Sectarian Scripture: The Qur’an and its Dogmatic Re-Articulation of the Aramaic Gospel Traditions in the Fractured Late Antique Near East


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations


As the scripture “par excellence” of the late antique Near East (ca. 180-632), the Qur’an aimed to reconfigure the teachings of competing prophetic traditions and their scriptures, especially the Hebrew Bible and Gospel Traditions. Furthermore, the supremacy of Aramaic language and culture in this context meant that the Arabic text of the Qur’an narrated, refuted, challenged, and “corrected” the doctrines and language of the Aramaic Gospel Traditions (i.e. the Gospel texts preserved in the Syriac and Christian Palestinian Aramaic dialects) to fit the idiom and religious temperament of its sectarian audience. The hermeneutical approach, which is dubbed “dogmatic re-articulation,” adopted various phrases and rhetorical schemes from the Aramaic Gospel Traditions, while removing Christological elements contained within them in order to promote its firm monotheistic vision.