Jewish Studies

Miriam Goldstein

A Judeo-Arabic Parody of the Life of Jesus

The Toledot Yeshu Helene Narrative

[Eine jüdisch-arabische Parodie des Lebens Jesu. Die Toledot Jeschu-Helene-Erzählung.]

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Published in English.
Miriam Goldstein demonstrates that Toledot Yeshu, the notorious parody of the life of Jesus, was popular and long-lived among Arabic-speaking Jews. Retelling the development of this narrative, she transforms historical understandings of Toledot Yeshu and of the communities who read it.
Miriam Goldstein provides the first-ever examination of the Judeo-Arabic versions of Toledot Yeshu (TY), the notorious parody of the life of Jesus originating in Late Antiquity, as well as a full edition and translation of Judeo-Arabic TY texts from their earliest fragmentary witnesses through their early modern copies. The author illuminates the historical and literary development of the Judeo-Arabic TY texts, retelling the story of this long-lived polemical narrative with the critical inclusion of this significant Judeo-Arabic material. Goldstein considers the function of the narrative in the religiously diverse Arabic-speaking milieu and traces the existence of TY in a variety of languages in later Jewish Near Eastern story collections. In this study, the author transforms historical understandings of Toledot Yeshu and of the Near Eastern communities who read and transmitted the narrative.
Survey of contents
Chapter 1: Toledot Yeshu – An Introduction
Chapter 2: Manuscript Evidence of the TY Helene Narrative in Judeo-Arabic
Chapter 3: Judeo-Arabic in the Early and Classical Period – A Very Brief Introduction
Chapter 4: Linguistic Transformations – From Judeo-Arabic to Hebrew
Chapter 5: TY and Popular Literature in Late Judeo-Arabic
Chapter 6: Oldest Texts
Chapter 7: Toledot Yeshu in the Late Mediterranean Judeo-Arabic Recension (LMJAR)
Chapter 8: Late Mediterranean Judeo-Arabic Recension – Texts

Miriam Goldstein Born 1976; 1999 BA, Harvard College; 2001 M.Phil, University of Cambridge; 2007 PhD, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Professor in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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