Joseph, the Old Testament, the Koran, Spirit of God, Genesis, Judaism, Islam
When reading a story, the way we choose to interpret it has much to do with the author's tone as well as his intention. In other words, one story can send two radically different messages based on the way that it is written. If we analyze the story of Joseph in both the Old Testament and in the Koran, we get a sense of these distinctions. While both books praise the actions of Joseph and suggest that he was a loyal servant to God, the tone and message of each book suggests a radically different view of Joseph.
[...] It is suggested that even learned men who practice the ways of God cannot be on par with Joseph. When Joseph is asked, for example, to interpret the dreams of two men, he quickly states, not interpretations belong to (Genesis 69). Then, Joseph goes on to do his best in interpreting the dreams, hoping that he will capture the right meaning. The Old Testament suggests that Joseph was somewhat unified with God, and was able to interpret his will with accuracy. [...]
[...] Joseph even states that [God] alone is all- knowing and wise” (Koran 1451). The radically different interpretations of Joseph in the Old Testament and in the Koran tell us about much more than just the relationship between Joseph and God. The distinctions in tone with regard to this story hint at the essential differences between Judaism and Islam. Judaism is built on the belief that the Jews are God's chosen people, but God tends to not reveal himself directly and allows them to suffer in many situations. [...]
[...] There is nothing inherently special about any man, not even Joseph, and the Koran suggests that birthright does not entitle a person to God's permanent and unconditional love and protection. The story of Joseph as interpreted by the Old Testament and the Koran brings this major ideological distinction into focus, and it helps us understand a significant difference between the two faiths regarding man's relationship with God. Works Cited In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Volume I. 6th edition. NY: W.W. Norton and 1992. [...]
[...] Unlike the Old Testament, Joseph is treated as a righteous yet ordinary man who gains the favor of God through his actions rather than through his person. In an attempt to take away Joseph's personal glory, the Koran states, for example, “Thus We established Joseph in the land, and taught him to interpret dreams,” (Koran 1447) suggesting that this power was not inherent in Joseph, and that he had merely learned how to do it by following the ways of God and believing in his power. [...]
[...] Instead, the king merely refers to Joseph as of truth” rather than a of God (Koran” 1449). In his passage, the Koran is suggesting that Joseph is merely a human with no special power. What makes him stand out amongst others, according to the Koran, is his ability to accept God and to understand the truth of God and His will. Joseph is therefore depicted as a man who follows the way of God and is rewarded for it, unlike the Old Testament which suggests that Joseph would be a great leader and sacred religious figure as a birthright. [...]
using our reader.