Professor Stefan Schreiner
Senior Lecturer Peeter Roosimaa
Professor Dieter Sänger
Professor Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila
The purpose of the present study is presenting a synchronous comparison of Mohammed's and Paul's conception of Revelation, taking into account the revelation perspectives of Islam and Christianity. When making the comparison, it is taken into account that Revelation has a universal salvation history meaning in the Qur'an and in the letters of Apostle Paul. One of the hypotheses of the study is that the Salvation Story (Heilsgeschichte) of both the Qur'an and Paul arises from the Hebrew-Biblical background, and either interprets the tradition in their own way while being themselves influenced by the Hebrew-Biblical tradition. Besides the Qur'an and the letters of Paul, mostly Christian religious interpretations of Islam are used in the study for comparing Mohammed and Paul. The Islamic perspective is also presented. Besides the texts of Mohammed and Paul, a comparison of Mohammed's image in the Islamic tradition and Paul's image in the Early Christian tradition is made.
The study places Mohammed and Paul into a wider context of the Salvation Story through their Call Stories. When dealing with Revelation, the present study shows first and foremost that the self-concept of both Mohammed and Paul relates to their conception of Revelation. Mohammed and Paul attach different importance and meaning to a previous revelation: the Qur'an stresses the unity of the revelation, as a result of which, the previous revelation is as significant as the Qur'an. God made a similar covenant with each prophet. For Paul, however, the previous revelation has no redeeming of salvation meaning. Paul does not speak of Revelation in connection with previous (Old Testament) writings, but rather they contain a pledge, which is fulfilled in the Revelation in Christ. Paul stresses that the New Covenant in Christ is better than the Old Covenant. In the Qur'an, we do not see a linearly evolving conception of Revelation. The Revelation Story is presented as similar events taking place side by side. Mohammed's conception of Revelation is cyclical and it has a kerygmatic meaning, while Paul conceives Revelation typologically. In interpreting Revelation, Paul proceeds from the Christ Event (Christusereignis). In the Qur'an, we see no antithetic approach to the prophetic succession. For Mohammed, the prophets are reference values, while for Paul, they are typological persons pointing to the future, with whom one is identified.