The Bible and Qur'an Compared

Article excerpt

NOAH'S OTHER SON

Bridging the Gap between the Bible and the Qur'an

Brian Arthur Brown

T&T Clark / Continuum International Publishing Group

ISBN: 10-0-8264-2797-9

$21.95 US. 244 pages

This book may represent the first comparison of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures with the Qur'an that readers have ever encountered. That is reason enough to consider it. Noah's Other Son: Bridging the Gap Between the Bible and the Quran by United Church of Canada minister Brian Arthur Brown is a trendsetter and a sign of future directions in scripture studies that are accessible to those theologically trained and people who are not.

The genesis of this book took place at the multicultural Lansing United Church in Toronto. In the wake of 9/11, this congregation and its ministers sponsored a series of epiphany sermons that compared the biblical stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, David and Goliath with their counterparts in the Qur'an--Aadam and Hawaa, Habeel and Qabeel, Dawoud and Galoot. The resulting many-layered study is structured around 25 familiar biblical figures who appear in the Islamic scriptures. It provides Jews and Christians with an opportunity to understand the place of the Qur'an in Muslim and world culture.

It is particularly helpful for those desiring to understand modern Islam through the medium of scripture studies. As Brown states frequently, this is not a book about comparative religion, but of comparative encounters with sacred scripture. Reciprocally, Noah's Other Son invites Muslims to appreciate the century-long collaboration of Jewish and Christian biblical scholars who have come to share the benefits of the technique of biblical criticism. Islamic scripture scholars could learn a lot from their Judeo-Christian colleagues in this area.

The author is hopeful that the growing accord in scripture studies between liberal Catholics, mainline and emergent evangelical Protestants and reformist Jews could soon extend to progressive Muslims. …