Bible: An Islamic Perspective: Paul and the Early Christianity


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Paul: “The man who invented Christianity – St. Paul”; this aldous Huxley. Paul and the Early Christianity in The Bible: An Islamic Perspective series examines the life and work of the man whose divinization of Jesus, in the opinion of many Muslims, made the coming of the Prophet of Islam a cosmic necessity. The Quran, while making many references to Jesus, Mary, John the Baptist, and other Biblical figures, ignore Paul completely. The remarkable career of Paul, as told in the Bible and other early writings, is reviewed and compared with Surabadi’s medieval Islamic impressions of it in his Commentary; analyzing the Biblical record as well as Surabadi’s 11th century story, we may better appreciate Paul’s crucial role in the events that formed early Christianity and the reasons for Islam’s rejection of his Christology. Paul’s battles with the Law and his relations with James, Peter and others, as well as the mystery of his fate, are detailed. The Islamic versions of early stories such as the Companions of the Cave, Barsisa, and St. George are also reviewed. Finally, the author’s afterword to the entire Bible completes the volume with a plea for mutual tolerance.


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