A Deuteronomist redactor meets a recorder of Islamic texts

Who I'd invite to my writers' dinner party
April 27, 2017

My desire isn’t to confirm or banish some aspect of my faith, but I’d like to lay my eyes on some of the people who wrote, edited, or revised the scriptures that have occupied so much of my conscious life. Instead of the persistent pondering (were the Deuteronomists well-meaning editors or overzealous revisionists with misogynist tendencies?), I’d enjoy checking out one of these influential redactors with all my senses. Would I like them? Do they have a sense of humor? I tend to get a little suspicious of the author of Acts as well, so let’s have him to the dinner. Was he just a great storyteller with a tendency to embellish or did he pander to empire? Finally, I’d like to invite someone who had a hand in recording the earliest Islamic texts.

I’d like to hear the three of them reflect together on their ideas about God as well as how they dealt with their personal agendas while recording the scriptures. I’d like to see how well they got along. I would also want them to know what has happened over the centuries with their work: how seriously people have taken it, and both the goodness and the violence it has wrought. I hope they’d have ideas for how the Abrahamic cousins might graciously proceed together. Maybe I could get them to write a joint letter to the president.