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Writings from the Islamic World

In the Muslim world, from the ninth to the thirteenth century, there was a burgeoning of interest in the Bible. It was in Islamic Tiberias that the first critical edition of the Hebrew Bible—the Masoretic Text—was produced, yet this is only one of many achievements during this extraordinarily productive era. In Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain Jews, Christians, and Samaritans produced multiple, often competing, translations of the Bible into Arabic. They also penned hundreds of linear, verse-by-verse, word-by-word commentaries, written from multiple perspectives and representing different traditions. This focus on the Bible generated a large cognate literature as well, including lexicons and grammars; legal monographs and codes; systematic works of theology and philosophy; polemical tracts and heresiographies. Muslims and Zoroastrians also showed increasing awareness of and interest in the Bible, as exemplified by the “Legends of the Prophets” anthologies produced during the period and the appeal to biblical verses in anti-Jewish and anti-Christian polemics.

To help create a foundation for the study of this, one of the last frontiers in the history of biblical studies, the Writings from the Islamic World (WIW) series makes available original sources from the Arabic tradition, including translations of the Bible and commentaries, as well as texts, translations, and studies related to the cognate literature. Texts in Arabic will be the primary focus, but works produced in other languages will be included as well, especially Armenian, Hebrew, Persian, and Syriac. Volumes, which typically include an Introduction, the original text with English translation, explanatory or textual notes, bibliography, and indices, are ideal for both scholars and students of religion, culture, and the history of exegesis during the medieval period.

See the complete list of Writings from the Islamic World in our online catalog.



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