Jewish Studies

Miriam Goldstein

Karaite Exegesis in Medieval Jerusalem

The Judeo-Arabic Pentateuch Commentary of Yusuf ibn Nuh and Abu al-Faraj Harun

[Karäische Exegese im mittelalterlichen Jerusalem. Der jüdisch-arabische Pentateuch-Kommentar des Yūsuf ibn Nūh und des Abu al-Faraj Harun.]

109,00 €
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ISBN 978-3-16-150972-8
Published in English.
Miriam Goldstein presents an introduction to the exegetical methods in the Judeo-Arabic Bible commentaries of the Karaite exegetes of Jerusalem (10th-11th c. CE), who were a crucial link between the world of traditional rabbinic Bible commentary and the Jewish Bible exegesis composed in Europe.
Miriam Goldstein's book is an ambitious study of a significant work composed by two leaders of the community of Karaite scholars living in Jerusalem (10th/11th c. C.E.). Yūsuf ibn Nūh, a grammarian and revered teacher of this scholarly community, authored a lengthy commentary on the Pentateuch, which was revised and updated by his student Abu al-Faraj Harun. Goldstein examines the historical background of the composition and its reception, as well as major principles of its exegetical method, an amalgamation of traditional Jewish techniques with methods and concepts inspired by or absorbed from the Arabic-Islamic environment. The book includes extensive citation from the commentary in English translation and an appendix of all cited texts in the original Judeo-Arabic. Yet this book is more than a study of one specific composition. Goldstein's analysis provides a basis for the recognition and understanding of the exegetical methods employed extensively, consistently and conservatively during two centuries of Karaite exegesis in Jerusalem. Furthermore, it serves as an introduction to a school of exegesis that was one of the crucial links between traditional rabbinic literature and the Jewish Bible commentaries composed in Europe. This book is intended for students of the Bible and biblical exegesis and of medieval Jewish and Middle Eastern history, as well as those simply curious to learn more about this vibrant period of creative composition in Judeo-Arabic.

Miriam Goldstein Born 1976; BA in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard College, MPhil in Oriental Studies from University of Cambridge; PhD in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; currently teaches in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


The following reviews are known:

In: Frankfurter Judaistische Beiträge — 37 (2011/12), S. 153–155 (Joachim J.M.S. Yeshaya)
In: Journal of Jewish Studies — 63 (2012), S. 373–378 (Daniel J. Lasker)
In: Svensk Exegetisk Arsbok — 78 (2013), S. 221–223 (Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer)