HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
GRAFTON, David D.. The identity and witness of Arab pre-Islamic Arab Christianity: The Arabic language and the Bible. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2726.
This article argues that Arab Christianity has had a unique place in the history of World Christianity. Rooted in a biblical witness, the origins and history of Arab Christianity have been largely forgotten or ignored. This is not primarily as a result of the fact that the Arab Christian historical legacy has been overcome by Islam. Rather, unlike other early Christian communities, the Bible was never translated into the vernacular of the Arabs. By the 7th century the language of the Qur'an became the primary standard of the Arabic language, which then became the written religious text of the Arabs. This article will explore the identity and witness of the Christian presence in Arabia and claims that the development of an Arabic Bible provides a unique counter-example to what most missiologists have assumed as the basis for the spread of the Christian faith as a result of the translation of the Christian scriptures into a vernacular.