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Distributed for Brigham Young University

Critique of Christian Origins

A Parallel English-Arabic Text

Translated, introduced, and annotated by Gabriel Said Reynolds and Samir Khalil Samir

In the Critique of Christian Origins Abd al-Jabbār—the leading Muslim intellectual of the late tenth century—develops what might be considered the first Islamic history of Christianity, analyzing the Bible, church rituals, and miracles. Unlike Muslim scholars before him, Abd al-Jabbār criticizes Christianity not only theologically but also on historical grounds. He argues that the schemes of secular and religious leaders led to the suppression of the Islamic religion of Jesus and the creation of Christianity in its place. The Critique of Christian Origins contains a wealth of information on the ideological contours of Abd al-Jabbār’s time, including perspectives on Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and several sects within Islam itself, in addition to Christianity. 

This edition, which includes a fully vocalized Arabic edition of the text and a complete English translation accompanied by detailed explanatory notes, a glossary, a bibliography, and three indexes, makes this important work readily accessible to students and specialists alike.

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“The Islamic Translation Series . . . has established itself as one of the most valuable resources available to scholars of Islamic theology and Arab philosophy.”

Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies

“This book will become a standard reference for Christian-Muslim apologetics and polemics, as it shines light on an extraordinary author with an extraordinary work. Samir Khalil Samir and Gabriel Said Reynolds’s remarkable editorial accomplishment deserves great appreciation.”

Oriens Christianus

Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Other Conventions

Foreword to the Series


Translator’s Introduction

Part One – Introduction


Muhammad’s report on Christian doctrine in the Qur’rān as proof of his prophethood

Nestorians, no different from other Christians, teach invalid doctrines

On the invalidity of pre-Islamic religions and the current threat of the Qarāmita

Muhammad’s report on Christianity

Part Two – Doctrine


Christians believe in three gods, despite their claims

Christ was only a servant of God

Heterodox Muslims also rely on speculation and esotericism

Christians misinterpret metaphorical language in the Bible

Christ, as Muhammad proclaimed, was not crucified

This logical argument of recognition can be used to disprove the claims of other religious groups

Large groups cannot conceal or fabricate accounts

The attempts of the Shī’a, Christians, and Qarāmita to invalidate Sunnī Islam are misguided

The authentic Passion account proves that Jesus was not crucified

Various arguments against the crucifixion and divinity of Christ

A defense of the statement in Qur’ān 5:116 regarding Mary

Part Three – Practice


Christian practice, like their doctrine, is contrary to the teachings and actions of Christ

Historical accounts of how the Islamic religion of Jesus was falsified: Bible

Historical accounts of how the Islamic religion of Jesus was falsified: Paul

Historical accounts of how the Islamic religion of Jesus was falsified: Constantine

On Christian practice and its origin

On moral corruption in Byzantine society

Against the Christian apologetical argument based on miracles

On the false claims of various sects

On the Christian claim that their religion was established by miracles

Against the Christian apologetical argument based on austerity

That Christianity is not the religion of Christ can be seen from the Bible

Flaws of the Bible

False reports of miracles that Christians use as evidence for their religion

Christian leaders seek to control Christians through deception

Glossary of Technical Terms in the Translation


‘Abd al-Jabbār – Published Works

‘Abd al- Jabbār – Islamic Biographies

Early (through the fourth/tenth century) Islamic Anti-Christian Polemics

Early (through the fourth/tenth century) Christian Arabic Apologies

Secondary Sources on ‘Abd al- Jabbār and the Critique of Christian Origins

Index of Arabic Names and Terms

Index of Citations and References

Index of People, Places and Subjects

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