Holy Scriptures in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Hermeneutics, Values and Society


One of the prime issues that needs to be addressed in dialogical encounter between the three monotheistic faiths of the world is that concerning the authority and interpretation of Holy Writ, since Jews, Christians and Muslims alike consider their Scriptures to be divine revelation. It is incumbent upon each of these religions to apprise itself of the hermeneutical approach employed by the others in ascribing current meaning to ancient scriptural texts. This is not only important as a means for the enhancement of inter-religious understanding but is also of great interest to society at large. What role does the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Qu'ran play in the thinking and the lives of contemporary Jews, Christians, and Muslims? How are these Holy Scriptures interpreted in terms of present-day circumstances? How much room do the three religions allow for bringing their basic messages and biblical-theological traditions into rapport with constantly changing social, political and economic conditions? Is the concept of hermeneutical space acceptable to these religions? If so, in what sense and at what level? Is it possible to identify the scopus of a text and then reconstitute it textually, as it were, in light of the social and ethical questions thrown up by new contextual developments? Can interpretive adjustments be made without jeopardizing the core message of the text involved? And do the three monotheistic religions stand open to one another for influence in this regard? Has one or another of them taken hermeneutical cues from the others? Is there room for mutual learning within the hermeneutical space mentioned above or is this a sacred space closed to all influence from other traditions? These are among the central questions raised and dealt with in this interreligious collection of essays, perhaps the only dialogical symposium to date to deal exclusively with the doctrine and hermeneutics of Holy Scripture in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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General Introduction. PART I: PLENARY PAPERS. Introduction. Anton WESSELS: Living by Scriptures in a Multicultural Society. Vincent J. CORNELL: Living by the Word of God in Islam. Theo de BOER: Faith, Belief and Narrative. PART II: THE DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE AND HERMENEUTICS. Introduction. Tzvi MARX: Judaic Doctrine of Scripture. Rein FERNHOUT: The Bible as God's Word: A Christological View. Vincent J. CORNELL: Where is Scriptural Truth in Islam? David W. HALIVNI: Aspects of Classical Jewish Hermeneutics. Johan S. VOS: The New Testament Interpretation of Scripture. Shabbir AKHTAR: The Limits of Internal Hermeneutics: The Status of the Qur'an as Literary Miracle. Tjitze BAARDA: Scripture and Historical Research. Shabbir AKHTAR: Critical Qur'anic Scholarship and Theological Puzzles. PART III: THE WILL OF GOD: TEXT AND APPLICATION. Introduction. Albert H. FRIEDLANDER: Ethics and the Scripture. Johan VERSTRAETEN: The 'World' of the Bible as Meta-Ethical Framework of Meaning for Ethics: An Interpretation. Mehmet S. AYDIN: Ethics in the Scriptures: An Islamic Perspective. Wil ALBEDA: Responsibility for the Poor. Syed Aziz PASHA: Economic Responsibility for the Poor: A Muslim Perspective. Tzvi MARX: The Will of God: Text and Application. Johannes S. REINDERS: Imago Dei as a Basic Concept in Christian Ethics. Abdulwahid van BOMMEL: Quality or Sanctity of Life? PART IV: RELIGIOUS PLURALISM: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES. Introduction. Dan COHN-SHERBOK: Judaism and Global Theology. Hendrik M. VROOM: Religious Pluralism: A Christian Perspective. Benabdallaoui MOKHTAR: Islam and the Idea of the State. Doret J. de RUYTER: Christian Education in a Pluralistic Society. Stella van de WETERING: Values and Norms in the Education of Muslim Pupils in a Plural Society: The Dutch Educational System in Short. Dan COHN-SHERBOK: Theocracy and Democracy in Israel. P.H. KOOIJMANS: Theocracy, Democracy, the Neutral State. Mehmet S. AYDIN: Theocracy and Democracy. Index of Names. Index of Subjects. Contributors.