The textual traditions of BaḤĪrĀ
Bailey, Seth Davis
MetadataShow full item record
Ibn Isḥāq’s sīra narrates a story between the Christian monk Baḥīrā and Muḥammad that occurs during a caravan journey with his uncle as a child. When the caravan comes to Syria, they meet Baḥīrā in a cell that had been continuously occupied by monks. In this cell, Baḥīrā possessed a book passed down from these monks from which he gained his knowledge and anoints Muḥammad as the next prophet. This event results in the formation of an inter-religious polemic between the Muslim account and the Christian recensions that refute certain aspects of the encounter found in the textual traditions of Baḥīrā. The encounter is affirmed, attacked, or transformed, but the origin of the manuscript is not addressed. This thesis asserts that the manuscript that Ibn Isḥāq cites is based on a Palestinian Syriac Lectionary of the Gospel of John known in Medina around 700 CE.