The Qur'an and the Bible Text and Commentary Gabriel Said Reynolds, Ali Quli Qarai

Publication date:
12 Jun 2018
Yale University Press
1032 pages: 235 x 156 x 62mm
Sales territories:


A groundbreaking comparative study that illuminates the connections between the Qur'ān and the Bible

While the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are understood to be related texts, the sacred scripture of Islam, the third Abrahamic faith, has generally been considered separately. Noted religious scholar Gabriel Said Reynolds draws on centuries of Qur'ānic and Biblical studies to offer rigorous and revelatory commentary on how these holy books are intrinsically connected.

Reynolds demonstrates how Jewish and Christian characters, imagery, and literary devices feature prominently in the Qur'ān, including stories of angels bowing before Adam and of Jesus speaking as an infant. This important contribution to religious studies features a full translation of the Qur'ān along with excerpts from the Jewish and Christian texts. It offers a clear analysis of the debates within the communities of religious scholars concerning the relationship of these scriptures, providing a new lens through which to view the powerful links that bond these three major religions.

Gabriel Said Reynolds is professor of Islamic studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of The Qur'ān and Its Biblical Subtext and The Emergence of Islam and the editor of The Qur'ān in Its Historical Context.

“Magisterial”—Eric Ormsby, Wall Street Journal

“Enormously helpful as a way not just into an unknown text but into another religious tradition.”—Adam Gopnik, New Yorker

“Gabriel Reynolds’ The Qur’an & the Bible fills a gaping hole to revelatory effect. . . It contributes hugely to the ongoing project of anchoring the qur’anic texts to the bedrock of late antiquity. The impossibility of understanding the Qur’an’s origins without reference to the context provided by Jewish and Christian scripture has never been more painstakingly demonstrated.”—Tom Holland, History Today (The Best History Books 2018)

“Consistently with his well-known scholarly approach, Reynolds concentrates his research and his analysis on the Qur’aŻnic text seen as a Late Antiquity product [. . .] This book would have attained its goal even if it simply managed to encourage students to get deeply involved with both Qur’aŻnic and Biblical literature.” – Valentino Cottini, Islamochristiana

“This book fills a gaping hole to revelatory effect. Essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between the Qur’an and the religious context of late antiquity.”—Tom Holland, author of In the Shadow of the Sword

"Gabriel Reynolds’s concise commentary on the Qur’an text offers an indispensable key to many parallel Biblical and para-Biblical traditions and clarifies the Qur’an’s unique relationship to these earlier traditions and texts."—Fred M. Donner, University of Chicago

“Gabriel Reynolds is one of the world’s leading Qur’anic scholars, and this learned and readable commentary sheds great light on the religious impulses that shaped Islam at its beginnings and on the relationship between Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Muhammad's day.”—Gary A. Anderson, author of Charity: The Place of the Poor in the Biblical Tradition

“This important and unprecedented book demonstrates that the Qur’an cannot be fully appreciated without an awareness of its Biblical backdrop.”—Suleyman Dost, Brandeis University

“This major contribution to our understanding of the Qur’an makes a powerful argument for the profound influence of Biblical traditions, and especially Christian traditions, on the Qur’an.”—Devin Stewart, Emory University