Thrice upon a time: Abraham’s guests and the study of intra-Qur’anic parallels

Joseph Witztum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The biblical story of Abraham’s mysterious guests and their good tidings of the expected son are reported in detail three times in the Qur’an. A systematic study of intra-Qur’anic parallels remains a major desideratum. It would entail collecting the parallels and analyzing the differences between them, with special attention given to those which may shed light on the process through which Qur’an evolved. Willingness to identify tensions and contradictions between intra-Qur’anic parallels may reveal a dynamic of change and may lead to a better understanding of the process through which the Qur’an evolved. The Qur’anic retellings of the annunciation to Zechariah also display thematic and linguistic affinities to the Abraham accounts, though they do not include the fear motif. Thus, the willingness to read the parallel versions independently and not harmonistically allows to identify a possible dynamic of change and development in the tradition.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Qur’an’s Reformation of Judaism and Christianity
Subtitle of host publicationReturn to the Origins
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781351341561
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 selection and editorial matter, Holger M. Zellentin.


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