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The Three Abrahamic Testaments: How the Torah, Gospels, and Qur'an Hold the Keys for Healing Our Fears (Islamic Encounter Series) Paperback – May 16, 2017
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“The Three Abrahamic Testaments is a unique contribution to interfaith understanding. Written by a committed, believing Muslim scientist and scholar, it offers a helpful and honest comparison of the Qur’an with the Hebrew Bible and New Testament that is neither polemical, apologetic nor triumphalist. It acknowledges both similarities and differences in a spirit of improving understanding and respect for the dignity of believers of other faiths. Dr. Ejaz Naqvi does not ignore differences between the Bible and the Qur’an, nor does he try to reconcile them. There are various ways to treat differences. Historically, religious thinkers have tended to assume that if there is a discrepancy between scriptures, one scripture must be right and the others are wrong. Based on this simplistic thinking, one religion must therefore hold the key to divine truth while the others are false religions and provide no benefit. Dr. Naqvi provides a deeper and much more spiritual and sophisticated analysis by demonstrating how differences need not be threatening but in fact enlightening. He shows that different versions of the same message appeal to different communities and stimulate discussion so that we can learn to know and respect one another better. From the grand perspective, all three scriptures convey the identical vital concern for ethics, compassion, and the need to respond to the divine will. This book will become a primary tool for interfaith understanding through scriptural reasoning and the comparative study of religious text.” –Rabbi Reuven Firestone, Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam, Hebrew Union College
“At a time of perceived conflict between Muslims and Christians across the globe, Naqvi’s book reminds us all of the shared mores and values―not to mention myths and stories―that bind the Qur’an and the Bible together as a single unbroken revelation. This is not just a candid and thought-provoking review of major topics in both the Bible and the Qur’an, but also a much-needed corrective to the negativity and conflict that have marred relations between the Abrahamic traditions.” –Reza Aslan, author of New York Times bestsellers, Zealot and No god but God and Beyond Fundamentalism
“Once again, Dr. Naqvi separates facts from fiction in this systematic review of the Abrahamic scriptures. As self-interested forces threaten to divide us based on faith, his book is a timely corrective. It debunks the easy accusations that would incriminate religious teachings in the spread of prejudice and hate. As in his first book, The Quran: With or Against the Bible?, the reader is invited to ponder rather than impose received opinion. The book’s format is easy to grasp, yet it addresses complex issues, including gender and jihad. The Three Abrahamic Testaments makes a significant contribution to understanding among Jews, Christians and Muslims in our overly polarized world.” –Michael Wolfe, author of The Hadj: One Thousand Roads to Mecca and Taking Back Islam
“Open your heart – open your mind – open this book. The Three Abraham Testaments is a college textbook and bestseller rolled into one. Use it like a coffee table book. Start on any page, savor a kernel and set aside the rest for later. Or read until you are so moved that you must pause to digest. The scriptural references and wisdom quotes are stand-alone gems. The ‘Time to Ponder’ and ‘Discussion Points for Dialogue and Healing’ provide ready-made talking points for book groups, classroom settings and conversations over the dinner table. There is no hierarchy in this book except that the Holy One is the Creator and Sustainer of all. By eliminating hierarchy, Dr. Ejaz Naqvi has side-stepped the major competitive questions of ‘whose religion is right’ and ‘whose religion is best.’ Instead, he touches upon the essence of all three Abrahamic faiths and the religious streams that spring from them.” –Rabbi Pamela Frydman, founding rabbi of Or Shalom Jewish Community and author of Calling on God: Sacred Jewish Teachings for Seekers of All Faiths
“Dr. Naqvi has created another well presented overview of the Abrahamic traditions by exposing us to a greater view of the Qu’ran and the Islamic tradition. I highly recommend this resource for congregations as a way to expose their congregants to the comparative teachings of Islam, Christianity and Judaism and to ask, “What do you believe?” and “Why?” By starting with what we have in common, we can learn much more than taking a stance of opposition or superiority. Then, invite some Muslim families to come to your congregation to share more about what their lives are like. I know your whole congregation will be enriched.” –Rev. William McGarvey, Executive Director, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, California
“It is more than refreshing to probe a book that does not neutralize or sensationalize the difference found in the Abrahamic religious traditions. The Three Abrahamic Testaments is an important contribution to interfaith dialogue and understanding. It provides an inspiring model for how that dialogue might be engaged in a way that is both informative and healing. Dr. Naqvi celebrates the differences while challenging the reader to engage in what is no less than a transformative experience. The discussion and reflective questions found throughout this book invite the reader to become a lively part of the dialogue this book so powerfully presents. We are most grateful for the obvious energy and deep respect Dr. Naqvi displays in this fine work. –Rev. Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P., Co-founder of The Interfaith Peace Project of Northern California
About the Author
A practicing physician and a "born-again Muslim" after reading the Quranic translation for the first time in its entirety about two decades ago, he has since then pondered over the verses of the Quran and discovered that many of its teachings remain arcane. Eager and in search of finding the common grounds, his subsequent study of the Quran and the Bible has led him to finding significant similarities in the teachings of the Scriptures, which he shares in this book.
Top customer reviews
In my opinion, this book should be used in colleges and in the interfaith groups to educate the people to understand and respect all religions and to live in peace with each other.
I agree entirely with the idea of shared dialog. Inter-faith communication will have positive results. This book is a good place to start. But when you get to the end, if you want the world to be a better place, you're going to have to actually go out and talk to people. And not with the intention of trying to convert them. For many, this is difficult, if not impossible in their current mindset. Even Dr. Naqvi succumbs subtly to the "mine is better than yours" way of thinking at times. I suppose this is to be expected from anyone who seriously and devotedly practices their faith, be they Muslim, Jew, or Christian. If a person didn't feel this way, then why would they follow or belong to their particular sect.
BUT, what we really need is to try and understand each other; to establish trust; to create space for our shared humanity. This book is an attempt to begin to open up such a space in our hearts and minds. It is a first step towards a world where we truly "love our neighbors, as ourselves." A belief that all three Abrahamic faiths still claim to believe, even when we don't always succeed in practicing it.
This book by Dr. Naqvi is a special gift for lovers of monotheistic theological exegesis because of its very detailed history of the three great monotheistic religions and the level of specificity of its content. The goal of the book is to show the similarity between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and to ponder on why, despite a common origin, there has been through the ages so much conflict between its members. Since the dawn of history man has tried to explain the mysterious first through magic and then through religion. With the advent of agriculture, men grouped themselves in communities and selected the gods that they would worship. As a result of these communities being pre-monotheistic, the gods that were worshipped were all different and had to do with the different communities’ culture. Despite the fact that some cultures were more tolerant than others with respect to other communities’ worship, most tribes rejected foreign deities.
This book takes place in the age of the prophets. It’s goal? Try to understand why, although Abraham is considered the father of the three great monotheistic faiths, so much conflict was generated by religion. The author also wants to know why more than one scripture was revealed, but most of all Dr. Navqi wants to draw our attention to the fact that being a Muslim is not synonym with being a terrorist. The acts of terror so common nowadays in the name of religion have nothing to do with religion but with the need of some groups to control others and to dominate them through fear. It is worth noting that jihad means a struggle, usually against oneself, to achieve purity and to fight injustice. The term jihad has been used erroneously to describe the attacks against the West. As a matter of fact, Islamic terrorists, says Dr. Naqvi, have killed more Muslims than Jews or Christians.
The three great prophets, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, are respected and revered in the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an, and for the three scriptures there is only one God. However, with the onset of organized religion each one of these prophets was said to be the Messiah. The case of Jesus exemplifies how institutionalized religion can distort the words of these great men. Although Jesus stated that he was the Messiah, he does not seem to have said that he was the son of God, just the Son of Man. But the concept of the Resurrection converted this prophet into something more that an enlightened human being. The divinity of Jesus drew a separation between Christianity and other religions and that is how the Crusades took place. As the author clearly shows us, all faiths are based on the same commandment: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If institutionalized religion would not have been used as a weapon of intolerance and communities would have relied only on the words of their prophets, life on earth would have been much more harmonious and productive.