A Review of My Book: The Qur’an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions

The Qur’ an and the Aramaic Gospel Traditions

By: Emran Iqbal El-Badawi

New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. (Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics). 280 pp. $165.00. ISBN: 978-0415821230.

Volume: 2 Issue: 6
June 2014

Review by
Rebecca R. Williams, PhD
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL


In this work, El-Badawi has made a detailed comparison between the text of passages of the Qur’an and the corresponding passages of the Aramaic Gospels. He does this in order to prove his assertion that the Qur’an as a text was produced within a milieu that was dominated by what he terms the Aramaic Gospel Tradition. El-Badawi is careful to avoid the use of the term “influence,” due to its negative connotation in light of previous theories regarding the origins of Islam. He states, “This study will demonstrate how the Qur’an …, selectively challenged or re-appropriated, and therefore took up the ‘dogmatic re-articulation’ of language and imagery coming from the Aramaic Gospel Traditions, in order to fit the idiom and the religious temperament of a heterogeneous, sectarian Arabian audience” (p. 5). By dogmatic, he means here a more indefinite sense of belief rather than a definition of the word connected to any particular religious institution. The system of belief studied in this work is that which will eventually become Islam, but that is described by El-Badawi as originally “anti-Trinitarian, post-Rabbinic and apocalyptic,” what he terms “strict monotheism” (p. 5).

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