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

The Transmission of the Arabic Bible in Islamic Contexts: Vatican BAV, MS Copt. 9 in al-Biqāʿī’s Tafsīr

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by Roy M. McCoy III On the cusp of the early modern period, one Muslim scholar in late Mamlūk Cairo quoted liberally from the scriptures of the religious “other.” Ibrāhīm b. ʿUmar b. Ḥasan al-Biqāʿī (d. 885 AH/1480 CE) used … Continued

Edward Pococke and the Emergence of (Judaeo-)Arabic Studies in Late-Renaissance Europe

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by M.G. Wechsler At the dawning of the 17th century, in England and the West generally, Arabic studies—and even more so the study of Jewish texts in Arabic—was still very much in its infancy. This was due in no small … Continued

Early Genizah Fragments of Saadya Gaon’s Translation of the Pentateuch in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg

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The following is an outline of my findings while working on the identification and classification of early Genizah fragments of Saadya Gaon’s translation of the Pentateuch in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg and after recently conducting a research visit there. This work is part of a larger research project of mine on early Genizah fragments of Saadya Gaon’s translation of the Pentateuch supported by the ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (grant no. 150/15).

The ‘Qur’anic’ Translation of the Psalms by Mohammad al-Sadeq Hussein and Serge de Beaurecueil*

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This instance of Islamic-Christian biblical teamwork, in which also the future Archbishop of Algiers, Henri Teissier, was partly involved, is rather extraordinary in its kind, as is the cultural atmosphere in which the project was first conceived. What is more, the translation, which was basically produced from the French version of the Psalter contained in the Bible de Jérusalem, obtained the imprimatur of the Vicar Apostolic of Alexandria of the Latins. In spite of its quite exceptional status, this work, to my knowledge, has not been the object of any specific study.

Introducing the Bibliography of the Arabic Bible: A Classified and Annotated History of Scholarship

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Today we are releasing the first collections of the Bibliography of the Arabic Bible (, a new open-access tool intended to make research on the Arabic Bible a lot easier. This is the tool each of us wishes we had … Continued