Comparing the translated sections in Yaʿaqūb al-Qirqisānī’s Parashat Bereshit with those of R. Saʿadya Gaon

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by Rachel Hasson The Karaite Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Qirqisānī lived in the first half of the tenth century in Babylonia; he is indisputably considered knowledgeable and educated of stature. Unlike his contemporary R. Saʿadya Gaon, who composed a … Continued

The Qurʾānic Subtext of Early Arabic Bible Translations

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by Miriam Lindgren Hjälm In 2018, Gabriel Said Reynolds published a valuable reference work with the title The Qurʾān and the Bible: Text and Commentary.[1] In this book, Reynolds accumulates research on what is commonly known as the biblical subtext … Continued

Oriental Languages and Scholarly Collaboration in Seventeenth-Century Europe: Étienne Hubert and the Arabic Gospels

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by Nil Palabiyik Scholarly collaboration is important. It was as important in the seventeenth century as it is now. This blog post is about how I deciphered, almost by sheer coincidence, an arcane reference in an early modern letter and … Continued

The “Psalms of David” as reimagined and rewritten by Muslims

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by David R. Vishanoff The history of the Bible in Arabic includes not only the reception of its textual content, and the reworking of its stories and themes in various forms of “rewritten Bible,” but also the reimagining of the … Continued

Biblical translations into Christian Arabic preserved in the Cairo Genizah collections

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by Ronny Vollandt The presence of Christian Arabic texts in the Cairo Genizah corpus is well attested.[1] In her survey, Krisztina Szilágyi classes the compositions of Christian Arabic provenance which circulated among Cairene Jews into two groups. The first includes … Continued

Can manuscript headings prove that there were Arabic Gospels before the Qurʾān?

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Were there Arabic translations of the Bible before Islam? In the early 1930s, Anton Baumstark outlined an argument which he believed ‘mathematically proved’ that such translations existed.[1] His thesis was that the lectionary headings in some Arabic manuscripts of the … Continued

The British Civil Engineer who made Jesus speak like an Egyptian: William Willcocks and al-Khabar al-Ṭayyib bitāʿ Yasūʿ al-Masīḥ

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by Sameh Hanna1 In an interview published in 1927 in the Cairo-based monthly al-Hilāl, Egyptian intellectual and reformist Salama Musa (1887-1958) asked a retired British civil engineer, among other things, about what made him happy at the end of his … Continued