Injil (Arabic: إِنْجِيلِ, romanizedʾInjīl, alternative spellings: Ingil or Injeel) is the Arabic name for the Gospel of Jesus (Isa). This Injil is described by the Qur'an as one of the four Islamic holy books which was revealed by God, the others being the Zabur (traditionally understood as being the Psalms), the Tawrat (the Torah), and the Qur'an itself. The word Injil is also used in the Qur’an, the hadith and early Muslim documents to refer to both a book and revelations made by God to Jesus.

Etymology

The Arabic word Injil (إنجيل) as found in Islamic texts, and now used also by non-Arab Muslims and non-Muslim Arabs, is derived from the Syriac Aramaic word awongaleeyoon (ܐܘܢܓܠܝܘܢ) found in the Peshitta (Syriac translation of the Bible),[1] which in turn derives from the Greek word euangelion (Εὐαγγέλιον)[2] of the originally Greek language New Testament, where it means "good news" (from Greek "Εὐ αγγέλιον"; Old English "gōdspel"; Modern English "gospel", or "evangel" as an archaism, cf. e.g. Spanish "evangelio") The word Injil occurs twelve times in the Quran.

Identification

Islamic studies scholars such as Gabriel Said Reynolds maintain that the Injil is none other than the Gospels of the Bible as known today and historically in copies that predate the lifetime of Muhammad. They argue that the Injil refers specifically to the Gospel of the New Testament in the possession of the Christians being addressed in passages such as the following:

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel [Injil] wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah ] - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). Let the People of the Gospel [Injil] judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein....".

— Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 46, 47a[3]

However, Muslim scholars have resisted identifying the Injil with the New Testament Gospels and interpret Quran, sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah 46, 47a as Allah warning the Christians not to enforce the law contrary to the law sent by Allah:[4] Some have suggested the Injil may be the Gospel of Barnabas or Gospel of Thomas.[5] More commonly, Muslim scholars have argued that the Injil refers to a text now lost or hopelessly corrupted. For example, Abdullah Yusuf Ali wrote:

The Injil (Greek, Evangel equals Gospel) spoken of by the Qur'an is not the New Testament. It is not the four Gospels now received as canonical. It is the single Gospel which, Islam teaches, was revealed to Jesus, and which he taught. Fragments of it survive in the received canonical Gospels and in some others, of which traces survive (e.g., the Gospel of Childhood or the Nativity, the Gospel of St.Barnabas, etc.)."[6]

In Qur'anic exegesis

The Islamic methodology of tafsir al-Qur'an bi-l-Kitab (Arabic: تفسير القرآن بالكتاب) refers to interpreting the Qur'an with/through the Bible.[7] This approach adopts canonical Arabic versions of the Bible, including the Tawrat and the Injil, both to illuminate and to add exegetical depth to the reading of the Qur'an. Notable Muslim mufassirun (commentators) of the Bible and Qur'an who weaved biblical texts together with Qur'anic ones include Abu al-Hakam Abd al-Salam bin al-Isbili of Al-Andalus and Ibrahim bin Umar bin Hasan al-Biqa'i.[7]

Nature

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Regardless of scholarly disagreement, Muslims commonly believe that Injil refers to a true Gospel, bestowed upon Jesus by God. Many Muslims believe that the Injil was revealed by God to Jesus in a manner comparable to the way the Quran was revealed to Muhammad; as presumed from passages in the Quran stating the gospel was a received message, such as (tr. Pickthall):

Then We caused Our messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow, and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him."

— Quran, sura 57 (Al-Hadid), ayah 27[8]

Many Muslim scholars continue to believe that the Biblical Gospel has undergone alteration, that the words and the meaning of the words have been distorted, with some passages suppressed and others added.

See also

References

  1. ^ Peshitta (Mark 1:1) - "Literal Aramaic idiomatic (Lit. Ar. id.) name: "Awon-galee-yoon," or He Reveals."
  2. ^ Muhammad in world scriptures Abdul Haque Vidyarthi - 1997 "It is derived from the Greek term evangelion which means gospel, good news and happy tidings."
  3. ^ Quran 47a 5:46, 47a
  4. ^ Deobandi, Muhammad (1964–1969). Ma'ariful Qur'an. p. 176.
  5. ^ Oliver Leaman The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia Taylor & Francis 2006 ISBN 978-0-415-32639-1 page 298
  6. ^ Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1938). The Holy Qur-an: Text, Translation & Commentary (3rd ed.). Kashmiri Bazar, Lahore: Shaik Muhammad Ashraf. p. 287.
  7. ^ a b McCoy, R. Michael (2021-09-08). Interpreting the Qurʾān with the Bible (Tafsīr al-Qurʾān bi-l-Kitāb). Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-46682-1.
  8. ^ Quran 57:27