The Voice, the Word, the Books: The Sacred Scripture of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims

The Voice, the Word, the Books: The Sacred Scripture of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims

by F. E. Peters
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691131120

ISBN-13: 9780691131122

Pub. Date: 04/03/2007

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe that their Scriptures preserve God's words to humanity, and that those words were spoken uniquely to them. In The Voice, the Word, the Books, F. E. Peters leads readers on an extraordinary journey through centuries of written tradition to uncover the human fingerprints on the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the

Overview

Jews, Christians, and Muslims all believe that their Scriptures preserve God's words to humanity, and that those words were spoken uniquely to them. In The Voice, the Word, the Books, F. E. Peters leads readers on an extraordinary journey through centuries of written tradition to uncover the human fingerprints on the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Quran, sacred texts that have enriched millions of lives.

Bringing the latest Biblical and Quranic scholarship to a general audience, Peters explains how these three powerfully influential books passed from God's mouth, so to speak, to become the Scriptures that we possess today. He reveals new insights into their origins, contents, canonization, and the important roles they have played in the lives of their communities. He explores how they evolved through time from oral to written texts, who composed them and who wrote them, as well as the theological commonalities and points of disagreement among their adherents. Writing in the comparative style for which he is renowned, Peters charts the transmission of faith from the spoken word to the printed page, from the revelations on Sinai and Mount Hira to Mamluk ateliers in Cairo and Gutenberg's press in Mainz.

Peters is an acknowledged expert who has written extensively on these three great world religions, each of them an inheritor of the faith of Abraham. Published in conjunction with an exhibit at the British Library, this illustrated book includes beautiful images of the rare editions on exhibit and constitutes Peters's most ambitious and illuminating examination yet of the sacred texts that so inform civilization both East and West.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691131122
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/03/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. The Voice from Sinai 1

Chapter 1: Sacred Words, Sacred Book 5
"Thus Spake Yahweh": What Is the Bible? 7
"Then the Lord Said": What Is the New Testament? 17
"Recite! in the Name of God": What Is the Quran? 28

Chapter 2: Book Shaping: The Making of a Canon 38
From Biblia to Book: The Making of the Bible 41
The Making of a "New" Testament 51
The "Old" and the "New" in the Covenant 61
The Collection of the Quran 67

Chapter 3: Reciters, Rhapsodes, and Scribes: How the Bible Reached Us 80
The Matter of Authorship 81
The Higher Criticism of the Bible 83
Composing and Performing 85
The Scribes 87
From Recitation to Writing 88
Authors behind the Authors 90
Enter J, E, and Company 92
The Writing Begins 94
Jeremiah 95
Who "Wrote" the Books? 96
Writing in Scripture 98
The Levites 100
The Masoretes 101

Chapter 4: The Reporters: The Good News and How We Got It 105
Jesus: The Setting 105
The Gospels 106
Extracting Q 107
Dating the Gospels 108
John 109
The Gospels as Documents 109
From Aramaic to Greek 110
New Approaches 111
Community Authorship 113
Paul and the Rest 114
The Apocryphal Gospels 115
Thomas and His Twin 117

Chapter 5: The Poet in Performance: The Composition of the Quran 120
The Revelations 120
Biography and the Quran 122
Approaching the Quran 126
The Cultural Environment 127
Writing and the Quran 128
Writing in Arabia 130
Oral Poetry and the Quran 132
Muhammad, Poet and Performer 133
The Bible in the Quran 135
The Mantic Seer 137
The Oral Performance 139
A Change in Style 140
The Writing Down of the Quran 141
Other Possibilities 143
Uthman or Later? 147
In Sum 150

Chapter 6: The Book in Mortal Hands 152
The Word Made Flesh: Books and Bookmaking in the Ancient World 152
Scrolls and Books 153
Searching the Scriptures 155
From Notebooks to Books 157
The Christians Adopt the Codex 159
Toward a Standard Edition? 160
The Shape of the Page: Chapter and Verse 164
Dividing the Text 164
Marking the Text 167
Suras and Ayas 169
The Sacramental Text 172
Sefer Torah: Torahs and Their Arks 174
Washing Their Hands of the Christians 180
A Matter of Etiquette: The Book in Our Hands 182

Chapter 7: In Other Words 189
The Loss of God's Tongue 190
Targums and Methurgemans 192
Scripture for the Hellenized: The Septuagint 195
Origen: Multitasking the Bible 198
From Old Latin to the Vulgate 200
Hebraica Veritas and the Latin West 203
The Polyglot 208
Enter the Humanists 210
Translating the Untranslatable Quran 214

Chapter 8: Picturing the Word 219
The Rabbis and the Second Commandment 219
Adorning and Illustrating the Hebrew Bible 223
Christian Images 228
Icons and Iconoclasm 229
The Bible with Pictures 233
Printing with Pictures 238
The Reformation and Images 240
The Word Unpictured: Islam and Images 242
Drawing in the Book 243

Chapter 9: Giving Voice to the Word 247
Talking Back to God 248
Reading through the Torah 249
The Scripture in Church 251
Praying the Quran 256
The Scripture as Libretto 258
The Cantorial Scripture 259
The Divine Office 260
The Art of Qira 263
Epilogue. Three Books, Side by Side 271

Glossary 277
List of Illustrations 281
Index 283

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