Resurrection and immortality in the New Testament and the Quran

Thomas, Richard W (1964) Resurrection and immortality in the New Testament and the Quran. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis has a twofold aim: first, to establish the connexion between the concept of immortality and the doctrine of resurrection, once the lexical data has been examined; secondly to compare the related concepts as they figure in the Quran with the corresponding presentation in the N.T. Before turning to the argument proper I have attempted to place the title concepts in the setting of N.T. or Quranic eschatology. The first four chapters in Part I and the first three in Part II were alloted to this survey of the major divisions into which the N.T. and the Quran fall. Several other germane problems have also been considered in these introductory chapters. In Chap.I of Part I the eschatological background of the Gospels and Acts is discussed. A brief note on the apocalyptic genre and another on eschatology in Acts are subjoined to this chapter. The all-embracing scope of resurrection is the closing observation that rounds off this chapter. Next in Chap.II there is an outline of the Pauline view of the Last Things. The issues here raised include the Parousia, and the crux in II Cor. 5: 1-8, Chap.III and IV follow up with the remaining literature of the N.T. from Hebrews to Revelation. In the section on the Apocalypse the value of symbolism in prophetic delineation is stressed. Since the Kingdom of God is an eschatological reality a treatment of its Implications was unavoidable; this has been done in Chap.V. The conclusion there reached is that the futurist element is ineradicable from the teaching of Jesus. The remaining chapters are more strictly philological studies. In Chap.VI the verbs of raising and sleeping as well as the Greek nouns that signify resurrection are examined. The significance of the pivotal term 'body' is assessed in Chap.VII, with special reference to its use in I Cor. 15. The final chapter of Part I is an evaluation of two further pertinent expressions, aionios and athanasia. The evidence thus gathered suggests that Immortality like Eternal Life is a gift rather than an innate possession. Much the same procedure as above is adopted in Part II. Here the consecutive divisions surveyed in the introductory chapters are chronological. Various unusual terms occurring in the early Meccan Suras are sifted in Chap. I. Note is also taken of the rare allusions to resurrection and perpetuity. Chap. II deals with the major part of the Quran, the middle and later Meccan Suras. Here attention is drawn, inter alia, to Casanova's theory and the premonitory signs. The final stage of Quranic development represents a summing up of ideas previously set forth. Concepts such as the Last Day and the 'Spouses' are considered in Chap.III. Some of the singular features noticeable in the Suras are best explained by recourse to the milieu in which the Prophet moved. The five chapters that folow deal more particularly with the subject of the thesis. In Chap.IV, after listing the equivalent phrases and epithets for the Day of Resurrection, I have endeavoured to describe some of the events of that Day. In the next chapter a number of verbs that imply revival or survival beyond death are looked into; the object is to trace out the mode of resurrection, assuming that the relevant data is conducive to such analysis. The soul in Quranic thought is the theme of Chap.VI; the conclusion reached is that nafs refers to intrinsic personality, which is inconceivable apart from a visible form. The final chapters are complementary, the one dealing with 'time', and the other with 'eternity'. Hence, they bear affinity to Chap,VIII of Part I, God's time is not the same as ours, but the two dimensions are not totally disparate. Such terms for eternity as are extant in the Quran indicate a permanent state here after, A brief conclusion to the entire thesis is appended. Here the results of the main lines of inquiry are summarized, and the practical purpose of eschatology demonstrated.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: William Barclay
Keywords: Comparative religion, Biblical studies
Date of Award: 1964
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1964-73969
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56

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