The Annunciation to Mary: A Christian Echo in the Qurʾān

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Jonathan M. Reck
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The Annunciation to Mary as presented in the Protevangelium of James is an early account of Mary’s childhood and the Virgin Birth that flourished in both Western and Eastern Churches. This Annunciation account, distinct from versions found in the canonical gospels of the New Testament, successfully migrated beyond its Christian milieu, where it had traversed primarily by textual means in late-antiquity. The account’s widespread influence is attested to by its entry into the oral milieu of Arabia, the account being the basis by which the Qurʾān vindicates Mary and corrects Christological error amid a seemingly polemical environment. This article will evaluate qualities of the selected passage Q. 3:42-7 that elucidate the Annunciation’s gain of a new identity as it became adopted into the Qurʾānic corpus while considering how the Annunciation as presented in the passage provides further clarity as to the polemical and political circumstances surrounding the proto-Muslim community.

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