Jesus of Arabia was translated by a four-person Christian and Muslim Arab team from publishers Motivate
A UAE-based Christian priest’s book showing how Jesus had more in common with Arabian Islamic culture rather than western is to be published into Arabic.
Jesus of Arabia was penned by Rev Andy Thompson, the chaplain at St Andrew’s Anglican Church in Abu Dhabi, and it also examines the bridges between Islam and Christianity.
The book was first published in English in 2014 and now the Arabic version will launch at St Andrew’s on Tuesday. It is rare that a book written by a Christian resident about Jesus receives such a treatment and Rev Thompson says the event is a pre-Christmas celebration of Jesus for both Muslims and Christians.
“A lot of conversations between Muslims and Christians get bogged down in dogma and it is not really helpful,” said Mr Thompson. “I want to promote education between our two communities which is different from proselytising.
“Education helps us to know one another – meeting with respect and mutual acceptance and we can only do that by recognising our shared heritage in Jesus,” he said.
The Arabic version took about a year to produce, spans 200 pages and was translated by a four-person Christian and Muslim Arab team from publishers Motivate over a two to three-month period. The team carefully translated the text to maintain the respectful tone of the English version.
“Getting the Arabic flavour for that was important so we need both Christian and Muslim Arab translators to make it work. There was an ongoing dialogue between them,” said Mr Thompson.
Over the centuries, Jesus has been recreated in a western image.