The Pre-Islamic Divine Name ʿsy and the Background of the Qurʾānic Jesus

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Ahmad Al-Jallad
Ali Al-Manaser

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Abstract

This paper presents a newly discovered Safaitic inscription bearing the divine name ʿsy. It is argued that this theonym corresponds to Qurʾānic Arabic عيسى <ʿysy>, and reflects the earliest attestation of this form of Jesus’s name, likely dating to the fourth century CE, during the initial spread of Christianity to Arabia.

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