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The Bible and Qur'an compared.


Bridging the Gap between the Bible and the Qur'an

Brian Arthur Brown Brian Arthur Brown is a Canadian author, political commentator and church leader. Personal Life
Born and educated in the Maritimes, Brown was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada in 1966.

T&T Clark / Continuum International Publishing Group

International Standard Book Number

ISBN International Standard Book Number

ISBN n abbr (= International Standard Book Number) → ISBN m 
: 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 United Church of Canada, Protestant denomination formed in 1925 by the union of the Methodist, Congregational, and Presbyterian churches in Canada. A large number of Presbyterian congregations, however, remain outside the union.  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 Adam and Eve

In the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions, the parents of the human race. Genesis gives two versions of their creation. In the first, God creates “male and female in his own image” on the sixth day.
, Cain and Abel Cain and Abel

In the Hebrew scriptures, the sons of Adam and Eve. According to Genesis, Cain, the firstborn, was a farmer, and his brother Abel was a shepherd. Cain was enraged when God preferred his brother's sacrifice of sheep to his own offering of grain, and he murdered
, David and Goliath David and Goliath are figures of a well-known tale in the Bible (1 Samuel 17, in most English language versions), wherein David, an Israelite shepherd-boy and future King of Israel.  with their counterparts in the Qur'an--Aadam and Hawaa, Habeel and Qabeel, Dawoud and Galoot ga·loot also gal·loot  
n. Slang
A person, especially a clumsy or uncouth one.

[Origin unknown.]

Noun 1.
. 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.

"I hope to illustrate how much the West and the world as a whole can learn from the Qur'an," says the author ... (and, based on his own experience) "I do this in hopes that Muslim lay people will be inspired by these techniques." We all need to study together core stories from the three traditions of "Abraham's dysfunctional family," he says.

Three-religion comparative scripture study could be mutually edifying ed·i·fy  
tr.v. ed·i·fied, ed·i·fy·ing, ed·i·fies
To instruct especially so as to encourage intellectual, moral, or spiritual improvement.
 and enlightening. For example, as with many similar narratives, the Qur'an includes a parallel flood story that largely assumes Islamic awareness of the biblical myth. The Qur'an does not dispute the truth of the Bible, but adds details not appearing in the Bible.

Canaan in the Qur'an is the son of Noah and a sibling to the biblical brothers Shem, Ham and Japeth (see Genesis 9 and note there that Canaan is the son of Ham.) In his youthful rebellion, Canaan refused to board the ark. Ayah a·yah  
A native maid or nursemaid in India.

[Hindi y
 43 reports that "the waves came between them and the (other) son was among those overwhelmed in the flood."

For his disobedience, Canaan is banished to the land bearing his name. Using this new information, the traditional Judeo-Christian interpretation of the "curse of Ham The Curse of Ham (more properly called the curse of Canaan) refers to the curse that Ham's father Noah placed upon Ham's son Canaan, after Ham "saw his father's nakedness" because of drunkenness in Noah's tent. " loses its racist connotations. The Qur'an conveys that the land of Canaan (to which this fourth son was exiled) is actually the place in all three scriptures where those who disobey dis·o·bey  
v. dis·o·beyed, dis·o·bey·ing, dis·o·beys

To refuse or fail to follow an order or rule.
To refuse or fail to obey (an order or rule).
 God are displaced by the more obedient sons.

Brown proposes that the story of Canaan, Noah's "other son," is a parable for our times when serious warnings go unheeded. In today's terms, this could mean "be alert to the causes of rebellious terrorism, ecological abuses, etc. Like Canaan, you could suffer exile."

As with any trendsetting venture, this effort will provoke new controversies; but we can celebrate this breakthrough as a harbinger of good things to come.

Wayne A. Hoist teaches religion and culture at the University of Calgary and co-ordinates adult spiritual development at St. David's United Church in that city.
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Author:Holst, Wayne A.
Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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