Polemical Aspects in an Early Judeo-Persian Bible Exegesis - The Commentary on the Story of Ḥannah (RNL Yevr.-Arab. I 4608)

Ofir Haim


The article discusses the attitude towards Christians, Muslims, and the “foreign sciences” based on one of the only extant polemical texts written in Early Judeo-Persian—a passage from an unpublished commentary on story of Ḥannah preserved in the National Library of Russia (RNL Yevr.-Arab. I 4608). In addition, the article attempts to define the relation of this commentary to the broader intellectual environment of the medieval Jewish world. A close examination of this passage reveals a possible connection to Karaite exegetical work written in Judeo-Arabic during the tenth century, particularly those of Yefet ben ʿEli. Therefore, the article may serve as a case study of intellectual contact and transmission of knowledge between different Jewish groups in the Islamicate world.


Polemics; Bible exegesis; Karaite; Yefet ben ʿEli; Early Judeo-Persian; Judeo-Arabic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13154/er.v6.2018.162-200

Copyright (c) 2018 Ofir Haim

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Käte Hamburger KollegCentrum für Religionswissenschaftliche Forschung (CERES) Bundesministerium für Bildung und ForschungOpen Access