Exploring A Qur’anic hermeneutic to be applied to the New Testament

Dr. Aslam El-Soudani
Junior Research Fellow, The Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies

This paper describes a systematic reading methodology developed in the Qur’anic tradition and suggests applying a Muslim hermeneutical lens to reading the New Testament. It provides an outline of the hermeneutical schools that developed in the Muslim intellectual heritage, bridging between semantic and thematic approaches.

I aim to explore the methodology of both of these approaches arguing that their contribution to Qurʼanic hermeneutics is significant in understanding both contextual and universal aspects of the message. This kind of methodology has particular assumptions about what a revelation is, the role of the interpreter and the nature of written scripture. Given these assumptions, would it be possible to read the New Testament using such Qur’anic hermeneutical tools? What is even more interesting is that the interpreter is not independent from the Muslim tradition. In what ways, then, might this enrich our reading of the scripture (if at all)?

Reading the Bible using Qur’anic hermeneutics promises to be a fascinating exploration, one that may conclude that the boundaries we draw as the ‘other’ cease to be relevant, particularly in looking at schools of interpretations.

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