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New anthology with Craig Smith’s translation?

June 26, 2012

1442214929While co-blogger Craig Smith’s excellent Inclusive Bible is now only in print in paperback (I am glad that I stocked up with multiple copies of the hardcover), it looks like his work is going to be featured in a new anthology published by Rowman & Littlefield:  Three Testaments.

Here is the blurb for the book:

From disagreement over an Islamic Center in New York to clashes between Christians and Muslims in Egypt, tension between the three Abrahamic faiths often runs high. Yet for all their differences, these three traditions—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity—share much in common. Three Testaments brings together for the first time the text of the Torah, the New Testament, and the Quran, so that readers can explore for themselves the connections, as well as the points of departure, between the three faiths.

Notable religion scholars provide accessible introductions to each tradition, and commentary from editor Brian Arthur Brown explores how the three faiths may draw similarities from the ancient Zoroastrian tradition. This powerful book provides a much-needed interfaith perspective on key sacred texts.

Here are the Table of Contents:

Foreword by Amir Hussain

Prologue: The People of the Book

Book One: Torah
Preface by Ellen Frankel
Chapter 1: Also Sprach Zarathustra
Chapter 2: Monotheism
Chapter 3: Zoroaster and Zorobabel
Chapter 4: Israel’s Redeemer
Introduction to the Torah by Marc Brettler
Translator’s Notes by David Stein
Torah Text: The Tanakh

Book Two: Gospel
Preface by Henry Carrigan
Chapter 5: Gospel and Torah
Chapter 6: Gospel and Wisdom
Chapter 7: Gospel and Avesta
Chapter 8: Gospel and Quran
Introduction to the Gospel by David Bruce
Translator’s Notes by Joe Dearborn
Gospel Text: The Inclusive Bible

Book Three: Quran
Preface by Laleh Bakhtiar
Chapter 9: Zoroastrians in the Quran
Chapter 10: Torah in the Quran
Chapter 11: Gospel in the Quran
Chapter 12: Avesta in the Quran
Introduction to the Quran by Nevin Reda
Translator’s Notes by Laleh Bakhtiar
Quran Text: The Sublime Quran

Epilogue The Book of the People

It appears from this table of contents that the translations being used are David Stein’s Contemporary Torah, Craig Smith’s Inclusive Bible, and Laleh Bakhtiar’s Sublime Quran, or close adaptations thereof.  (Although the Inclusive Bible was translated by Craig, it is officially connected to a group connected by Joseph Dearborn.  It is strange that the book includes comments from him, since he died on February 1, 2011.)

You can find a number of blurbs on the book’s website.  I found these two blurbs addressing the inclusive nature of the translations particularly interesting:

Three Testaments is appropriately inclusive in many ways. The use of inclusive scripture is especially appropriate for the twenty-first century, both scholarly and evocative. To leave women out of the scripture in our time would be to distort the message entirely.

Sister Joan Chittister, author of Called to Question; columnist in National Catholic Reporter

Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel and Quran invites readers to study the interdependence of the Scriptures claiming the tradition of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar as their heritage. I especially appreciate the use of inclusive language and the voice of wo/men scholars in part I and III introducing the progressive edge of Jewish and Muslim Scriptures. This volume is a very unique and helpful resource for introductory Scripture courses and interreligious dialogue. I highly recommend it.

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Krister Stendahl Professor, Harvard Divinity School

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2012 12:06 am

    Huh. I had no idea. Very cool. By the way, Joan Chittister was a friend of the Inclusive Bible from its earliest days, when we were just doing inclusive language versions of the daily and Sunday lectionary readings. Terrific person.

  2. June 27, 2012 10:18 am

    Congrats, Craig. Many more readers, and hopefully royalties too, to you!

    For those who haven’t yet read Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar’s work, here’s an excerpt:

    While the absence of a woman’s point of view for over 1440 years since the revelation began, clearly needs to change, it must be acknowledged that there are many men who have been supportive of the view of women as complements to themselves, as the completion of their human unity. To them, I and other Muslim women are eternally grateful. They relate to women as the Quran and Hadith intended. The criticism women have is towards those men who are not open to this understanding, who are exclusive in opposition to the Quran and Sunnah’s inclusiveness.

    Clearly the intention of the Quran is to see man and woman as complements of one another, not as oppressor-oppressed or superior-inferior or thinking-feeling. Consequently, in the introduction and translation, I address a main criticism of Islam in regard to the inferiority of women, namely, that a husband can beat his wife (4:34) after two stages of trying to discipline her.

    She tells her own story here:

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