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Jewish Concepts of ScriptureA Comparative Introduction$
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Benjamin D. Sommer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740620

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740620.001.0001

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Concepts of Scripture among the Jews of the Medieval Islamic World

Concepts of Scripture among the Jews of the Medieval Islamic World

(p.80) Chapter 6 Concepts of Scripture among the Jews of the Medieval Islamic World
Jewish Concepts of Scripture

Meira Polliack

NYU Press

This chapter illustrates how the Judaeo-Arabic Karaite exegetes brought about a transition toward a new type of understanding. This understanding embraces the in-depth analysis of the Bible's language and carries it through into new dimensions of discourse analysis, literary structure, and narrative technique. Even though they were capable of applying varied interpretive modes to the biblical text, including midrashic-like allegorizing, the Karaites' rejection of the sanctity of Oral Law, and their refocusing on the Bible as a self-contained text fostered a new path in Jewish Bible interpretation. This path echoed wider needs of a new era of literacy among the Jews of the medieval Islamic world, and gradually it found expression in the works of the Rabbanite Judaeo-Arabic exegetes as well.

Keywords:   Judeo-Arabic Karaite, Bible, midrash, Oral Law, Jewish Bible interpretation, medieval Islam, Rabbanite Judeo-Arabic exegetes

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