Associated Research Projects

Independence and Diversity: Unknown Karaite Bible Commentaries in Judeo-Arabic from the Early Classical Age

This project is directed by Dr. Miriam Goldstein at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and by Prof. Dr. Ronny Vollandt at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, and is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. In this project, we focus on the origins and history of Karaite exegesis from its emergence in the 10th century, considering in particular the diversity within the exegesis, the mutual relationship between the different geographic centers (Jerusalem and Iraq), and their differences in the interpretation of creation, history, revelation and law.

The project will produce a Judeo-Arabic critical edition and English translation of two central tenth-century Karaite works. The Jerusalem team focuses on the Baghdadi Karaite Yaʿqūb al-Qirqisānī, editing his commentary Kitāb al-Riyāḍ wal-Ḥadāʾiq (The Book of Gardens and Parks) on the books of Genesis and Exodus. The Munich team focuses on the Pentateuch commentary by the Jerusalem Karaite Sahl ben Maṣliaḥ, also on the books of Genesis and Exodus. Both teams include senior researchers as well as junior researchers in MA and PhD programs at the respective institutions. The new editions and translations, which are based on the use of the text editing tool Classical Text Editor, will also allow us to contrast the two schools of Karaite exegesis, in Iraq and Jerusalem, and better understand the development of Karaite exegesis as a whole.