Arabic Professor to Share 9th-Century Commentary on Muslim, Christian Conflict

Abdul M. Saadi
Moshe Bar Kepha's commentary on Luke, courtesy photo.
Feb. 27, 2015

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WACO, Texas (Feb. 27, 2015)–Abdul M. Saadi, Ph.D., assistant professor of Arabic in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, will bring to life the thoughts and teachings of 9th-century exegete and apologist Moshe Bar Kepha at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in Cox Lecture Hall in Armstrong Browning Library.

The lecture about Bar Kepha’s commentary on Luke will be hosted by Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion.

“Bar Kepha is a scholar, bishop and minister from the 9th century who wrote commentary to instruct his community on the true teachings of Christianity,” Saadi said. “He calls out the differences between Muslims and Christians and shows how they prove the divinity of our Lord and savior.”

Bar Kepha’s commentary centered on the Gospel of Luke, stresses the importance of unity among Christians.

“The significance of this commentary is the context within which it was written,” Saadi said.

Bar Kepha lived in one of the most dangerous centers of the Abbasid Empire during Islamification policy, a policy that regarded Christianity as a social evil. His commentary offered apologetic responses to Muslims.

Saadi argues that an examination of Bar Kepha’s commentary is more relevant than ever with the conflict today between Muslims and Christians. Through examples from Bar Kepha’s commentary, Saadi will expose Bar Kepha’s position on various Christian theological topics as well as his instructions to Muslims’ challenge to the Christian faith.

“These days we see the Muslim extremists taking hold of political powers and brutalizing everybody, every opponent,” Saadi said. “The natural opponents are the Christians because of their faith.”

Abdul Saadi was born and raised in Syria in an area bordering Turkey and Iraq. Before coming to Baylor, he taught Arabic and Syriac at University of Notre Dame. He has earned Master’s degrees in theology, church history and New Testament, and a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies and Syriac Studies at the Luthern School of Theology at Chicago.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Armstrong Browning Library is located at 1416 S. Third St. in Waco.

by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

For more information, please contact Abdul M. Saadi

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