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The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims

Ms Carullah 3, (Arabic translation of the Pentateuch by al-Ḥārith b. Sinān (9th-10th century CE)

Ms Carullah 3, Arabic translation of the Pentateuch by al-Ḥārith b. Sinān (9th-10th century CE)

During the Middle Ages hundreds of Jews, Christians and Samaritans living under Muslim rule were intensively engaged in translating their sacred scriptures into Arabic, which had become their language as well. These translations, their stylistic and didactic features, vocabulary, scripts and ideologies, as well as the extent to which they were influenced by the Qur’an and used by Muslims in their discussions with members of the other Abrahamic religions are the focus of the international research project Biblia Arabica: the Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims which was endowed with a 1.6 million Euro grant from the German research organization DFG.

The five-year project was conceived and is being directed by two professors from TAU’s Entin Faculty of Humanities: Prof. Camilla Adang of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Prof. Meira Polliack of the Department of Hebrew Culture Studies – Bible Program, together with Prof. Andreas Kaplony  and Professor Ronny Vollandt from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich. The project charts the countless manuscripts and fragments that are nowadays found in monasteries throughout the Middle East and libraries across the globe, analyzes the different methods of translation from Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Greek and Coptic, and examines the mutual influences, both religious and cultural, between the different religious communities. In addition, it deals with the historical and social repercussions of the discourse and polemic that developed in the course of time and are still alive today.

 

 

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