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The Use And Translation Of Scripture In The Apologetic Writings Of Abū Rā'iṭa Al-Takrītī

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Chapter Summary

The Christian community living under Abbasid rule in the early ninth century witnessed a number of profound changes that were to have lasting effects on church life. Among the more significant of these was the establishment of Arabic as the official language of the empire, along with other policies encouraging conversion to Islam. This situation soon demanded of Christian theologians a careful response to Muslim questions, as well as clear formulations and explanations of Christian doctrines in light of the confrontation with Islamic assertions. It is also within this context that one finds the beginnings of systematic translation of the Bible into Arabic. In response, Christian theologians turned to traditional apologetic approaches involving rational arguments supported by biblical proof texts. Abū Rāʾiṭa Al-Takrītī employed scripture in a multitude of ways to argue for and substantiate his points both to Muslims and to beleaguered Christians.

Keywords: Abū Rāʾiṭa Al-Takrītī; Abbasid rule; apologetic approaches; Bible; church; Islam; systematic translation



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