A Review of the Lecture Series: “Jesus and Moses in the Qur’an”

“What a phenomenal event!” -Julie Karnuth

On March 2-3rd, we had the honor to host our second academic lecture series of the school year. Our keynote speaker was professor Gabriel Said Reynolds, an Islamic studies scholar from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of The Emergence of Islam and The Qur’an and Its Biblical Subtext. The lecture series focused on biblical figures in the Qur’an. For the first lecture, Reynolds examined the biblical character of Moses in the Qur’an. He focused on the similarities and differences between the biblical and qur’anic account of Moses and Pharaoh.  According to Reynolds, the qur’anic story of Moses and Pharaoh seeks to teach individuals to choose God and the Islamic faith over family ties. The following morning, Reynolds turned his attention to the qur’anic figure versus the biblical figure of Jesus. According to Reynolds, the qur’anic Jesus is referred to as a Christ, spirit, and word. The Qur’an also refers to Jesus as a messiah; however, the qur’anic term messiah does not refer to the theological title of son of God. In Islamic theology, the concept of a messiah as Christians understand it does not exist. Thus, there is a stark contrast between the biblical Jesus and the qur’anic Jesus. At the end of lectures, Reynolds opened the floor for Q&A. The student body eagerly engaged with Reynolds and his content.

After the event, we asked some students to give us feedback on the lecture series. We have selected some of their answers to share.

“Having the opportunity to listen in on the academic conversation regarding the Qur’an was excellent. I heard a first-rate Islam scholar who has spent a career examining the qur’anic text in the original language present fresh analysis of the Qur’an– all on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary! It felt like eavesdropping. It was fascinating to see the biblical subtext of the Qur’an demonstrated from the text itself, and how the Qur’an’s presentation of Jesus differs irreconcilably from the biblical portrayal.” -Amos Peck

“Dr. Reynold’s lectures were so interesting and gave me new perspectives and insights! I got so much out of attending this event!”-Ashleigh Morgan

“I found it wonderfully helpful to hear a world-class scholar present his material, and then to be able to interact with him in an open forum. This is rare, and incredibly valuable for me as I test my analysis and develop my understanding of the Islamic faith.” -Joshua Austin

“The Jenkins Center brought in a top-notch scholar in Gabriel Reynolds at the Jesus, Moses, and the Qur’an event. His scholarly expertise in Islam and the Qur’an provided us with a better understanding of Islam and its relation to its Abrahamic cousins—Judaism and Christianity. Safier Deli was also a huge win.” -Mark Olson

“It was so cool that the Jenkins Center was able to host Dr. Gabriel Reynolds to give a two-day lecture about how Moses and Pharaoh are seen through Islamic eyes. Additionally, Dr. Reynolds talked a lot about the Islamic understanding of prophethood by using the qur’anic illustration of Jesus. It was so wonderful to hear from a top-notch scholar on the Qur’an.” -Jacob Kelley

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