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When Did the Bible Become an Arabic Scripture?

In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
Author:
Sidney H. Griffith The Catholic University of America griffith@cua.edu

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While the circumstances were favorable to the translation of the Jewish and Christian scriptures into Arabic in writing in pre-Islamic times, there is no compelling evidence to support the conclusion that such a translation was ever made. Rather the evidence of the Qurʾān along with other considerations suggests that prior to the rise of Islam, Jewish and Christian scripture texts circulated orally in Arabic and that the earliest Arabic translations in writing appeared first among the Christians in the monastic communities in Palestine and probably in part at least in response to the appearance of the Arabic Qurʾān itself in writing at the turn of the seventh and eighth centuries.

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