The Qur’an often addresses Jews and Christians as “People of Scripture” to indicate that they have received revelation from God. Yet, while acknowledging the special relationship and knowledge that this revelation brings, the Qur’an at the same time criticizes the People of Scripture for not remaining true to God’s guidance and claiming special power over God’s gifts. The mixture of acknowledgment and criticism is based on actual encounters with Jews and Christians at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an. This Christian commentary on the 31 texts in which the Qur’an discusses and addresses the People of Scripture includes the Muslim tradition of interpretation of these texts and adds Christian resonances in order to contribute to future dialogue between Muslims and Christians on the common heritage and the differences between them.
Dr. Pim Valkenberg studied theology and religious studies in the Netherlands, where he was involved in dialogue between the three Abrahamic religions at the Radboud University of Nijmegen where he worked for twenty years until he came to the United States with his family to work at Loyola University Maryland and, since 2011, the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. His fields of specialization are comparative theology, interreligious dialogue and Christian – Muslim relations. Among his publications are: World Religions in Dialogue (2014, 2017), Renewing Islam By Service: A Christian View of Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet Movement (2015), and Nostra Aetate: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Catholic Church’s Dialogue with Jews and Muslims (2016). His latest book is published in 2021 by Peeters in Leuven: No Power over God’s Bounty: A Christian Commentary on the “People of Scripture” in the Qur’ān.