"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Bible in....Arabic? What? Didn't Jesus Speak the Queen's English?

I drew attention to this book when it appeared in hardback a few years ago, but next month Princeton University Press is bringing out a paperback version of The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the 'People of the Book' in the Language of Islam by Sidney Griffith, one of the most important and senior scholars today of Syriac Christianity and its encounters with Islam.

About this book we are told:
From the first centuries of Islam to well into the Middle Ages, Jews and Christians produced hundreds of manuscripts containing portions of the Bible in Arabic. Until recently, however, these translations remained largely neglected by Biblical scholars and historians. In telling the story of the Bible in Arabic, this book casts light on a crucial transition in the cultural and religious life of Jews and Christians in Arabic-speaking lands.
In pre-Islamic times, Jewish and Christian scriptures circulated orally in the Arabic-speaking milieu. After the rise of Islam--and the Qur'an's appearance as a scripture in its own right--Jews and Christians translated the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament into Arabic for their own use and as a response to the Qur'an's retelling of Biblical narratives. From the ninth century onward, a steady stream of Jewish and Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament crossed communal borders to influence the Islamic world.
The Bible in Arabic offers a new frame of reference for the pivotal place of Arabic Bible translations in the religious and cultural interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...