By Ronny Vollandt

This paintings bargains a seminal learn into Arabic translations of the Pentateuch. it's no exaggeration to talk of this box as a terra incognita. Biblical models in Arabic have been produced over many centuries, at the foundation of quite a lot of resource languages (Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, or Coptic), and in various contexts. The textual proof for this research is completely in line with a corpus of approximately one hundred fifty manuscripts, containing the Pentateuch in Arabic or components thereof.

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Additional info for Arabic Versions of the Pentateuch: A Comparative Study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Sources

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38 See François Secret, “Guillaume Postel et les études arabes à la Renaissance,” Arabica 9 (1962): 21–36, on 21–22. 39 See Hamilton, William Bedwell, 32. 40 The Collège Royal, where Fourmont learned Arabic, used Savary de Brèves’ Arabic Psalter (see below, Chapter 5) as a textbook; see Cécile Leung, Etienne Fourmont, 1683–1745: Oriental and Chinese Languages in Eighteenth-Century France (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2002): 72. 41 William Bedwell used the Medici Gospels and Giustiniani’s Psalter; see Hamilton, William Bedwell.

42 The inadequate knowledge of Arabic among contemporary dignitaries is often lamented, and Bar Hebraeus deemed a good command of that language to be noteworthy. 44 The extraordinary command of Arabic by the East-Syriac patriarch Abū Ḥalīm (Catholicos Elias III; d. 45 Bar Hebraeus furnishes similar notes in regard to other East-Syriac scholars: He recounts, for example, how George, the son of Bokht-ʿĪshāʿ the 40 G CAL 2: 259–263. 41 See Lucas van Rompay, “Past and Present Perceptions of Syriac Literary Tradition,” Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies 3 (2000): 71–103.

Only Aramaic survived as a spoken language until today. This linguistic shift produced the multiglossic culture that is associated with medieval Christian and Jewish communities under Muslim rule and is manifested in biblical translations. It shaped the need to make the Holy Scriptures accessible to a larger public in the new vernacular and thus constituted the immediate historical context that led to the rise of Arabic translations of the Bible. 2 It is true that there were Arabic-speaking Jewish and Christian com1 This chapter is intended as an orientation.

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