importance in the making of specific religious identities within specific social-political networks. Thus, Parrinder’s efforts to compare the quranic and Christian views of Jesus, as well as to approach them as much as possible without overlooking (unlike Masson) the difficulties inherent in such a task,52 present the inconvenience of privileging the religious beliefs of Muslims and Christians, and hence of two social collectives and their theologies, over the textual, discursive, and contextual analysis of the Qur’ān itself. Still, Parrinder’s book remains a very useful introduction to the study of the quranic Jesus. From Ali Merad to Heikki Räisänen’s Historical Interpretation Overall, Masson’s, Zaehner’s, Michaud, Pörksen and, to a lesser extent, Parrinder’s approaches may be labelled as “dialogical” in the sense that they mean to overcome the “polemical” and “missionary” nature of all previous inquiries into the quranic Jesus-figure and replace it with a less apologetic and thus more nuanced reading of the Qur’ān in dialogue with Christian theological representation(s) of Jesus-Christ.53 Similarly, Ali Merad’s “Le Christ selon le Coran” (1968)54 analyses the Qur’ān’s teaching on Jesus, which Merad takes to be authoritative and theologically coherent55 while at the same time epistemologically unclosed, in order to show that the sacred book of Islam encourages reflection on the part of Muslims and Christians alike concerning Jesus’s nature, mission, example, and death.56 52 See in this respect chapters 13 and 14 of Parrinder’s book, pp. 126–41. 53 Cf. Heikki Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān: Reflections from a Biblical Scholar,” MW 70 (1980): 122–33; Leirvik, Images of Jesus Christ in Islam, 28. 54 Ali Merad, “Le Christ selon le Coran,” ROMM 5 (1968): 79–94; English translation: “Christ According to the Qur’ān,” Encounters 69 (1980): 2–17. 55 See the comments made below apropos Räisänen’s assumptions and method. 56 “Certes, le Coran pose des vérités de foi, au sujet du Christ,” he writes. “Mais sa visée fondamentale, à cet égard, semble être de provoquer la réflexion humaine, plutôt que de fournir les ultimes réponses. . . . Dès lors,” he adds, “comment ne pas souhaiter, qu’à l’ère du Concile [Vatican II (on which see above the comments on Masson’s book)], et à la faveur du thème essentiel du Christ, une volonté du dialogue puisse animer de plus en plus Chrétiens et Musulmans, dans une souci de compréhension réciproque, et de mutuel apaisement” (Merad, “Le Christ selon le 12 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Conversely, Heikki Räisänen’s Das Koranische Jesusbild (1971)57 represents a remarkably original attempt – indeed the first one ever carried out – to evaluate the precise scope of the quranic Jesus passages in light of their own differential context, which, the author claims, must be taken into account as the only possible horizon in any scholarly exploration of the quranic Jesus: “Every detail in the Qur’ān, whatever its origin may be, must be interpreted in the light of the new qur’ānic context. The Qur’ān must be explained by the Qur’ān and not by anything else. . . . No matter what the Christians meant, for instance, when they spoke of Jesus as the ‘Word’ of God, for the point of view of the Qur’ān the only relevant question is: ‘What could Muḥammad possibly mean by that expression in the context of his total view?’ Seen against the background of Muḥammad’s theology as a whole, the Qur’anic portrait of Jesus stands out as coherent and clear.”58 For “the dangers inherent in the dialogical approach are those of superficiality and anachronism,” writes Räisänen.59 Therefore, he adds, “[a]gainst all dialogical claims it should be emphasized that a knowledge of the NT is not at all necessary for an understanding of the Qur’ān in its historical setting.”60 Yet Räisänen’s “historical” method61 presents its own problems, as well. First, the quranic context is anything but clear. As I have written elsewhere, it is . . . difficult to know what precisely the Qur’ān is and when it acquired its present form. Testimonies about its different versions/recensions are well documented in the Islamic sources themselves; so too are reports about its textual additions and suppressions and the date of its alleged “Uthmanic” collection. Likewise, its origins are far from Coran,” 93). On human hope and fulfilment as “[le] thème essentiel du Christ,” see Merad, “Le Christ selon le Coran,” 92. 57 Heikki Räisänen, Das Koranische Jesusbild: Ein Beitrag zur Theologie des Korans (SFGMO 20; Helsinki: Finnischen Gesellschaft für Missiologie und Ökumenik, 1971). See also idem, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” which summarises the arguments put forward in Das Koranische Jesusbild. 58 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 124. 59 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 123. 60 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 123. E.g. Räisänen underlines that even if undoubtedly the title “Word” in Q 4:171 “goes back to the Christian use of Logos as a Christological title . . . it is just as clear that Muḥammad did not take over the specific Christian meaning of that term. In the context mentioned,” he explains, “the title seems to refer to the manner of Jesus’ birth by the power of God’s creative word of command. Jesus is God’s ‘Word,’ but certainly not in the sense of the Christian Logos. It is futile to engage in a dialogue on this point in an attempt to Christianize the language of the Qur’ān,” he therefore concludes (Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 127). 61 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 123. The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 13 clear. Recent scholarship on the Qur’ān shows that its alleged unity, background, and chronology posit many problems if approached from a historical-critical perspective, thus highlighting questions long overlooked in the interpretation of the Muslim scripture, such as: “What layers does it contain and how should they be studied?” “Which was their original character and function?” “What complex redactional process did they undergo?” “Which specific historical/cultural settings must one have in mind when addressing these issues?”62 Secondly, projecting onto it the “data” provided in the 9th and 10th centuries by the Islamic tradition would be not only anachronistic, but also immensely naïve, as many of such “data” – beginning with those “collected” in Ibn Hišām’s biography (sīra) of Muḥammad – served the purpose of establishing a new Heilsgeschichte or “salvation history,” rather than a history in the proper (modern) sense.63 Thus, for instance, the connection between Muḥammad and the Qur’ān proves ultimately problematic, as I have elsewhere highlighted too: the quranic prophetical logia go back to a prophet, and it is very likely that such a prophet was no other than Muḥammad himself. But it is nonetheless important to acknowledge that he is only named in the Qur’ān four/five times (Q 3:144; 33:40; 47:2; 48:29; and 61:6 as Aḥmad). Now, these verses may well be later interpolations, as David Powers has recently suggested apropos Q 33:40;64 but even if they are not, they cannot be read as providing an absolute clue to the character who is anonymously addressed in the quranic corpus as (merely) “you,” unless one assumes that the Qur’ān is a uniform text containing only Muḥammad’s ipssima verba65 . . . To put it differently, from a purely literary standpoint . . . the Qur’ān mostly remains . . . an anonymous document. Moreover, how can we be sure that there is only one prophet behind the prophetical logia contained in the quranic corpus? The fact is that we cannot, even if we pretend otherwise; for again, such a reduction would imply reading the Qur’ān in light of the Muslim tradition, which [is] for the historian of late-antique religion as problematic as reading the texts gathered in the New Testament in light of the Christian theological tradition [would be]. And yet there are hints in the quranic corpus itself that [suggest that there is a single prophet behind it] . . . 62 Carlos A. Segovia, The Quranic Noah and the Making of the Islamic Prophet: A Study of Intertextuality and Religious Identity Formation in Late Antiquity (JCIT 4; Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2015) 28. “To neglect these and other related issues,” I further added, “would be like explaining the emergence of the earliest Christ-believing groups by exclusively relying on the author of Luke-Acts . . . or like accepting the Mishnaic and Talmudic legends about Yavneh as the actual birthplace of rabbinic Judaism” (XV). 63 See Gordon D. Newby, The Making of the Last Prophet: A Reconstruction of the Earliest Biography of Muhammad (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989). 64 David Powers, Muḥammad Is Not the Father of Any of Your Men: The Making of the Last Prophet (DRLAR; Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). 65 On which see Herbert Berg, “Context: Muḥammad,” in The Blackwell Companion to the Qur’ān, ed. Andrew Rippin (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006) 187–204. 14 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus So I am not claiming here that there actually are several quranic prophets instead of just one. However, for coherence’s sake, I think it is necessary to . . . distinguish between the quranic prophet and Muḥammad as two literary figures and to understand that the prophetical logia of the Qur’ān are a puzzle that we still need to work out in some very crucial aspects. [Therefore] I [shall] denominate the prophet repeatedly alluded to in the Qur’ān as “the quranic prophet,” without further qualification, and Ibn Hišām’s literary hero as “Muḥammad.”66 That is to say, theoretically speaking Räisänen’s approach is perfectly valid,67 but it fails to achieve its goal in the practice, in so far as it takes too much for granted concerning what we (wrongly) presume to know about the Qur’ān and its prophet.68 This notwithstanding, Räisänen makes an unquestionably interesting point. Comparing the Qur’ān with the New Testament,69 he observes that the clearest parallels to the former’s subordinationist Christology are to be found in Luke 9:20 and Acts 3:18 (where Jesus is described as “God’s messiah”);70 Acts 2:22 (where he is portrayed as a “man” fully dependent on God); and Acts 3:13, 18 (where he is, in turn, depicted as “God’s servant”): “Luke gives us a Christology characterized by the emphatic subordination of Jesus to God. Whereas the rest of the NT uses the title ‘Christ’ absolutely, Luke speaks of Jesus as God’s Christ (Acts 3:18, Lk 9:20, etc.). Jesus is God’s servant (Acts 3:13, 4:27) and Chosen One (Lk 9:35, Acts 3:20). His mighty acts were in fact worked by God through him (Acts 2:22), for God was with him (Acts 10:38).”71 I shall return in due time to these considerations. In the meantime, suffice it to say that – as Leirvik correctly notes – John 20:17, with its reference to “my Father and your Father, my God and your God” placed on Jesus’s own lips, ought to be incorporated to the list too (cf. the analogous expression “my Lord and your Lord” in Q 3:51; 19:36; 43:64).72 66 Segovia, The Quranic Noah and the Making of the Islamic Prophet, 16–17. 67 In fact, chapters 3, 4, and 5 in this book aim at providing it a new conceptual framework. 68 “The Qur’ān,” states for instance Räisänen, “is a single book . . . [in which] we can study the religious experience of a single individual within a relatively short period of time” (Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 132). See for discussion the Conclusion to the present study. 69 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 127–9. 70 See further Chapter 3 below. 71 Räisänen, “The Portrait of Jesus in the Qur’ān,” 127–8. 72 Leirvik, Images of Jesus Christ in Islam, 28. The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 15 Giuseppe Rizzardi, Claus Schedl, and Günther Risse I should now like to refer to Giuseppe Rizzardi’s, Claus Schedl’s, and Günther Risse’s studies, which came out in the 1970s and 1980s. Rizzardi73 offers a detailed survey of the approaches to the Christology of the Qur’ān essayed by Catholic theologians, from Peter the Venerable, Guglielmo of Tripoli and John of Wales (12th and 13th centuries) to modern times. In turn, in his monograph Muhammad und Jesus74 Claus Schedl undertakes an exhaustive analysis of the quranic Jesus-texts while simultaneously exploring what he believes to be the arithmetic pattern underlying several quranic sūra-s, which needs to be connected, he claims, with the numerical value of the word Λόγος Logos now applied to the Qur’ān itself instead of Christ;75 additionally, he contends that the denial that “God is the messiah” in Q 5:17 is reminiscent of a “Nestorian” text of the mid-6th century76 and that, far from discussing Jesus’s divine sonship as such, the earliest quranic layers question the more general notion of divine begetting alone77 – I shall return in due course to these arguments, as well.78 Besides, Schedl published in 1987 an article comparing the number of chapters in the quranic corpus and the number of Jesus’s logia in the Gospel of Thomas, which amount in both cases to 114;79 as Neal Robinson aptly observes, Schedl’s claim that the suras are constructed in accordance with arithmetical models is more problematic. He resorts to too many different models for his analyses to be entirely convincing. . . . Nevertheless the fact that the number of suras in the Qur’an is the same as the number of logia in the Gospel of Thomas suggests that arithmetic symbolism may have played some part in the final editing of the revelations if not in their initial composition.80 73 Giuseppe Rizzardi, Il problema della cristologia coranica: storia dell’ermeneutica cristiana (Milan: Istituto Propaganda Libraria, 1982). 74 Claus Schedl, Muhammad und Jesus:Die christologisch relevanten Texte des Korans, neu übersetz und erlärkt (Vienna, Freiburg, and Basel: Herder, 1978). 75 I shall go back to this argument in Chapter 5. See for discussion Neal Robinson, Christ in Islam and Christianity, 38–40. 76 Schedl, Muhammad und Jesus, 531. 77 Schedl, Muhammad und Jesus, 329. 78 See Chapter 5. 79 Claus Schedl, “Die 114 Suren des Koran und die 114 Logien Jesu im Thomas-Evangelium,” Der Islam 64.2 (1987): 261–4. 80 Robinson, Christ in Islam and Christianity, 40. 16 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Lastly, Günther Risse’s 1989 study on the figure of Jesus in the Qur’ān and its historical religious background81 makes the case that the Qur’ān’s theology is specifically addressed against an extreme variant form of “Monophysite” Christianity.82 I shall come back to Risse’s argument later on too.83 Neal Robinson’s Comparative Study on Christ in Islam and Christianity Less audacious but not less ambitious than Risse’s and Schedl’s is Neal Robinson’s widely acclaimed book Christ in Islam and Christianity,84 whose first chapter outlines the major traits of the quranic Jesus and whose subsequent pages examine the classical Muslim commentaries and the traditional Christian responses to the quranic representation of Jesus, with special emphasis on the topic of Jesus’s crucifixion, which furthermore has attracted considerable attention in the past two decades, with important studies by Todd Lawson,85 Gabriel Said Reynolds,86 and Suleiman Mourad.87 Also, in 2003 Robinson contributed to Jane Dammen McAuliffe’s Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān with a lengthy entry on the quranic Jesus.88 Mention must be also made, to end with, of Roberto Tottoli’s I profeti biblici nella tradizione islamica (1999),89 which dedicates a few pages to the examination of the quranic Jesus; Édouard-Marie Gallez’s Le messie et son prophète 81 Günther Risse, “Gott ist Christus, der Sohn der Maria”: Eine Studie zum Christusbild im Koran (Bonn: Borengässer, 1989). 82 Risse, “Gott ist Christus, der Sohn der Maria,” 217. 83 See once more Chapter 5. 84 See n.43 above. See also idem, “Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Jesus in the Qur’ān,” in Fundamentalism and Tolerance: An Agenda for Theology and Society, ed. Andrew Linzey and Peter J. Wexler (London: Bellew, 1991) 92–105, 171–172. 85 Todd Lawson, “The Crucifixion of Jesus in the Qur’ān and Quranic Commentary: A Historical Survey, Part I,” BHMIIS 10.2 (1991): 34–62; idem, “The Crucifixion of Jesus in the Qur’ān and Quranic Commentary: A Historical Survey, Part II,” BHMIIS 10.3 (1991): 6–40; idem, The Crucifixion and the Qur’an: A Study in the History of Muslim Thought (Oxford: Oneworld, 2009). 86 Gabriel Said Reynolds, “The Muslim Jesus: Dead or Alive?,” BSOAS 72.2 (2009): 237–58. 87 Suleiman A. Mourad, “The Qur’ān and Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death,” in New Perspectives on the Qur’ān: The Qur’ān in Its Historical Context 2, ed. Gabriel Said Reynolds (RSQ; London and New York: Routledge, 2011) 349–57. 88 Neal Robinson, “Jesus,” in Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe (6 vols.; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2001–6) 3:7–21. 89 Roberto Tottoli, I profeti biblici nella tradizione islamica (Brescia: Paideia, 1999); English translation by Michael Robertson, Biblical Prophets in the Qur’ān and Muslim Literature (RSQ; London and New York: Routledge, 2002). The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 17 (2005),90 which following partly Michaud and intensely relying, moreover, on Patricia Crone and Michael Cook’s Hagarism91 labels the Qur’ān’s Christology as Jewish-Christian;92 and, finally, Oddbjørn Leirvik’s aforementioned volume Images of Jesus Christ in Islam, which includes a brief section on the quranic Jesus and its ongoing study in the second half of the 20th century; yet Leirvik suitably highlights some of the grammatical problems susceptible of being taken into consideration in the analysis of the Qur’ān’s Jesus passages and their literary character. Addendum. Investigations on the Emergence of Islam and 7th-Century Near-East Christianity Without specifically focussing on the study of the quranic Jesus, other authors have explored – be it explicitly or implicitly – the links that can be traced between emergent Islam, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, 7th-century Christians and Christianity. I am thinking here for instance – to mention but the main titles thereof – of Louis Cheikho’s Le christianisme et la littérature chrétienne en Arabie avant l’islam (1912–23),93 Tor Andrae’s Der Ursprung des Islams und das Christentum (1926),94 Richard Bell’s The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment (1926),95 François Nau’s Les arabes chrétiens de Mésopotamie et de Syrie du vie au viie siècle (1933),96 Henri Charles’s Le christianisme des arabes nomades sur le limes et dans le désert syro-mésopotamien aux alentours de l’hégire (1936),97 Josef Henninger’s “Christentum im vorislamischen Arabien” (1948),98 Günter Lüling’s 90 Édouard-Marie Gallez, Le messie et son prophète. Aux origines de l’islam (2 vols.; Versailles: Éditions de Paris, 2005). 91 Patricia Crone and Michael Cook, Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic Word (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977). 92 See above my discussion of Michaud’s monograph, as well as the Conclusion to the present study concerning the interpretation(s) of emergent Islam as a Jewish-Christian movement. 93 Louis Cheikho’s Le christianisme et la littérature chrétienne en Arabie avant l’islam (3 vols.; Beirut: Imprimerie Catholique, 1912–23; 2nd ed., Beirut: Dar el-Machreq, 1989). 94 See n.20 above. 95 Richard Bell, The Origin of Islam in Its Christian Environment (London: Macmillan, 1926; reprinted in London and New York: Routledge, 2012). 96 François Nau, Les arabes chrétiens de Mésopotamie et de Syrie du vie au viie siècle (CSA; Paris: Imprimerie National, 1933). 97 Henri Charles, Le christianisme des arabes nomads sur le limes et dans le désert syromésopotamien aux alentours de l‘hégire (BEHE; Paris: Leroux, 1936). 98 Josef Henninger, “Christentum im vorislamischen Arabien,” NZM 4 (1948): 222–4. 18 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus Über den Ur-Koran (1974),99 J. Spencer Trimingham’s Christianity among the Arabs in pre-Islamic Times (1979),100 Alfred Havenith’s Les arabes chrétiens nomads au temps de Mohammed (1988),101 Robert Schick’s The Christian Communities of Palestine from Byzantine to Islamic Rule (1995),102 Irfan Shahîd’s Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century (1995–2002),103 Meir Jacob Kister’s Concepts and Ideas at the Dawn of Islam (1997),104 Christoph Luxenberg’s Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache (2000),105 Sidney H. Griffith’s “Christians and Christianity [in the Qur’ān]” (2001),106 David Marshall’s “Christianity in the Qur’ān” (2001),107 Stephen Shoemaker’s “Christmas in the Qur’ān” (2003),108 Theresia Heinthaler’s Christliche Araber vor dem Islam (2007),109 Jane Dammen McAuliffe’s Qur’ānic Christians (2007),110 Guillaume Dye’s “Lieux saints communs, partagés ou confisqués” (2012),111 Haggai Mazuz’s 99 Günter Lüling, Über den Ur-Qur’ān: Ansätze zur Rekonstruktion vorislamischer christlicher Strophenlieder im Qur’ān (Erlangen: Lüling, 1974; 2nd ed., 1993); English translation, A Challenge to Islam for Reformation: The Rediscovery and Reliable Reconstruction of a Comprehensive pre-Islamic Christian Hymnal Hidden in the Koran under Earliest Islamic Reinterpretations (Delhi: Banarsidass, 2003). 100 J. Spencer Trimingham Christianity among the Arabs in pre-Islamic Times (London: Longman; Beirut: Librairie du Liban, 1979). 101 Alfred Havenith, Les arabes chrétiens nomads au temps de Mohammed, Préface de Julien Ries (CCL; Louvain-la-Neuve: Centre d’Histoire des Religions, 1988). 102 Robert Schick, The Christian Communities of Palestine from Byzantine to Islamic Rule: A Historical and Archaeological Study (SLAEI; Princeton, NJ: Darwin, 1995). 103 Irfan Shahîd, Byzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century (2 vols.; DORLC; Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 1995–2002). 104 Meir Jacob Kister, Concepts and Ideas at the Dawn of Islam (VCS; Aldershot, IK: Ashgate/ Variorum, 1997). 105 Christoph Luxenberg, Die syro-aramäische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschlüsselung der Koransprache The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran (Berlin: Schiler, 2000; 3rd ed., 2003); English translation, The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran (Berlin: Schiler, 2007). 106 Sidney H. Griffith, “Christians and Christianity [in the Qur’ān],” in Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān, ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe, 1:307–16. 107 David Marshall, “Christianity in the Qur’ān,” in Islamic Interpretations of Christianity, ed. Lloyd Ridgeon (London and New York: Routledge, 2001) 3–29. 108 Stephen J. Shoemaker, “Christmas in the Qur’ān: The Qur’ānic Account of Jesus’ Nativity and Palestinian Local Tradition,” JSAI 28 (2003): 11–39. 109 Theresia Heinthaler, Christliche Araber vor dem Islam: Verbreitung und konfessionelle Zugehörigkeit: eine Hinführung (ECS 7; Leuven: Peeters, 2007). 110 See n.8 above. 111 Guillaume Dye, “Lieux saints communs, partagés ou confisqués : aux sources de quelques péricopes coraniques (Q 19 : 16–33)”, in Partage du sacré: transferts, dévotions mixtes, rivalités The Study of the Quranic Jesus between the 1830s and Now 19 “Christians in the Qur’ān” (2012),112 Jan Van Reeth’s “Melchisédech le Prophète éternel selon Jean d’Apamée et le monarchianisme musulman” (2012),113 Muriel Debié’s “Les controverses miaphysites en Arabie et le Coran” (2015),114 and Greg Fisher and Philip Wood’s “Arabs and Christianity” (2015).115 Works dealing with the connections existing between formative Islam and 7th-century Near-Eastern Christianity differ on their scope and purpose as much as they do on their method. Yet two contrasting approaches, and a relative progression from one to another – which precludes neither exceptions nor the reversibility of what remains only a general tendency – can be easily discerned over the past decades: thus, while some early studies aim at deciphering the hypothetical influence of various “heterodox” Christian groups on Muḥammad’s religious views,116 more recent studies often attempt to unravel the ways in which Christian ideas may have made their way into the quranic corpus in the first decades of the Arab take-over of the Fertile Crescent.117 Thereby the scholarly emphasis, too, has gradually shifted from a more or less speculative inquiry into the Arabian prophet’s religious milieu to a historical-critical exploration of the Qur’ān’s latest redactional layers and their plausible setting.118 Arguably, reluctance to positively interconfessionnelles, ed. Isabelle Depret and Guillaume Dye (Brussels-Fernelmont: EME, 2012) 55–121. 112 Haggai Mazuz, “Christians in the Qur’ān: Some Insights Derived from the Classical Exegetical Approach,” SO 112 (2012): 41–53. 113 Jan M. F. Van Reeth, “Melchisédech le Prophète éternel selon Jean d’Apamée et le monarchianisme musulman,” OC 96 (2012): 8–46. 114 Muriel Debié, “Les controverses miaphysites en Arabie et le Coran,” in Les controverses religieuses en syriaque, ed. Flavia Ruani (ES 13; Paris: Geuthner, 2015) 137–56. 115 Greg Fisher and Philip Wood (with contributions from George Bevan, Geoffrey Greatrex, Basema Hamarneh, Peter Schadler, and Walter Ward), “Arabs and Christianity,” in Arabs and Empires before Islam, ed. Greg Fisher (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015) 276–372. 116 Therefore echoing John of Damascus’s early description of Islam as a Christian “heresy,” on which see Gilles Courtieu, “La threskeia des Ismaélites Etude de la première définition synthétique de l’islam par Jean de Damas,” in Hérésies: une construction d’identités religieuses, ed. Christian Brouwer, Guillaume Dye, and Anja van Rompaey (Brussels: Éditions de l’Université de Bruxelles, 2015) 105–260. 117 See e.g. Shoemaker and Dye aforementioned essays. 118 See e.g. Guillaume Dye, “The Qur’ān and its Hypertextuality in Light of Redaction Criticism,” forthcoming in Early Islam: The Religious Milieu of Late Antiquity, ed. Guillaume Dye (LAMINE; Chicago: Chicago Oriental Institute). Van Reeth, “Melchisédech le Prophète éternel selon Jean d’Apamée et le monarchianisme musulman,” represents a remarkable exception: “Selon la théologie biblique,” he writes, “Dieu parle par la bouche des prophètes. Le prophète est « le héraut de Yahweh, qui proclame les paroles que Dieu lui suggère ». À cette fin, Dieu établit une relation toute particulière, directe et personnelle, avec son prophète élu, lui mettant 20 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus delimit the former given the lack of reliable information that we have about it has played a determinant role in this gradual shift.119 Purpose and Argument of this Book, with a Note on the Notion of “Symptomatic Reading” Three Preliminary Notions: Polyphony, Periphery, Hypertextuality Whatever the date of the Jesus passages contained in the Qur’ān – an issue that I will examine at some length in Chapter 4 – limiting the Christian, if peripheral, trimmings of formative (i.e. pre-Marwanid) Islam120 to, roughly, the second half of the 7th century, is however, as I hope to show in this book, unnecessary – and a littéralement et pour ainsi dire physiquement ses paroles dans la bouche, tout en pénétrant son âme, en prenant possession de l’esprit de son serviteur. Cependant, la vocation prophétique garde toujours un caractère éphémère et non-substantiel; elle ne semble en rien changer la nature du prophète, qui reste celle d’un simple être humain, mortel et faillible.Diamétralement opposée à cette prophétologie juive est la révélation personnifiée telle qu’elle est professée par le christianisme orthodoxe, qui voit en Jésus Christ l’incarnation du Logos, de la Parole divine créatrice. Or, il existe une forme épiphanique de la révélation qui se situe entre ces deux extrêmes. . . . la prophétologie musulmane originelle, telle qu’elle se dégage de plus en plus des recherches récentes concernant la formation du Coran et les origines de l’Islam, semble bien représenter une troisième voie, à mi-chemin entre la tradition prophétique vétérotestamentaire et la christologie officielle des Églises. C’est cette prophétologie et la tradition exégétique qui l’accompagne que nous voulons analyser. Elle repose sur un principe prophétique éternel et divin, qui en chaque génération s’incarne dans la personne des prophètes successifs. Nous voulons . . . essayer de retrouver les racines de cette prophétologie dans le Coran et d’en retracer les sources, ce qui devrait nous permettre . . . de déterminer de façon plus précise la religion monothéiste, chrétienne ›hétérodoxe‹, dont Muḥammad a pu être un adepte et qui semble avoir été présente sur le sol du Hedjaz depuis déjà quelques générations” (8–9). I shall return to Van Reth’s interpretation in Chapter 5. 119 Undeniably influential in this respect has been John Wansbrough’s The Sectarian Milieu: Contents and Composition of Islamic Salvation History (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1978; reprinted with a foreword, translation, and expanded notes by Gerald R. Hawting in Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2006). See further Herbert Berg, “The Needle in the Haystack: Islamic Origins and the Nature of the Early Sources,” in The Coming of the Comforter: When, Where, and to Whom? Studies on the Rise of Islam and Various Other Topics in Memory of John Wansbrough, ed. Carlos A. Segovia and Basil Lourié (OJC 3; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2012) 271–302; Françoise Micheau, Les débuts de l’islam. Jalons pour one nouvelle histoire (Paris: Téraèdre, 2012), ch. 3. 120 On the Marwanid beginnings of Islam see Micheau, Les débuts de l’islam, ch. 7; Carlos A. Segovia, “Identity Politics and Scholarship in the Study of Islamic Origins: The Inscriptions of the Dome of the Rock as a Test Case,” forthcoming in Identity, Politics and the Study of Islam: Purpose and Argument of this Book 21 fortiori misguiding. For Christian ideas can be detected in the very earliest layers of the quranic corpus as well, and actually throughout all its redactional strata – these ideas are sometimes encrypted and sometimes visible, but I fear it is only our tendency to reduce Christianity to a few basic (often Jesus-centred) notions, together with our habit of taking Islam as a defined religious entity right from the start, that prevents us from recognising them. More precisely: the Qur’ān resembles an intricate polyphonic composition in which divergent theologies interact but whose basso continuo, at least till a certain point in the chronology of the document, is somewhat Christian whether we like it or not – which needless to say does not mean that Islam started as an intra-Christian phenomenon, let alone as a Christian “heresy.” It is rather the notion of periphery that I will advocate in the pages that follow.121 Intertextuality – or maybe it would be more accurate to speak of hypertextual122 ity – shall also be given a prominent role in this study, as the Qur’ān’s peculiar Christology does not only draw on a number of pre-existent, circulating ideas, but also sub-texts and inter-texts.123 And special attention needs to be paid too to the Qur’ān’s own intra-textuality, by which I mean the ways in which its successive textual layers witness to the elaboration and revision of particular ideas and their eventual substitution by new ones. I have earlier dealt with a number of overlapping intertextual trajectories present in the quranic corpus, including one relative to the quranic Jesus, against the background of religious identity formation in late antiquity. I have Current Dilemmas in the Study of Religions, ed. Matt Sheddy (CESIF; Sheffield, UK, and Bristol, CT: Equinox). 121 I have already used the terms “periphery” and “peripheral” in my essay “A Messianic Controversy behind the Making of Muḥammad as the Last Prophet?,” forthcoming in Early Islam: The Religious Milieu of Late Antiquity, ed. Guillaume Dye (LAMINE; Chicago: Chicago Oriental Institute) but originally presented to the 1st Nangeroni Meeting of the Early Islamic Studies Seminar in Milan in June of 2015, and where I put forward a hypothesis on the Christian background of emergent Islam that stresses the latter’s East-Diphysite components. See further chapters 4 and 5. 122 In the sense that the intertextual web in which the Qur’ān ought to be inscribed consists of so many threads pointing in so many directions that it forms a multilayered network. On the notion of “hypertextuality,” see Daniel Dubuisson, The Western Construction of Religion: Myths, Knowledge, and Ideology, translated by William Sayers (Baltimore, MD, and London: John Hopkins University Press, 2003) 32. 123 Cf. my brief analysis of the Adam narratives in Q 15:28–31 and 38:71–4 in “The Jews and Christians of Pre-Islamic Yemen (Ḥimyar) and the Elusive Matrix of the Qur’ān’s Christology,” in Jewish Christianity and Islamic Origins: Papers presented at the Eighth Annual ASMEA Conference (Washington DC, October 29–31, 2015), ed. Francisco del Río Sánchez (JAOC; Turnhout, BE: Brepols, 2018) 91–104, p. 94 n.14. 22 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus tried to prove, for instance, that the quranic portrayal of Jesus’s birth in Q 3:46 and 19:29–30 echoes the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy 1:2, which must in turn be read as an adaptation of a previous Noahic motif that goes back to the Second Temple Period and was later applied to Jesus in both the New Testament and the New Testament apocrypha.124 Originally set out in the Enochic corpus and other related writings as a kind of messianic symbol, this motif made its way well into late antique times and was reused in different contexts to describe Melchizedek, Jesus, and Moses alongside other related motifs that were likewise used to describe these and other figures. In short, the quranic portrayal of Jesus’s birth in Q 3:46 and 19:29–30 must be placed in an ongoing tradition of variant textual reinterpretations of a single motif whose ideological background is, however, much more complex. In turn, in my contribution to the volume in memory of John Wansbrough that I edited with Basil Lourié125 I explored the parabolic use of natural order as opposed to human disobedience in the prologue to the Book of the Watchers and its fragmentary quranic parallels, more specifically the quranic reuse of 1Enoch 1–5 for paraenetic purposes in Q 7:36; 10:6; 16:81; 24:41, 44, 46. Therefore, my intent was to place these seemingly unrelated quranic passages within a well-known and continuing intellectual tradition that goes back, once more, to the Second Temple Period, and of which one may find numerous textual examples in the prophetic, apocalyptic, and wisdom literature of that period; yet this required outlining the more probable source of its quranic instantiation, which in my view should be searched for in 1Enoch 1–5 (especially 2:1–5:4). I have devoted a third and somewhat more complex article to the symptomatic rereading of Q 56:1–56 in light of Apocalypse of Abraham.126 My purpose in it was not only to show that Q 56:1–56 draws almost verbatim on ApAb 21–2 (especially 21:7; 22:1, 3–5), but also that Paul’s Abrahamic argument as reinterpreted in an overtly supersessionary fashion by the Church is subliminally reused against the Jews in the quranic passage in order to lay the foundations of a new founding (and again supersessionary) myth – a new myth that is fully indebted, however, to the post-Pauline Jewish discussion of Paul’s Abrahamic argument in 124 Carlos A. Segovia, “Noah as Eschatological Mediator Transposed: From 2 Enoch 71–72 to the Christological Echoes of 1 Enoch 106:3 in the Qur’ān,” Henoch 33.1 (2011): 130–45; see also idem, The Quranic Noah and the Making of the Islamic Prophet, 21–7. 125 Carlos A. Segovia, “Thematic and Structural Affinities between 1 Enoch and the Qur’ān: A Contribution to the Study of the Judaeo-Christian Apocalyptic Setting of the Early Islamic Faith,” in The Coming of the Comforter: When, Where, and to Whom? Studies on the Rise of Islam and Various Other Topics in Memory of John Wansbrough, ed. Carlos A. Segovia and Basil Lourié, 231–67. 126 Carlos A. Segovia, “‘Those on the Right’ and ‘Those on the Left’: Rereading Qur’ān 56:1–56 (and the Founding Myth of Islam) in Light of Apocalypse of Abraham 21–2,” OC (2017): 197–211. Purpose and Argument of this Book 23 the Apocalypse of Abraham.127 Lastly, in my recent monograph on the quranic Noah narratives128 I have attempted to show that the quranic Noah narratives helped, first, to strengthen the eschatological credentials of the quranic prophet by means of a creative re-reading of several previous texts, including Ephraem’s and Narsai’s writings, and then facilitated the consensual model for Muḥammad’s sīra. My aim, in short, was to (re)place the Qur’ān at the crossroads of the conversations and controversies of old to which its Noah narratives witness and to symptomatically (re)read them in light of some of the events that they mirror or to which they provide a literary and conceptual framework, be they episodes in the life of an anonymous prophet, portions on the shaping of a new charismatic figure that not unexpectedly (albeit only provisionally) takes a number of messianic traits – from whence the title of its Afterword: “Re-imagining Muḥammad as a New Messiah” – or phases in the development of a new religious identity. Introducing the Argument of the Book and Its Parts In this book I look at the Qur’ān from an altogether different angle but with a similar lens. My overall purpose is to reread its Jesus passages in light of the Christological developments contemporary with the composition of the quranic corpus. Thus In Chapter 2 (“Jesus in the Quranic Corpus: Texts and Contexts”) I survey the quranic passages that mention Jesus, providing the reader with their text and translation, a summary of their content and context within the corpus, and a number of cross-references. In turn, in Chapter 3 (“Reassessing the Typology, and Date, and Ideology of the Jesus Passages – and Their Setting”) I try to move beyond the limits imposed by their conventional classification and dating. Thus I undertake a symptomatic reading of the quranic Jesus passages that attempts at disclosing their “buried problematic” through a careful examination of their rhetoric and imagery;129 a new, typological classification is the main 127 Carlos A. Segovia, “Discussing/subverting Paul: Polemical Re-readings and Competitive Supersessionist Misreadings of Pauline Inclusivism in Late Antiquity: A Case Study on the Apocalypse of Abraham, Justin Martyr, and the Qur’ān,” in Paul the Jew: A Conversation between Pauline and Second Temple Scholars, ed. Gabriele Boccaccini and Carlos A. Segovia (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2016) 341–61. 128 Segovia, The Quranic Noah and the Making of the Islamic Prophet. 129 The notion of “symptomatic reading” was coined in the mid-1960s by Louis Althusser in Lire le Capital, written in collaboration with Étienne Balibar, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey, and Jacques Rancière (TQ; Paris: Maspero, 1965; English translation by Ben Brewster, Reading Capital [London: New Left Books, 1970]). As John Thurston (from whom I take the expression “buried problematic”) writes, “[a]ccording to Althusser, Marx’s symptomatic reading of the 24 1 Introduction: Traditional Views and New Insights on the Quranic Jesus outcome of such reading, plus a tentative hypothesis concerning their underlying ideology, which turns from anti-Jewish to anti-Christian, and their plausible twofold setting in mid- to late-7th-century Palestine. Chapter 4 (“Moving Backwards: A Peripheral Form of Christianity?”) opens up a different venue by offering a new interpretation of the Qur’ān’s initial rejection of mainstream Christology in light of 6th-to-7th-century Yemenite- and East Syriac Christianity; additionally, I examine too the Qur’ān’s criticism of imperial ecclesiology. Next, in Chapter 5 (“From the Qur’ān’s Early Christology to the Elaboration of the Muhamadan Kerygma”) I analyse the transformation of the early Qur’ān’s Christology into a prophetical kerygma and a monotheistic creed. Like Daniel Beck, I understand the Qur’ān’s earliest Christology as the view that God’s Word is revealed to mankind by a heavenly messenger without substantive intermediation of any human prophet; like Jan Van Reeth,130 I take such heavenly messenger to be, moreover, both God’s own “epiphanic form” – as understood in the pre-Islamic esoteric traditions studied by Henry Corbin131 – and his Messiah. Also, I maintain that it is at a later stage in the composition of the quranic corpus that the figure of an initially anonymous prophet – whose name was afterwards deduced from his qualified title – is introduced as the exclusive recipient of God’s Word, and hence as God’s apostle at the expense of the heavenly messenger, who is conveniently transformed into something like the prophet’s occasional inspirer. Finally, the latter’s identification with the Paraclete announced by Jesus in John’s Gospel classical economists found that they were answering unposed questions dictated to them by the ideology within which they worked. In Capital Marx posed the questions behind the work of the classical political economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and thus broke with its ideological problematic. Since any new problematic must be formulated in terms carried over from the discarded problematic, Althusser reads Capital symptomatically in order to clarify in terms adequate to them the principles of its new problematic” (John Thurston, “Symptomatic Reading,” in Encyclopedia of Contemporary Literary Theory: Approaches, Scholars, Terms, ed. Irena R. Makaryk [Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 1993] 638). Shortly afterwards, Macherey applied Althusser’s technique to the study of literary texts in order to unpack their unconscious ideology (see Pierre Macherey, Pour une théorie de la production littéraire [Paris: Maspero, 1966]; English translation by Geoffrey Wall, A Theory of Literary Production [London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1978]). Likewise, my purpose here is to uncover the unsaid behind the said within each particular text, although the former should be instead depicted, in this case, as the latter’s implicit thought world and tacit meaning. Therefore too, this book can be read both as a historical study and a philosophical essay on a number of (meta)religious ideas whose theoretical setting(s) must be deciphered as much as their historical background needs to be unearthed. 130 Van Reeth, “Melchisédech le Prophète éternel selon Jean d’Apamée et le monarchianisme musulman.” 131 See especially Henry Corbin, Le paradoxe du monthéisme (Paris: L’Herne, 1981) 133–61. Purpose and Argument of this Book 25 is construed as foretold by Jesus himself in a gesture that redistributes their respective roles. Recalling at this point the symbolic subordination of John the Baptist to Jesus in the New Testament and other later Christian writings is surely unnecessary. Pointing out that all this allowed for a complete subversion of the Qur’ān’s early Christology may not seem so obvious; yet apparently its memory was preserved within the proto-Shiite tradition132 and is fundamental to understand the very beginnings of the Qur’ān (or, better, of its earliest, possibly preMuhamadan, Grundschriften). Lastly, in the Afterword I attempt at evaluating the results thus obtained in dialogue with Anders Petersen’s renewed definition of the term “apologetics.”133 Overall, my point is that, whether present or absent from its pages, the quranic Jesus, paradoxically, is the key to unravelling not only the intriguing beginnings, but also the fascinating development of the Qur’ān’s complex, multi-phased theology, which in my view amounts to much more than a simple call to monotheism – and hence perhaps too the key to deciphering what the Qur’ān, despite its many gripping themes and labyrinthine byways, is ultimately about. 132 Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, “Muḥammad le Paraclete et ‘Alī le Messie. Nouvelles remarques sur les origines de l’islam et de l’imamologie shi’ite,” in L’Ésotérisme Shi‘ite. Ses racines et ses prolongements/Shi‘i Esotericism: Its Roots and Developments, ed. Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi, with Maria De Cillis, Daniel De Smet, and Orkhan Mir-Kasimov (BEHESR 177; Turnhout, BE: Brepols and The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2016) 19–54. 133 See Anders Klostergaard Petersen, “The Diversity of Apologetics: From Genre to a Mode of Thinking,” in Critique and Apologetics: Jews, Christians and Pagans in Antiquity, ed. Jörg Ulrich, David Brakke, and Anders-Christian Jacobsen (ECCA; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2009) 15–41; idem, “Apologetics,” in Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, ed. Robert Segal and Kocku von Stuckrad (3 vols.; Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015) 1:110–14. 2 Jesus in the Quranic Corpus: Texts and Contexts Distribution of the Relevant Passages Jesus is mentioned in thirty nine verses of the quranic corpus as (a) “Jesus” (‘Īsā),1 (b) “Jesus son of Mary” (‘Īsā b. Maryam),2 (c) “the son of Mary” (ibn Maryam),3 (d) “the Messiah” (al-masīḥ),4 (e) “the Messiah son of Mary” (al-masīḥ b. Maryam),5 (f) “the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary” (al-masīḥ ‘Īsā b. Maryam),6 (g) “God’s servant (‘abd),”7 (h) “God’s messenger (rasūl),”8 (i) “a Word (kalimatun) from God,”9 (j) “the Word of Truth” (qawl al-ḥaqq),10 (k) “God’s Word (kalima)” and “a Spirit (rūḥ) from him,”11 (l) a “prophet” (nabī),12 (m) one among the “righteous” (ṣaliḥūn)13 and (n) among “those brought near” to God (muqarrabūn)14 – or else indirectly.15 Below is a table with the relevant passages grouped by sūra, followed by their text, translation, a summary of their content, and a brief preliminary analysis16: 1 Q 2:136; 3:52, 55, 59, 84; 4:163; 6:85; 42:13; 43:59, 63; 61:14. On the name ‘Īsā and its plausible East-Syrian background, see Dye, Guillaume and Manfred Kropp, “Le nom de Jésus (‘Īsā) dans le Coran, et quelques autres noms bibliques: remarques sur l’onomastique coranique,” in Figures bibliques en islam, ed. Guillaume Dye and Fabien Nobilio (Brussels-Fernelmont: EME, 2011) 171–98. In contrast, Christoph Luxenberg,The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the Language of the Koran (Berlin: Schiler, 2007) 41–3, argues for an adaptation of the Hebrew ’Îšay. 2 Q 2:87, 253; 5:46, 78, 110, 112, 114, 116; 19:34; 33:7; 57:27; 61:6. 3 Q 23:50; 43:57. 4 Q 4:172; 5:72; 9:30. 5 Q 5:17, 72, 75; 9:31. 6 Q 3:45; 4:157, 171. 7 Q 19:30. 8 Q 4:157, 171; 57:27; 61:6. 9 Q 3:39, 45. 10 Q 19:34. 11 Q 4:171. 12 Q 2:136; 3:84; 19:30; 33:7. 13 Q 6:85. 14 Q 3:45. 15 See the comments on Q 21:91; 66:12. 16 Basic cross-references and minor matters – so to speak – are discussed in the footnotes, while those relevant for the argument of the book are addressed in the commentary on each passage. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110599688-002 27 The Texts, with a Brief Commentary Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q9 Q19 vv. 84–7 v. 30–1 vv. 2–36 v. 87 vv. 33–63 vv. 155–9 v. 17 v. 136 v. 84 v. 163 v. 46 v. 171–2 v. 72–5 v. 253 v. 78 vv. 110–18 Q21 Q23 Q33 Q42 Q43 Q57 Q61 v. 91 v. 50 vv. 7–8 v. 13 vv. 57–64 vv. 25–7 v. 6 v. 14 Q66 v. 12 The Texts, with a Brief Commentary Sūrat al-Baqara (Q 2, “The Cow”) No. 1: Q 2:87 A defence of Jesus, whom God has assisted with the Holy Spirit and who bears witness to God and the Torah of Moses, against the Jews. َ ِ يسى اب َْن َمرْ َي َم ْال َب ِّي َنا